This is a mixed method data collection. The study is part of the Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme.
This project analysed the complex network of natural and socio-economic relationships around angling in the river environment, including institutions of governance and land use practices at a range of interconnected scales. The sustainability, integrity and ecological value of river catchments are currently major issues for science. The management of freshwaters and their ecologies requires addressing processes that work across the boundaries between the natural environment, economy and society. This research focused upon these cross-cutting processes in an interdisciplinary, holistic assessment of river environments through the case of angling. Angling benefits from and influences river quality, design and management. It also links urban and rural environments and is an economic driver for the rural economy, involving about 4 million people in England and Wales and contributing £6 billion to the economy through freshwater angling alone. This research aimed to provide insights into how environmental and socioeconomic drivers for rural change work. This project therefore aimed to identify and analyse the complex network of influences and feedbacks around angling in the rural environment. These include natural and socioeconomic influences, interdisciplinary research from both natural and social science disciplines (aquatic ecology, geomorphology, anthropology, sociology, human geography), as well as stakeholders from government, NGOs and the local community. This project focused upon three rivers in northern England - the Esk, Ure and Swale - in the course of an integrated and fine-grained study.