Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Scoping study to assess the possible effects of habitat restoration on nutrient losses - BD2301

Description
Options are available to farmers to amend land management practices in order to protect resources and to enhance biodiversity by means of creating or restoring suitable habitats. However, due to the complexities of nature, the advantages of creating wildlife habitats may be detrimental to the environment in other ways. For example, leaving land fallow to encourage ground-nesting birds may leave the land susceptible to nitrate leaching due to minimal crop cover, and phosphate losses due to soil erosion. In order to assess whether agri-environment schemes are beneficial overall an understanding of the processes relevant to the habitat restoration scenarios is required.

The objectives of this research are to:
1. Establish the extent to which habitat restoration occurs in England under environmental stewardship schemes and identify which types of land and/or species are most commonly affected.
2. Identify processes, and/or models, that describe or predict the likely impact of habitat restoration on nutrient losses.
3. Consider the wider impact of habitat restoration on a) the fate of nutrients beyond the catchment of restoration, b) the fate of other compounds, and c) other environmental factors.
4. Analyse the benefit of habitat restoration vs the overall environmental impact in fiscal terms, including the consideration of mitigation options.
5. Identify areas of uncertainty in the knowledge base and recommend actions for redress.

The information will be collated to provide a summary of the likely impact of different environmental stewardship schemes on nutrient losses, and any other pollutants. Recommendations will be made on techniques that could be used to predict the impact of land management practices associated with agri-environment schemes on nutrient losses in relation to factors such as soil type, topography, land use.
Objective
Objectives
1. Establish the extent to which habitat restoration occurs in England under agri-environment schemes/Biodiversity Action Plan and identify which types of land and/or species are most commonly affected.
2. Identify processes, and/or models, that describe or predict the likely impact of habitat restoration on nutrient losses.
3. Consider the wider impact of habitat restoration on a) the fate of nutrients beyond the catchment of restoration, b) the fate of other compounds, and c) other environmental factors.
4. Identify potential mitigation measures to reduce any adverse impacts
5. Analyse the benefit of habitat restoration vs the overall environmental impact in fiscal terms where appropriate.
6. Identify areas of uncertainty in the knowledge base and recommend actions for redress.




Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : BD2301 Final Report v1   (6454k)
• OTH - Other : BD2301 Appendix- models   (330k)
• OTH - Other : BD2301 references   (88k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2006

Cost: £19,122
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Keywords
Agricultural Land              
Biodiversity              
Environmental Protection              
Land              
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship