Cumbria Wildlife Trust

3 Year Enterprise-led Funded PhD: Ref. No. CGE 10

Re-wetted Land Use Capability Assessment for NW England (ReLUCA)

The use of land in low-lying rural areas along the coastline of NW England has historically depended on artificial drainage systems whereby pumping stations have been used to manage water levels. While this approach has allowed the land to be used for agricultural production, there can be negative impacts such as increased CO2 emissions, loss of soil, nutrients and wildlife habitats, in addition to the economic costs and energy consumption associated with water pumping infrastructure. This is a particularly important issue in the use and management of peat soils, which store large amounts of carbon which are released as a consequence of drainage and soil drying.

This research project will investigate the potential for re-wetting of these landscapes, and assess the capability of the land to support alternative economic activities and to deliver environmental benefits under different water management regimes. The project will provide evidence and insights to support future business investments and decision making for these important areas. A key research objective is to accurately assess the potential for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) savings as a result of landscape-scale re-wetting of land.

Collaborative Partners

This doctoral research project will be supervised by Lancaster University and Cumbria Wildlife Trust and supported by the Environment Agency.  Cumbria Wildlife Trust is devoted to the conservation of the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria. Cumbria Wildlife Trust owns 2 substantial peatland nature reserves in the study area and these include areas of re-wetted former agricultural land. The Trust protects wildlife, creates havens for nature and eco-system services, and promotes knowledge and understanding of the environment.

Formed in 1962 and now with 15,000 members, CWT cares for over 40 nature reserves, campaigns for the protection of endangered habitats and species, and works with adults and children to understand the importance of the natural environment.  The results are of value to the Environment Agency, which has an interest in this project.

Why Apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation you will receive £15,000 tax free per year, have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth £4,121/year (fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,085/year to £12,964/year), become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D, and finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas. This post is subject to confirmation of European Union funding.

Application deadline

2nd October 2016

With a view to starting the project late in 2016

How to apply

To apply for this opportunity please email with:  

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

This doctoral research project is one of a cohort of industry-led funded research projects from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, an international alliance supporting university-business collaboration. The Centre delivers high quality, business-led research to create eco-innovative technologies, products and services.

At the heart of the Centre are people who are researching, developing and innovating to address global challenges, including energy, water, natural capital, resource efficiency, food, and waste, to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits. Launched in 2012 the Centre and has won two national awards for its ground breaking approach to sustainable R&D and knowledge exchange.