Category / Research themes

Rewilding Dorset Meeting


A one-day discussion meeting to explore the application of rewilding concepts to Dorset.

Date: Thursday 5th May

Meeting commences: 10:00 am

Meeting finishes: 5.30 pm

Venue: Charlton Down Village Hall, near Dorchester, Dorset. DT2 9UA

In recent years, rewilding has become a major theme in conservation, stimulated by publications such as George Monbiot’s Feral and the launch of rewilding organisations both in the UK and at the European scale. While a number of rewilding initiatives have been launched in the UK, most of these are predominantly located in upland areas in the north and west of the country. Elsewhere in Europe, many rewilding initiatives are seeking to encourage ecological recovery on agricultural land that has been abandoned. This raises the question of whether rewilding concepts are applicable to intensive agricultural landscapes such as Dorset, and if so, how they might best be implemented.

The aim of this meeting is to examine concept of rewilding: how it is defined, which approaches can be used, and whether such concepts and approaches might be relevant to Dorset.

We are delighted to be able to welcome a number of speakers who will present at the meeting, including leading researchers with expertise in rewilding, and practitioners with experience in implementing rewilding projects. The meeting will also involve representatives from a number of conservation organisations in Dorset, who will be invited to share their perspectives on rewilding. We hope to provide an opportunity to learn about what rewilding entails and to examine its strengths and weaknesses as a concept, and also to discuss its potential application in Dorset.


  • Dr Paul Jepson, Oxford University – “Rewilding policy: risk and opportunities”
  • Dr Christopher Sandom, University of Sussex – “Putting rewilding into practice”
  • Dr Matthew Heard, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology – “Ecological impacts of rewilding using extensive grazing: the case of Knepp Estate”
  • Fiona Bowles, Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative – “Is there space for Dorset Rivers to run wild?”
  • Helen Meech, Rewilding Britain – “Why Rewild Britain?”
  • Professor Richard Brazier, Exeter University – “Quantifying the ecohydrological impacts
  • of reintroducing Eurasian Beaver to intensively managed, lowland agricultural landscapes”
  • Alison Turnock, Dorset AONB – “The Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area – towards bigger, better, more, joined”


It is essential you book a ticket if you wish to attend, please visit:

For all enquiries email Arjan Gosal (

Photo credit:

European beaver (Castor fiber) by Per Harald Olsen/ NTNU (CC BY)


Creative Europe – current funding calls

Through the Creative Europe programme, the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency is promoting the following calls and their closing dates:

All closing dates are at 12:00 (CET/CEST, Brussels time)

If you are interested in applying to these funds, please contact Emily Cieciura, REKO’s Research Facilitator for EU & International funding or your relevant faculty Funding Development Officer.


Invitation to NERC webinar on national capability research

On 7 April, NERC will be hosting a live webinar showcasing our new investments in multi-disciplinary national capability research within our centres. This will provide an opportunity for the wider academic community to learn more about these programmes and help to generate ideas for strategic research for submission to the NERC Strategic Programme Advisory Group (SPAG).

NERC has challenged its centres to develop a set of core multi-disciplinary programmes which capitalise on centre expertise across the breadth of NERC’s remit. These multi-centre programmes are expected to commence from April 2016. These new collaborative programmes redefine problems outside individual centre boundaries and will provide outcomes based on a new understanding of complex situations. The national capability funds are not new or additional money; the multi-centre programmes are focused plans as to what centres intend to do with a portion of their existing allocations over the next five years.

During the webinar, leads for each programme will present an overview of their research plans and anticipated outcomes. This will allow participants to understand the significance of this strategically-important work, and inform individual plans for strategic research for which these programmes could form the platform.

Programme for the day

09:15 Webinar open, people register and join.

09:30-09:40 Introduction and format of webinar

09:40-10:10 Ocean regulation of climate through Heat & carbon sequestration and transports (ORCHESTRA)

10:20-10:50 Land ocean carbon transfer (LOCATE)

11:00-11:30 The north atlantic climate System: integrated study (ACSIS)

11:40-12:10 UK Earth system modelling project (UKESM)

12:20-12:50 Achieving sustainable agricultural systems (ASSIST)

12:50 Close.

Registration for this event is via the online registration form . Please note that, as numbers will be limited, we would encourage colleagues to participate together where possible, providing one contact point for registering for this ‘shared access’.

Please also note that the event will be recorded, so if you are unable to participate on the day, you will be able to access the slides later from the NERC web site.

Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network (CHAIN) Demonstration THIS COMING WEDNESDAY 23rd March 2016

CHAIN – Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network – is an online mutual support network for people working in health and social care. It gives people a simple and informal way of contacting each other to exchange ideas and share knowledge.

The online Directory can be used to identify and communicate with other members. You might wish to do this to draw from their experience, or to elicit an opinion on an issue or something you are doing. Or you might wish to find collaborators or liaise with fellow-travellers or people with specific skills or interests for a wide range of purposes. You can do this quickly and easily with CHAIN, and part of the advantage is that the people you find will usually be happy to help you if they can.

We are delighted to welcome a representative from CHAIN to BU on 23rd March at 2:30pm in Wollstone Lecture Theatre, Bournemouth House (BG10) to demonstrate how to make the most of being part of the network. All staff are welcome to attend, and please pass the invitation on to students who may be interested in learning more about what CHAIN has to offer.

Contact Lisa Gale-Andrews at for more information.

BU BMC paper followed up by BMC Series Blog

media childbirthOur latest paper in the international journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth published late last month was highlighted yesterday in a BMC Series Blog.[1]  The blog post reminds us that the media plays an important role in providing the general public with information about a range of issues, including pregnancy and childbirth. The visual media, such as television, can provide planned information (education), for example in documentaries, advertising and the news.  Our paper “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media’ looked into how the representation of childbirth in the mass media affects childbirth in society as there is evidence to suggest that it can have a negative effect.  BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth is an Open Access journal therefore the paper is freely available for anybody across the globe with an internet connection, for access click here.

interdisciplinary-1Our paper is great example of interdisciplinary research, as celebrated at the forthcoming Interdisciplinary Research Sector Day on June 21st (see here).  The authors of our paper combine expertise in media studies, midwifery, sociology and health services research.   Moreover, it involved collaborations across universities (Bournemouth and Stirling) and within BU across faculties, namely the Faculty of Media & Communcation and the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences.


Ann LuceMarilyn Cash, Vanora Hundley, Helen Cheyne, Edwin van Teijlingen & Catherine Angell



  1. Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V., Cheyne, H., van Teijlingen, E., Angell, C., (2016) “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth 16: 40


Digital vision of future local government – connecting our lives in 2025


The report , Connected Councils, explores how councils can use digital tools to transform the way they work and save a potential £14.7 billion every year.

Digital technologies, from apps to online platforms, can help councils provide better services for their residents and mobilise communities to work alongside these services, as well as find new ways of collecting and analysing data, which could have a significant impact on the quality of future services.

Through a series of case studies the report imagines what life might be like in 2025 for ‘digital by default’ councils and their citizens – from retirees to young graduates and new parents.

Key Findings

Local government has made huge progress in enabling residents to carry out basic transactions online. But most councils have a long way to go to deliver smooth, frictionless services and fully digitise their back offices. Digitisation isn’t just about developing digital services; depending on the level of ambition, digital tools can help:

  • Save money and deliver better outcomes by intervening earlier and helping people manage their own conditions.
  • Transform the way that councils work internally, commission services and partners, diagnose and solve problems, use public space, and attract talent.
  • Make services smoother and easier to access, more personalised and user-responsive.
  • Put residents at the heart of local problem-solving and decision-making and create an environment which supports businesses to startup and scale.

The 2025 vision

Like the best tech companies, future councils will be lean, agile and data-driven. Siloed services will be replaced with multi-agency teams that form around specific local challenges. A truly mobile workforce has freed up public space. Almost all transactions take place online. Instead of two-dimensional council websites, interactive platforms connect users with third-party apps and services, and stream personalised content on local democracy, jobs and services.

Relational services (such as social care) still rely heavily on face-to-face contact. But digital tools help people to manage their own long-term conditions and connect to a broader network of support, such as peer mentors, health coaches, friends and family, volunteers and group-based activities. Digital technologies have helped councils take a more ambitious approach to place-shaping. A larger share of public contracts go to high-growth SMEs. Councils systematically engage residents in decisions about how services are commissioned, delivered and evaluated.

Read the report in full.


Happy World Social Work Day!

This year the theme of World Social Work Day is ‘Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples’

This relates to the second pillar of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development which was launched in 2012. Each of the five Global Agenda themes runs for
two years and 2016 is the second year for Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples.

WSWDThe theme is particularly poignant this year as we have witnessed unprecedented levels of mass migration around the world, levels of which we have not experienced since the Second World War. Images of desperate families risking their lives in an attempt to flee conflict and persecution are reported daily in the media. Many are traumatised by their experiences and face uncertain futures. In this context of human suffering it is essential to uphold the commitment to value every human life and embrace shared human experience, and social work is ideally placed to champion this approach.

Social work as a profession is underpinned by a commitment to human rights, and the current president of the International Federation of Social Work, Ruth Stark, has suggested that “Social work is a human rights discipline. It’s not just an element of it- it is the core principle.” 

Such a stance requires social workers to respect the inherent dignity and worth of every IMG_7386person, and this includes respect for human rights as expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Such an approach is underpinned by five core notions of human rights: human dignity; non-discrimination; civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and solidarity rights (Wronka, 2007).

It has been argued that social work has often blurred the line between a focus on human needs and human rights (Healy, 2008), however there is an opportunity for social work to grasp a central role in upholding the rights of all peoples across the world. If this opportunity is taken ‘ human rights provide the profession with a clear direction for a presence at the international level, while also bridging local and national issues with global concerns’ (Healy 2008:745).

World Social Work Day provides an opportunity for the global community of social work to come together through cross-national dialogue, to promote a human rights approach which is rooted in social action as a means to uphold the dignity and worth of all peoples across the global world. We therefore should not just ‘talk the talk’ about upholding the dignity and rights of all, but more importantly ‘walk the walk’ by implementing these principles into action in everyday practice.


Healy, L.M. (2008) Exploring the history of social work as a human rights profession, International Social Work, 51, 735-748.

Wronka, J. (2007) Human Rights and Social Justice: Social Action and Service for the Helping and Health Professions, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage.

Guide to develop understanding of financial scamming launched at recent Parliamentary event

A recent awareness raising event at the House of Commons, hosted by Conor Burns MP, discussed the problem of financial scamming and mass marketing fraud in the UK and highlighted the work being undertaken by the NCPQSW at Bournemouth University.

The event included an address from Bournemouth University’s Professor Keith Brown, and explored some of the work of the NCPQSW around financial scam prevention and at risk groups. Bournemouth University, in partnership with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, National Trading Standards Scams Team, North Yorkshire Trading Standards, and City of London Trading Standards, has created a Financial Scamming Guide to offer advice and guidance on what to watch for and how to avoid falling foul of scamming techniques and schemes.

This guide includes a campaign to raise awareness of the risks of financial scamming, as well as calling for a more integrated approach to tackling the issues from the financial sectors. In particular the campaign asks that …..

  1. All agencies, especially financial institutions, should:
  • Recognise that consumers/clients with dementia are by definition more at risk of chair
    being scammed. Therefore measures to protect this population group are required
    as part of a ‘duty to care, and those with a diagnosis of dementia have by definition a cognitive impairment which means that their potential ‘unwise decision’ is a result of their cognitive state rather than simply an unwise decision.
  1. All organisations that hold personal data should:
  • Only share or pass on personal details to other organisations via a clear ‘opt in’ as opposed to an ‘opt out’ process. Data should only be allowed for a maximum of 12 months before permission needs to be sought again.
  • Recognise that the normal default position should be that charities do not share, pass on or sell personal details to help prevent ‘Suckers Lists’. The exception being to report a safeguarding concern to statutory agencies where there is a suspicion that the person(s) is/are at risk of harm or scamming and this information should be used in accordance to The Care Act (2014).
  1. Citizens who feel at risk of financial scamming should be able to:
  • Formally notify their bank/building society stating that they feel at risk, requesting that all transactions above a defined threshold (say £1,000) have a 24 hour delay before being processed.
  • At the start of the 24 hour delay period, an email/text alert is automatically sent to the customer’s nominated representative (relative/friend) stating that the customer is attempting to make a large transaction. This will give the opportunity for the proposed transaction to be challenged with a view to potentially stop it leaving consumers account.

