Digital Documentation for Integrated Hazard Assessment and Sustainable Management at Dynamic Natural Heritage Sites: The Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site

  • Andrew Bratton

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Habitats and species, landscapes and landforms adjust to contemporary
    environmental conditions. This intrinsic ability to adapt guarantees the diversity of ecosystem shapes, forms and functions and secures the variety of ecosystem services upon which all plants and animals depend. The capacity of natural heritage sites to change, often unpredictably, is one of their most fascinating features, but it also predisposes them to human influence from schemes which interfere with their natural dynamism (SNH, 2014). It also makes the sustainable management of natural heritage sites extremely challenging, particularly in the face of potential climate fluctuations, which in themselves may change the nature of this dynamic (Smith et al, 2011). As specific geographical spaces there is limited scope within natural heritage sites to provide space for nature to adapt to new environmental conditions. In a world without human influence or interference, such artificial boundaries would not exist and nature could have the space to express without hindrance, its intrinsic ability to adapt and survive. There are of course exceptions in the case of major disasters and extinction events, but in general, given the space to operate, features of natural heritage interest are quite robust.
    Date of AwardJul 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Queen's University Belfast
    SupervisorKeith Lilley (Supervisor) & Jennifer McKinley (Supervisor)

    Cite this