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Establishing the condition and monitoring baseline for non-SSSI priority woodland habitats in England - WC0772

The project will fill the gap in our knowledge of the condition of BAP priority woodland in England and Wales between SSSI surveys (high detail, but only c15-20% of resource) and National Inventory of Woodland and Trees (NIWT - high coverage, but low detail). It will also be distinct from these data sources and the Countryside Survey 2007 data source, because it will be site rather than plot based. The results will permit more consistent and reliable reporting on the woodland elements of the country biodiversity strategies, provide a context for the improvements reported in SSSIs, and contribute to surveillance required under the Habitats Directive. It will also be used to help guide priorities for funding of woodland management under Higher Level Scheme and English Woodland Grant Scheme (and their Welsh equivalents).
The main objectives are to:
• Develop an appropriate method that will enable reporting on the extent, distribution and quality of non SSSI woodland types, within constraints of practicality and efficient use of resources . Note that assessments of conservation status under Habitats Directive involve range, extent, quality (structure and function) and the future prospects of habitats .
• Develop an appropriate sampling strategy and protocol for surveying a representative sample of non SSSI woodlands that can distinguish BAP Broad and Priority Habitats and Annex 1 woodland types on sites to inform on condition, management and threats. This will include consideration of key structural features required for woodland BAP species. It must include Quality Assurance by testing the method against a few SSSI woodlands and comparing the results with the SSSI condition assessment.
• Deliver evidence on the extent and condition of woodland types:
• Support favourable conservation status reporting under the Habitats Directive.
• Provide evidence on threats to and management of non-SSSI woodland to help inform woodland policy developments.
• Produce a short handbook detailing the sampling strategy and survey protocol that other land managers and surveyors could use.
• Submit all data to the NBN Gateway at resolution of capture, ensuring appropriate safeguards for sensitive species; and provide copies to the Forestry Commission and relevant country agency. Contractors are expected to identify if there is a suitable data base already existing, and if none is available, develop simple database that would be compatible with others.
• Provide the project reports, including the final report with analyses of the data and highlighting key policy implications.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : NonStatutoryWoodlandConditionMonitoringEvid4   (88k)
• FRP - Final Report : NonStatutoryWoodlandConditionMonitoringReportFinal   (6248k)
• EXE - Executive Summary : NonStatutoryWoodlandConditionMonitoringExecutiveSummaryv1.0   (89k)
• OTH - Other : SurveyHandbookFinal   (5952k)
• OTH - Other : WoodlandConditionSurveyFormFinal   (3896k)
• OTH - Other : WoodlandLandscapeChangeReport   (852k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2011

Cost: £112,810
Contractor / Funded Organisations
exeGesIS SDM Ltd
Environmental Protection              
Habitat conservation              
Nature conservation              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Conservation