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Ecological Characterisation of ESA Agreement Land - MA01002

This study will assess the ecological quality of a sample of ESA management agreements in terms of their vegetation characteristics and presence of habitats listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Taken together with a recently completed project looking at Countryside Stewardship Agreement Land, this will provide Defra with information on the contribution of agri-environment schemes in England to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) as well as assisting internal reviews of individual schemes.

The key objectives for the work will be to:
1. provide national estimates of the extent of Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Broad and Priority Habitats under ESA agreement;
2. provide national estimates of vegetation character, and hence ecological ‘quality’, of ESA agreement land, with particular emphasis on BAP Priority Habitats;
3. analyse the distribution of areas and vegetation characteristics of the habitats surveyed (with special reference to Priority Habitats) with regard to geographic location, agreement age and tier, and other factors as appropriate;
4. compare results with the wider countryside and, where appropriate, with data from other monitoring and evaluation programmes;
5. establish a baseline for future evaluation of changes in ecological ‘quality’.

A sample of around 500 agreements will be included in the study, which will be stratified to ensure that they are representative of agreement land in each ESA. The methods used will be based on those used in the Countryside Stewardship Monitoring Programme (see report at http://defraweb/erdp/pdfs/cssmonitoring/cssmeth.pdf).

The outputs for this project comprise:
1. a short progress report outlining achievement of milestones, submitted in December 2002;
2. a final report covering the methods and the key findings will be submitted by the end of December 2003.

Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : MA01002 Ecological Characterisation of ESA Agreement Land_Final Report   (1401k)
• ANN - Annual Report : MA01002 Annex 6 & 7   (1141k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 1   (434k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 11   (849k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 2   (673k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 3   (1796k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 4   (166k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 5   (557k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 8   (97k)
• ANX - Annex : MA01002 Annex 9   (534k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2002

To: 2004

Cost: £199,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Environmental Protection              
Habitat conservation              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Agriculture