To find out more about the work of the NCPQSW in relation to financial scamming, please CLICK HERE.


The importance of leadership strategy in Children’s Services

By Lee-Ann Fenge, Deputy Director National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work

It is difficult to under-estimate the importance of effective leadership and leadership style within children’s services. Children’s services represent complex areas of practice including child protection and looked after children, and services are being delivered against a backdrop of increasing fiscal restraint and budget cuts. The recruitment and retention of a skilled workforce is anchildcare-page on-going challenge and as a result leaders need to be able to effectively deliver innovative responses to provide services which achieve better outcomes for children and their families.

Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, but worryingly recent inspection figures revealed there were more “inadequate” than “good” children’s services in English local authorities. This is worrying for both local authorities and those receiving support from them.

Staff from the National Centre of Post-Qualifying Social Work at Bournemouth University, have been working in partnership with one local authority to develop a robust approach to leadership in order to enhance service delivery in children’s services. Cheshire West and Chester have committed to deliver an Aspiring Team Leader programme and an Aspiring Practice Lead programme as part of a sustainable workforce development approach. Kate Howe, from the NCPQSW, has worked with them to deliver a bespoke Masters level Leadership unit, providing added depth to the programme.

This commitment to workforce development and leadership has proved very positive for Cheshire West and Chester who were recently awarded ‘good’ in their Ofsted inspection, whilst leadership, management and governance were deemed as ‘outstanding’.

This outstanding leadership has resulted in good-quality services that respond to the needs of children and families quickly and effectively’ (Ofsted, 2016:2).iStock_000016105991Large Young People Discussing Finance

Cheshire West and Chester have embraced a culture of leadership and coaching as a central plank to improve services for children and their families, taking on board recommendations from Ofsted’s report into effective leadership (2015).

Ofsted suggest that it is possible to overcome some of the challenges of contemporary children’s services through innovation and robust succession planning. This includes approaches to workforce development which value ‘growing your own’, and an importance on learning and development alongside protected budgets and caseloads (Ofsted, 2015). Cheshire West and Chester’s approach to leadership appears to acknowledge these key areas and their recent Ofsted Inspection highlighted the importance of their partnership with Bournemouth University.

The authority is active in trying to retain staff through a staff development policy including aspiring senior practice leads and aspiring team managers’ courses, and is currently developing an aspiring senior manager course, all in conjunction with Bournemouth University’ (Ofsted, 2016: 33).

The value added of working alongside a university concerns not only the content of the learning, but also the critical role of assessment of learning. By designing clear assessment strategies based on reflective practice, it is possible to evaluate the effectiveness of learning on staff thinking and practice, and ultimately support a culture of change within the organisation.


Ofsted (2015) Joining the dots… Effective leadership of children’s services, Available from:

Ofsted (2016) Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers And Review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board – Cheshire West and Chester


Terrain Generation Using A Voxel Grammar-based Approach

We would like to invite you to the latest research seminar of the Creative Technology Research Centre.


Title: Terrain Generation Using A Voxel Grammar-based ApproachVoxel


Speaker: Rahul Dey (a BU research engineer based at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe)


Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM

Date: Wednesday 16th March 2016

Room: P302 LT, Poole House, Talbot Campus




As computational power has increased, so has the fidelity of computer graphics for real time simulations and video games. Terrain is a feature that is ubiquitous in any game that needs to represent an outdoor environment. The creation of larger landscapes for such simulations now requires some automated assistance in the form of Procedural Content Generation (PCG). Many procedural methods forego user design and interaction in favour of complete automation.

This research introduces a novel method to construct terrains by utilising user-designed rulesets. Terrains are represented using a volumetric approach which is a more powerful and flexible way of creating features such as caves, naturally formed arches and overhanging cliffs. Terrains are generated by using the provided ruleset as a grammar to parse the volumetric grid and transform voxels in sections of the grid.


This presentation will focus on the method that has been developed to generate these terrains, and detail some of the future work to be carried out during the rest of the course of the research.



