I have just completed my PhD researching controversies over UK intensive poultry units. I successfully defended my thesis in January 2021 and am currently writing several articles about my research. I live in Shropshire and my research has focused on the planning regimes in Herefordshire and Shropshire. I was previously a freelance rural researcher for 10 years and formerly a lecturer at University of Birmingham in leisure, tourism and rural planning.
I’m interested in the multiple impacts of intensive livestock production and the power relations involved in attacking and defending proposals for further development of the sector. Intensive production of poultry, pigs, dairy and to a lesser extent beef is now widespread across much of the UK and local communities have multiple concerns about air and water pollution, biodiversity loss, economic externalities and damage to landscapes and quality of life, in addition to the contribution meat production makes to the climate crisis.
My research has traced the polarised arguments and the challenges faced by planning authorities and environmental agencies handling contested evidence of impacts. I’m interested in how, despite rising concern about the need for transformation of the food system, little attention is paid to the continued expansion of the conventional intensive livestock sector. I have also been exploring whether intensive livestock farming is beginning to harm other rural economic sectors such as tourism and recreation.
I have many years’ experience of research and consultancy in public, private and academic contexts, largely specialising in rural regeneration and tourism development. Prior to researching at Cardiff University, I was a freelance consultant for ten years. Previously I have held posts at ECOTEC Research and Consulting, University of Birmingham and several tourist boards. I have held advisory roles at the National Trust (Midlands) and am a member of the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership.