Adrian Colston

Department: Politics
Discipline: Politics
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Rural Policy Research

Project Summary

Dartmoor has always divided opinions – to some it is England’s last wilderness, to others it is an open farmed and cultural landscape, many describe it as bleak and dangerous whilst others enjoy nothing more than endlessly exploring it. Overlaying the opinions Dartmoor is internationally important for its wildlife habitats and its historic environment, it provides a home and livelihood to the Commoners and others, it is the source of much Devon’s drinking water and in its blanket bogs is a huge store of carbon.

Dartmoor has been a place of great change since the Neolithic period when the wildwood started to be cleared for agriculture. Today change is driven by economics, environmental policy, the public’s desire for recreation and by climate change.

Trying to accommodate so many disparate objectives against the drivers of change has proven difficult and divisive. This division has often been portrayed as a conflict between farming and the environment – a battle between ‘town and country’. This approach though misrepresents the situation. There are also tensions within the farming community – a modern day ‘ tragedy of the Commons’ and the environmental sector is not united, often holding very different views based upon sectional interests and objectives.

The purpose of this PhD is to research various aspects of these conflicts to understand better the various stakeholders’ aspirations and anxieties.

Supervisory Team

Professor Michael Winter (Lead supervisor, UoE).  Dr Duncan Russel (Second supervisor, UoE). 

Wider Research Interests

Biodiversity conservation, habitat creation, landscape scale ecology, rewilding, flooding, the cultivation of maize and Dartmoor bords

Authored Publications/Reports

Adrian Colston (2003) Beyond preservation: the challenge of ecological restoration. , Decolonising Nature: strategies for conservation in a post-colonial era. (ed. W. M. Adams and M. Mulligan) London:. Earthscan, pp 247-267

Francine M. R Hughes, Adrian Colston and J. Owen Mountford (2005) Restoring Riparian Ecosystems: The Challenge of Accommodating Variability and Designing Restoration Trajectories, Ecology and Society 12, 10(1)

Adrian Colston and Franklyn Perring (1995) Insects, plants and set-aside, Book published by BSBI & RES

Adrian Colston and Franklyn Perring (1989) The Nature of Northamptonshire, Barracuda Books

Adrian Colston, Chris Gerrard, Matt Jackson, Linda Moore & Caroline Tero (1996) Northamptonshire’s Red Data Book - species to watch in the county. , The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Adrian Colston, Chris Gerrard and Rosemary Parslow (1997) Cambridgeshire’s Red Data Book, The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northampronshire

Adrian Colston (1998) A provisional atlas of bush-crickets, grasshoppers and allied insects in old Cambridgeshire, Nature in Cambridgeshire , 40, 20-36

Laurie Friday and Adrian Colston (1999) Wicken Fen – 100 Years either side of the Millennium, Cambridgeshire , 41

Adrian Colston (2000) A provisional atlas of bush-crickets, grasshoppers and allied insects in Northamptonshire. , Nature in Northamptonshire, 1

Laurie Friday and Adrian Colston (1999) Wicken Fen - the restoration of a wetland nature reserve , British Wildlife , Vol 11 , pp 37-46.

Adrian Colston (1998) Orthopteroids in Huntingdonshire.., Huntingdonshire Fauna and Flora Society, Anniversary Review 1948-1998 , pp53-65

Adrian Colston (1997) Conserving Wildlife in a Black Hole , ECOS, 18.1 , pp 61-67

Adrian Colston (1998) The range expansion of Metrioptera roeselii in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, The Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine , vol 134 , p353.

Adrian Colston and Roger Key () Anoplodera rubra new to Cambridgeshire and rediscovered on Lincolnshire, The Coleopterist , vol 8.1, pp40-41

Adrian Colston (1999) The re-discovery of Tabanus autumnalis in Cambridgeshire , Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, Vol 135 , p 84

Owen Mountford, Adrian Colston and Martin Lester (2005) Management for diversity: the sedge and litter vegetation at Wicken Fen NNR in 2004 , Nature in Cambridgeshire , 47, 15-23