Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Review of hill-edge habitats in the uplands in England and Wales - BD1235

The main objective of the research is to characterise the habitats and habitat mosaics that make up the hill-edge ecotone using existing knowledge. The work will further aim to assess the plant and animal communities associated with the hill-edge habitats, determine which habitats require restoration and recommend further research work to investigate important habitats and species where existing knowledge is lacking, and experimental work to assess optimal methods of re-establishment of priority habitats and species assemblages. The work meets MAFF Policy objectives in that it investigates an area which has been poorly researched compared with habitats both further up the hill (e.g. extensive moorland) and the more intensively managed farmland ecosystem lower down. Ultimately, the outputs of the review and of subsequent research will be of direct relevance to policy for prescriptions for upland hill farms under Countryside Stewardship and ESAs in the uplands (North Peak, Pennine Dales, Dartmoor, Exmoor, The Lake District The South West Peak and Cambrian Mountains) and may provide data of relevance to policy on other MAFF-funded schemes such as the Farm Woodlands Premium Scheme.
Objective 1
A. To characterise hill-edge habitats and to assess what is known about their species assemblages, physical characteristics and management features, using existing knowledge.
B. To review the causes and extent of change in these features over recent decades and their impact on biodiversity.
C. To identify gaps in current knowledge and recommend potential management options to enhance or restore the biodiversity value of these habitats.

Objective 2
To recommend further research work to fill gaps in knowledge identified in the review and consultation exercise. It is anticipated that these recommendations will involve research on individual species, species assemblages, priority habitats or habitat mosaic associated with the hill-edge and will include a substantial experimental element.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Review of hill-edge habitats in the uplands in England and Wales   (8166k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2002

Cost: £74,922
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Agricultural Land              
Environmental Protection              
Peer Review              
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship