In November 2023, the LANDPATHS team gathered for a two-day workshop at Häverö Kursgard near Hallstavik. This was a chance for us to share and reflect on what we have learned so far, and plan the next stages of the research. In a programme as large as LANDPATHS, these types of meetings are vital to ensure coherence and co-production within and across the nine sub-projects.

As the first winter snow arrived, so did all the LANDPATHS team at a beautiful kursgård east of Uppsala. We meet regularly to discuss our work but this meeting was over two days and away from our ‘normal’ work environments. This allowed us to get into more depth in our discussions and get to know each other even better in a relaxed setting.

LANDPATHS team photo
Members of the research team after a successful two days together (back row, L to R: Marcus Hedblom, Charles Westerberg, Lucas Dawson, Michael Gilek, Tuija Hilding-Rydevik, Fanny Möckel, Stefan Sandström, Neil Powell, Magnus Florin, Max Whitman; front row, L to R: Lara Tickle, Jayne Glass, Malgorzata Blicharska, Tim Daw, Frida Öhman, Alejandra Figueredo, Judith Lundberg-Felten). Photo: Marta Kubacka

We had a full agenda of items to discuss, beginning with the important activity of updating each other on our work in each of the sub-projects. There was lots to report, with all sub-projects having carried out interviews or workshops in each of the landscapes in recent months (read more about the forest landscape workshops here).

Research team discussing around tables
Many of our discussions related to our evolving understandings of multifunctional landscapes in Sweden

Ahead of presenting our work in a session on ‘Collaborative Multifunctional Governance for Biodiversity’ at the upcoming Nordic Environmental Social Science conference in Finland, we also dedicated some time to unpacking our understanding of multifunctional landscapes in Sweden. This included reflections on how the people we have spoken to in our research interpret multifunctionality in a landscape context, and what other approaches and terms they use in their day-to-day work.

Research team completing a timeline exercise on a long table
Planning our activities and discussing integration of the subprojects

Getting together for an extended period of time also allowed us to plan the next stages of our work and get to know each other even better. We enjoyed a ‘landscape walk’, inspired by educational materials developed alongside the European Landscape Convention. Our challenge was to create and present an artwork that captured our experiences in the local area and the multifunctionality that we experienced in this area. The five groups had used different materials or sounds collected during their walks and combined this creatively with written poems or set it up as installations. We were impressed with the diversity of the results and the different messages the artworks conveyed.

Graveyard with old church on a winterday
Häverö church and graveyard where many LANDPATHS researchers took a walk and found signs of multifunctionality. Photo: Judith Lundberg-Felten

Michael Gilek, Lucas Dawson and Judith Lundberg-Felten presenting their piece of multi-biomaterial artwork in the shape of a cross representing the various social, cultural, economic, religious and ecosystem services provided by land owned by the church of Sweden. Photo: Charles Westerberg

Per Sandström and colleagues setting up their art installation using natural and human-made materials found close to Häverö kursgård. The artwork represented the changing nature of landscapes and their multiple functions over time and was accompanied by a poem recital. Photo: Charles Westerberg

We also had the pleasure of learning about the work of Marta Kubacka, a visiting researcher from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland. Marta gave us a presentation about her research on landscape diversity and how diversity relates to the provision of cultural ecosystem services.

Researcher presenting her work next to a screen with other researchers sitting in the audience
Marta Kubacka presenting her research. Photo: J. Lundberg-Felten

Thanks to Ingrid at Häverö Kursgård for such a comfortable and welcoming place to stay for a meeting like this.