Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

‘Synthesising Review’ of the use of Environmental Stewardship for restoring, maintaining and enhancing a coherent ecological network in England - BD5010

The Making Space for Nature report recommended the establishment of large-scale
ecological networks to conserve biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide. This concept was
subsequently adopted in the Natural Environment White Paper (2011). Current research on ecological networks
and connectivity shows considerable controversy over the most appropriate practices for enhancing connectivity
and coherence of ecological networks.
With the setting up of the twelve pilot Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs), whose aims include the enhancement of
ecological networks using the principles outlined in Making Space for Nature and the
integration of surrounding land-use with the ecological network, there is a clear need to understand the
contribution that Environmental Stewardship (ES) can make to the development of ecological networks in general
and to the NIAs in particular.
The aim of this project is to synthesis the current state of knowledge regarding the use of ES to support the
development, maintenance and enhancement of ecological networks.
The project will produce a set of draft guidelines for the use of ES options to support local ecological network
priorities. The guidelines will be developed from a network-based classification that accounts for the types of
species or habitats the ecological network is focused on, the potential synergies and conflicts with other
environmental objectives, such as mitigation of pollution problems or protection of historic environments and the
component of the ecological network that the options need to be used to support.
The guidelines will be trialed within selected areas of the pilot NIAs in order to demonstrate their practical utility for
targeting the use of ES options in support of ecological networks. These guidelines will support the development
of policy for the use of ES options in maintaining, supporting and enhancing ecological networks throughout the
Objective 1: To summarise current knowledge and expert judgment on the application of the principles of
ecological network development, as outlined in Making Space for Nature (Lawton et al. 2010), to Environmental
Objective 2: To provide draft guidelines and recommendations for the use of Environmental Stewardship options
in the maintenance and development of coherent ecological networks, through enhancement of connectivity and
reduction of ecological pressures.
Objective 3: To identify key knowledge gaps in the use of Environmental Stewardship to maintain and develop
coherent ecological networks
Objective 4: To recommend further research for evaluation of the application of Environmental Stewardship
options as a means of enhancing the resilience and coherence of ecological networks.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : BD5010 FinalReport EVID4   (933k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 ANNEX2f GraphML files   (29k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX1a review   (380k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX1b functgplit   (144k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX2a ESoptionsreview   (262k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX2b ESoptionreview Birds BTO   (219k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX2c ESoptionsreview Aquatic   (99k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX2d ESOptions Species Review   (647k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport Annex2e NodeXLworksheet   (809k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX3a SynergiesConflicts   (733k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX3b MinutesInceptionMeeting   (108k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX3c Guidelines   (880k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX3d ES management habitat   (140k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX3e Workshoppresentations   (2693k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport ANNEX4a FutureWorkSpecifications   (221k)
• ANX - Annex : BD5010 FinalReport Annex4b birdpriorities   (272k)
• SPE - Specification : BD5010 Sythesising rev spec Final   (207k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2012

To: 2013

Cost: £75,583
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Queen Mary College, F E R A (FERA), A D A S UK Ltd (ADAS), British Trust For Ornithology (BTO)
Environmental Stewardship