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UK Environmental Change Network - ES0113

Description
The potential consequences of environmental change are numerous and potentially dramatic, and continue to be a major issue for public concern and a priority for Government research. A recognised need for a network of UK sites for long-term, integrated environmental monitoring led to the formation of the UK Environmental Change Network (ECN) in 1992, with the following overall objectives:1. To obtain uniform and comparable long-term datasets at selected sites, by means of measurement at regular intervals of variables identified as being of major environmental importance.2. To provide for the integration and analysis of these datasets, so as to identify environmental changes and to improve understanding of the causes of such changes.3. To make these long-term datasets available as a basis for research and for the prediction of possible future changes.4. To provide, for research purposes, a range of representative sites where there is good instrumentation and reliable environmental information.ADAS has participated in the ECN since its inception, running the site at Drayton in Warwickshire, with financial support from MAFF/Defra. This new project will allow ADAS to continue to conduct detailed research and monitoring at Drayton, according to the standard ECN protocols in operation at all 12 terrestrial ECN sites (Sykes & Lane, 1996), for a further three years. The continuation of the ECN project will contribute to several of Defra’s scientific and policy objectives. For example, the publication ‘Delivering the Evidence: Defra’s Science and Innovation Strategy (2003-06)’ includes the following among Defra’s research priorities:· Biodiversity and wildlife:· To develop monitoring and surveillance systems to assess biodiversity trends in relation to policy measures and environmental change.· To refine the evidence base for conserving and enhancing priority habitats, species, landscape and historic features within farmed landscapes, improving the biodiversity of intensively managed farmland and predicting the impacts of non-food crops.· To improve knowledge of the requirements and ecological functions of key elements of biodiversity (including both species and key habitats) and the factors contributing to their conservation status.· Climate and air quality:· To understand the causes and effects of climate change…· To determine the magnitude of sources, exposure and effects of air pollutants on human health and the natural environment…· To improve the measurement of environmental impacts…· Sustainable farming systems:· To improve understanding of the impacts of climate change on agriculture…
Objective
The objectives of ECN are as follows (Sykes & Lane, 1996):1. To obtain uniform and comparable long-term datasets at selected sites by means of measurement at regular intervals of variables identified as being of major environmental importance.2. To provide for the integration and analysis of these datasets so as to identify environmental changes and to improve understanding of the causes of such changes.3. To make these long-term datasets available as a basis for research and for the prediction of possible future changes.4. To provide, for research purposes, a range of representative sites where there is good instrumentation and reliable environmental information.Within the context of these objectives, ECN research at the Defra Drayton site has two general objectives:1. To monitor long-term environmental change on a lowland agricultural site, by recording specified physical, chemical and biological variables using strict protocols.2. To provide the ECN Central Co-ordinating Unit (CCU) with data sets collected from Drayton for integration and analysis with data from other ECN sites, and to make these data available as a basis for further research.The more specific objectives of the Defra Drayton ECN site are as follows:1. To maintain Drayton as a participating site within the UK Environmental Change Network.2. To undertake long-term recording of climate, air pollution, precipitation and soil solution chemistry, soil characteristics, vegetation and fauna as defined in the relevant ECN protocols (Sykes & Lane, 1996).3. To maintain an up-to-date computerised database for the Drayton site, and provide data to the ECN Central Co-ordinating Unit at CEH Lancaster. To participate in the analysis, interpretation and publication of the combined results from the ECN programme.
Project Documents
• Final Report : ES0113 - Final Report   (5218k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2007

Cost: £257,884
Contractor / Funded Organisations
ADAS UK Ltd.
Keywords
Air Pollution              
Environmental Protection              
Pollution