Thames Valley (Thame + valley)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

An environment for prosperity and quality living accommodating growth in the Thames Valley

Hugh Howes
The Thames Valley is seen as the powerhouse of the British economy, and one of the best performing regions in Europe. This economic base offers opportunities for expansion with the potential for it to become the knowledge capital of Europe. Business interests view the area as a highly desirable location, not only because of its markets, skills and proximity to the City and Heathrow but also because of its high quality environment. Companies, however, complain of skills shortages, traffic congestion, lack of suitable premises and housing that is affordable to the workforce. Much of the Thames Valley is either Green Belt or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Furthermore, the availability of future water supplies, the maintenance of the quality of water in the rivers and managing flood risk are also likely to act as constraints on development in the future. How economic growth is to be achieved with minimal additional development and without detriment to the environment is the central question that is likely to dominate planning in the this region over the next few years. Is it possible to achieve more with existing resources? Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

Flood risk management and planning policy in a time of policy transition: the case of the Wapshott Road Planning Inquiry, Surrey, England

S. Tunstall
Abstract This paper focuses on an English case study example of decision making on development and flood risk. It was carried out through qualitative document analysis and 13 in-depth interviews with flood risk professionals and others in the Lower Thames Valley. It illustrates the recent shift in policy in England from flood defence to a flood risk management approach with an increased emphasis on spatial planning and development control. It shows that decision makers take time to come to terms with new government policy. Despite the more prescriptive government guidance on development and flood risk in Planning Policy Guidance 25 and later documents, there remains scope for disagreements, for example, over what constitutes ,safe' development in flood risk areas. Other sustainability objectives can still weigh heavily against flood risk in local decision making. The potential contributions of modelling, and new visualisation techniques in the flood risk management and planning context are considered. [source]

Settlement, Landscape and Social Identity: The Early-Middle Bronze Age Transition in Wessex, Sussex and the Thames Valley

Joanna Brück
In southern England, the end of the Early Bronze Age is marked by the appearance of archaeologically visible farmsteads and field systems. This paper explores and critiques the widespread idea that these changes are the direct result of a need to intensify agricultural production. Such discussions have implicitly drawn on evolutionist images of economic maximization and environmental exploitation that do not sit easily with our knowledge of other aspects of Bronze Age society. In this paper, I shall consider economic change as a consequence rather than the cause of wider changes to the social fabric at this time. A review of the Early and Middle Bronze Age settlement evidence provides insights into how society became transformed over the period and begins to hint at some of the reasons why subsistence practices changed so visibly. [source]

The Smell of New Competitors: The Response of American Mink, Mustela vison, to the Odours of Otter, Lutra lutra and Polecat, M. putorius

ETHOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
Lauren A. Harrington
We tested the response of wild American mink (an established alien species in the UK), to the odours of unfamiliar mink, European polecat and Eurasian otter. Polecats are similar in size and habits to mink, otters are larger than mink and a dominant competitor; both are native to the UK and both were absent during the original colonization by mink but are now undergoing natural population recoveries. The response of mink to experimental odours was assessed by counting the numbers of tracks (footprints) on rafts treated with anal gland secretions, and compared with response to a control raft, on two rivers in the Upper Thames valley, UK. Remote video showed that the number of tracks was positively correlated with the time that mink spent investigating an odour. We found that mink were attracted to the odours of both unfamiliar mink and polecats. There was little evidence that mink avoided the odour of otters. We suggest that, during an encounter with a polecat, mink may behave much as they would to a conspecific. We infer from the response of mink to the odour of otters, that, if mink do avoid otters, the mechanism of avoidance is likely to be complex, situation-dependent and perhaps affected by prior experience. [source]