We hope to see you there.

Fusion in Action: Clinical Academic PhD scholarships jointly funded with NHS

Fusion Diagram Doing a PhD may appeal to midwives and other NHS health professionals, but it often involves having to make difficult choices. Undertaking a part-time PhD means studying on top of a busy clinical position, but starting full-time study involves stepping away from practice, which may lead to a loss of clinical skills and confidence. The Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) at Bournemouth University has come up with a novel solution making it easier for midwives to undertake a doctorate while still maintaining their clinical skills. This approach is highlighted in the latest publication by Dr. Susan Way and colleagues, describing a process where CMMPH collaborate with NHS partners to apply for a match-funded PhD. [1]  The first partnership was with Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (PHT), with later partners expanded to cover the Isle of Wight and Southampton. Currently there are negotiations with Dorset Country Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Non NHS organisations have also showed an interest with the Anglo European Chiropractic College (AECC) our likely next collaborator.

Dr. Know 2016

This jointly funded clinical academic doctorate allows midwives to combine clinical practice with a research role, working across BU and their NHS Trust. The studentships runs for four years and PhD students will spend two days per week working as a midwife in clinical practice and three days per week working on their thesis. This set up facilitates the co-creation of knowledge. Anybody interested in developing a joint clinical academic PhD with us please contact Dr. Susan Way (, Prof. Vanora Hundley (, or Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen ( .

In addition to providing the individual midwives with excellent education, these studentships are designed to examine an area of clinical practice identified by the collaborating organisation where the evidence is lacking and research is needed. As a consequence the research studies will be directly relevant to practice and will have a demonstrable impact in the future. Hence BU will be able to show that its research and education have a direct benefit to the wider society. Moreover, the studentships currently benefit midwifery practice by building a critical mass of research-focus practitioners, who will translate research findings into practice and so create a culture of evidence-based practice. At BU the model has also been adopted by other professional groups such as nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy (OT).


The result is a clinical academic doctoral studentship is probably the best practical example of BU’s concept of FUSION, since it truly fuses research, education and practice.


Susan Way, Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen.





  1. Way. S., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E., Walton, G., Westwood, G. (2016). Dr Know. Midwives (Spring Issue): 66-67.

Reminder: BUDI lunch time research seminar open to all BU staff and students

You are cordially invited to a BUDI research seminar which is open to all students and staff.
Please feel free to bring your lunch.


“Fire safety in the home: local lessons – global reach”

By Dr Michelle Heward

 Tuesday 8 March 2016

13.00 – 13.50pm

EB202, Executive Business Centre


Objectives: Impairment, disability and dementia are substantial factors in increasing the risk of injury or death from fire in the home. There is, therefore, a concern that the number of people with dementia injured or dying in fires in the home will increase, in relation to the rising number of people living with dementia internationally.

Methods: Mixed methods study. Online survey sent to all Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs) in the United Kingdom (UK) (n=55) to establish provision of guidance and resources for people affected by dementia.  Four focus groups: fire service professionals; other professionals; and two with people with dementia and family carers in UK (South West). Explored experiences of home safety risks (including fire risks) and risk reduction strategies, alongside ideas for project outputs such as resources.

Findings: 20 FRSs responded to the survey giving a response rate of 36.4%. A descriptive analysis showed that the provision of guidance and resources for people affected by dementia varies widely across the UK, with few providing dementia-specific information leaflets and resources. During the focus groups, people affected by dementia identified different fire risks and risk reduction strategies to those outlined by professionals. However, a need to understand each person and their individual situation came across in each of the focus groups. This was considered a vital part in determining the individual risks within each home environment. Participants also felt that a range of resources that reflect individual needs would be a useful prevention strategy.

Conclusions: For communities to be truly dementia-friendly there is a need to ensure equity in how services respond to the needs of people affected by dementia. Dementia-specific guidance and resources developed as an output from this project could be shared nationally and internationally to address potential consequences of fire safety inequality in the home. However, there remains a need for cross disciplinary working across all sectors to enable people with dementia and their families, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public to understand and contribute towards effective dementia-friendly communities. This case study of fire safety in the home demonstrates the potential impact of local level studies to improving quality of life of people affected by dementia across the globe.


We hope you can join us.