Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Welsh Environment
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Two-hour unseen examination  Two-hour unseen examination Short-answer section testing factual knowledge 25% Short essay on environmental policy application 25% Long essay answering one question from choice of 4 50%.  100%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Re-sit of examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the physical processes that have shaped the natural environment of Wales and a critical appreciation of the influence of human activity on the Welsh environment and landscape.

Critically discuss key contemporary environmental issues in Wales, supported by accurate reference to factual examples.

Employ geographical concepts and models to explain features and processes in the Welsh environment, and approaches to environmental policy and management in Wales, and illustrate geographical theories and debates with examples from Wales.

Demonstrate understanding of the application of geographical knowledge through environmental policy and professional practice to the management of the Welsh environment.

Brief description

This module is designed to introduce students to the natural environment of Wales, the processes and influences shaping its evolution, and the current issues that will inform its future. The first part of the module traces the evolution of the Welsh environment and landscape, including the natural geological and geomorphological processes that have produced the underlying topography; human influences through agriculture, forestry and industrialization; patterns and impacts of weather events; and struggles over the use of natural resources, particularly water. The second part of the module focuses on contemporary issues for environmental policy and management in Wales. These include the exploitation of energy resources, from mining to windfarms; the implications of policy reforms for Welsh agriculture and the management of the rural environment; the packing of the Welsh landscape and environment as commodities to be consumed through tourism or as specialty foods; the role of planning and conservation policies and designations such as National Parks in protecting the Welsh environment; and experiments with forms of sustainable communities, such as eco-villages. The examples from Wales will be positioned within wider geographical concepts and debates, but will also be used to illustrate the practical application of geographical knowledge and prompt consideration of career opportunities.


Section 1: Environmental Histories of Wales
1. The Evolution of the Welsh Natural Environment
2. Shaping the Rural Landscape
3. Industrialization and the Welsh Environment
4. The Welsh Weather and Everyday Life
5. Water and Wales

Section 2: Environmental Issues in Contemporary Wales
6. Earth, Wind and Fire: Energy and the Welsh Environment
7. Farming, Ecosystem Services and the Rural Environment
8. Food, Tourism and the Commodification of the Welsh Environment
9. Protecting the Welsh Environment: Planning and Conservation
10. Back to the Land? Alternative Environmental Futures in Wales

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Numeracy skills will be developed through understanding statistical evidence relating to some examples employed in lectures.
Communication Written communication skills developed through examination. Oral communication skills developed through class discussion.
Improving own Learning and Performance Student attendance and participation in lectures, and preparatory study, will help them to enhance a range of learning skills. The module requires students to undertake 80 hours of self-directed study.
Information Technology Students will be expected to research examples using web resources for weekly lectures and the examination.
Personal Development and Career planning Lectures in the second part of the lecture will each feature a short section on practical application which will inform students' career planning by discussing examples of professions engaging with the issue concerned, linked to further information on relevant careers on AberLearn/Blackboard.
Problem solving The module will discuss examples of how geographical knowledge can be applied to understand, assess and develop responses to environmental problems.
Research skills In addition to academic reading, students will be expected to research examples using library and web resources for weekly lectures and the examination.
Subject Specific Skills Students will develop subject specific intellectual skills in discussing and applying geographical concepts and engaging with geographical debates and literature.
Team work

Reading List

Essential Reading
Gallent, N., Juntti, M., Kidd, S. and Shaw, D. (2008) Introduction to Rural Planning Routledge Primo search Hughes, J.D. (2006) What is Environmental History? Polity Primo search Kemp, M. (2010) Zero Carbon Britain 2030 CAT Primo search Milbourne, P. (ed) (2012) Rural Wales in the Twenty-First Century University of Wales Press Primo search Roberts, N. (1998) The Holocene: An Environmental History Blackwell Primo search Sheail, J. (2002) An Environmental History of Twentieth-Century Britain Palgrave Primo search Simmons, I.G. (2001) An Environmental History of Great Britain: From 10,000 Years Ago to the Present Edinburgh University Press Primo search Simmons, I.G. (1993) Environmental History: A Concise Introduction - New Perspectives on the Past Blackwell Primo search Woods, M. (2005) Contesting Rurality Ashgate Primo search Woods, M. (2005) Rural Geography Sage Primo search Anderson, J. (2012) Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers Managing trade-offs in 'ecotopia' - becoming green at the Centre for Alternative Technology 37, 212-225 Primo search Cowell, R. J. W. (2010) Land Use Policy Wind power, landscape and strategic, spatial planning - The construction of 'acceptable locations' in Wales 27, 222-232 Primo search Griffiths, H. Social and Cultural Geography Water under the bridge? Nature, memory and hydropolitics In Press Primo search Halfacree, K. (2006) Progress in Human Geography 'From dropping out to leading on? British counter-cultural back-to-the-land in a changing rurality' 30: 309-336 Primo search Halfacree, K. (2007) Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 'Back-to-the-land in the Twenty-First Century � making connections with rurality' 98: 3-8 Primo search Jones C, Davies S, Macdonald N (2012) Climatic Change Examining the social consequences of extreme weather: the outcomes of the 1946/47 winter in upland Wales, UK 113, 35-53 Primo search Kitchen, L. and Marsden, T. (2009) Sociologia Ruralis Creating more sustainable rural development through stimulating the eco-economy: beyond the eco-economic paradox? 49, 273-294 Primo search Kneafsey, M., Ilbery, B. and Jenkins, T. (2001) Sociologia Ruralis Exploring the dimensions of culture economies in rural West Wales 41, 296-310 Primo search Mason, K. and Whitehead, M. (2011) Antipode Transition urbanism and the contested politics of ethical place-making 44, 493-516 Primo search Milbourne, P., Marsden, T. K. and Kitchen, L. C. (2008) Antipode Scaling post-industrial forestry: the complex implementation of national forestry regimes in the southern Valleys of Wales 40, 612-631 Primo search Munday, M. C. R., Bristow, G. I. and Cowell, R. J. W. (2011) Journal of Rural Studies Wind farms in rural areas: How far do community benefits from wind farms represent a local economic development opportunity? 27, 1-12 Primo search Woods, M. (2003) Sociologia Ruralis Conflicting environmental visions of the rural: windfarm development in Mid Wales 43: 271-288 Primo search Wynne-Jones, S. (2012) Geoforum Negotiating neoliberalism: conservationists� role in the development of payments for ecosystem services 43, 1035-1044 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5