Photo of Dr Hannah Chiswell

Dr Hannah Chiswell

Honorary Research Associate

I graduated from the University of Plymouth in 2010 with a BA (Hons) degree in Geography (first class), having developed a particular interest in rural and social geography. I subsequently started my PhD in the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter in 2011, having been awarded a studentship from the John Oldacre Foundation.


I completed my PhD entitled 'Rising to the Food Security Challenge: An Investigation into Family Farm Succession in the South West of England' in 2014 and worked as a Research Fellow in Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP). I have since worked on various research projects, including:

Prince's Countryside Fund (PCF) small farm viability project

Defra Sustainable Intensification Platform (SIP2)

South West farm regional survey

Rural Growth Networks (RGN) ‘Impact of the Family Business Growth Programme’

Sustainable Rural Futures Programme

Validation of Fertiliser Manual (RB209) Grass Recommendations

More recently I have been working in collaboration with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) as part of 'The Environmental Effectiveness of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme' project which, alongside the ecological survey, seeks to understand agreement holders' experiences of the HLS scheme.  I am also working on a parish-scale occupancy project which seeks to reconstruct the historical transfer of land occupancy, by combining National Farm Survey data, contemporary Land Registry ownership data and oral history interviews.

I am social scientist with a particular interest in rural and agricultural issues, including inter-generational farm transfer, the family farm, food security and farmer behaviour (particularly in response to environmental schemes). I also interested in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in these areas and am a certified ESRI ArcGIS Desktop user (Entry level). I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Association (AFHEA) and enjoy teaching aspects of my work.



Other information

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Association (AFHEA).

I have a particular interest in the use of NVivo (qualitative analysis software) in qualitative research and have undergone basic and more advanced QSR-certified training. In 2014 I successfully secured funding from the Researcher Development team to deliver NVivo training to post-graduate research students and early career researchers at the University. I am hoping to develop my role as an NVivo trainer.

As part of my Doctoral research, I undertook a 5 week tour of Australian Universities and government departments to disseminate my research findings.