Module Identifier RS33810  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr John Michael Warren  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite RS11720 , RS20210 or, RS20310 or equivalents  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours   60%  
  Group project   Group project and presentation - to be submitted by the start of week 11   40%  

Aims of the module
To provide students with an understanding of the positive and negative environmental impacts of ecological farming systems, and an understanding of how to use nature design principles to enhance the environmental impacts.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module the student should be able to:

(i) identify potential environmental impacts of particular production systems and practices;

(ii) know how to use design principles such as diversity, mutualism and feed-back loops to enhance the environmental impacts
of farming systems;

(iii) identify cultural and aesthetic capital in agriculture;

(iv) have an understanding of the problem of goal conflicts and the balance between environmental concerns and production

(v) analyse impact on the environment at farm level;

(vi) set up a nature-conservation plan on a farm level (including handling goal conflicts).

Syllabus / Curriculum design
The module will cover the following topics: Environmental impacts of agriculture; Sustainability criteria (time perspectives, goal-conflicts); Natural, cultural and aesthetic capital and life support functions of agriculture; Resource use, conservation and pollution (key issues, impacts of ecological agriculture, potential and techniques for improvement with respect to soils, water, nutrients, organic matter, agrochemicals, energy and atmosphere); Farm waste management planning; Biodiversity (wildlife and genetic biodiversity); Landscape ecology/agricultural habitat management; Creation/management of non-agricultural habitats; Whole-farm conservation planning; Landscape aesthetics; Landscape design/planning strategies; Measuring whole system quality; Environmental audit/impact assessment techniques; Natural capital measurement and valuation, Sustainability assessment methods. Whole farm conservation plans will be prepared as group projects.

Reading Lists
Arden-Clarke C. (1998) The environmental effects of conventional and organic/biological farming systems. I. Impacts on the soil.. Research Report RR-16. Political Ecology Research Group; Oxford
Arden-Clarke C. (1998) The environmental effects of conventional and organic/biological farming systems. II. Impacts on the crop ecosystem, wildlife and its habitats. Research Report RR-17. Political Ecology Research Group; Oxford.
(1995) Effects of organic farming on the landscape. Report to Countryside Commission. Entec, Warwick
(1992) Green fields - grey future. EC agricultural policy at the crossroads. Greenpeace, Amsterdam.
Lampkin N H. (1990) Organic farming. Farming Press
Redman M (ed.). (1992) Organic farming and the countryside.. Report for the Countryside Commission. British Organic Farmers, Bristol.
Unwin R et al. (1995) The effect of organic farming systems on aspects of the environment. A review for MAFF. ADAS, London.
(1995) Organic farming and biodiversity.. Conference proceedings. European Network for Organic Farming, Barcelona.

Chamberlain D, Fuller R and Brooks D. (1996) The effects of organic farming on birds. Elm Farm Research Centre Bulletin 21: 4-9.
Reganold J P, Elliott L F and Unger Y L. (1987) Long-term effects of organic and conventional farming on soil erosion.. Nature 330: 370-372.
Kristensen L (ed.). (1995) Nitrogen leaching in ecological agriculture. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 11(1-4).