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Assessment of Western heath growth rate in Dartmoor ESA - BD0805

Dartmoor commons, upon entering into ESA agreement, are required to be subject to a management plan within 2 years of joining the scheme. Management practices normally employed for upland heaths include burning (and sometimes cutting) of heathland vegetation for environmental and agricultural benefit. Appropriate management regimes have been well researched for heather-dominated upland heaths in the UK (such as the Pennines); however, under sympathetic ESA management much of the Dartmoor moorlands (areas below 400 m ASL) are likely to revert to western heath, for which appropriate management plans have not been established. This study will aim to identify (with the help of Dartmoor National Park Authority) blocks of western heath with a known history of burning. These blocks of heathland will then be surveyed to gather detailed vegetation measurements, using methodology established in West Penwith ESA. Description of the heathland will enable growth increments to be established and structural changes over time to be modelled, assisting in the development of future management plans.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1996

To: 1996

Cost: £4,720
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship