09 - NAAONB Conference 2012 - Lucy Barron, Arnside and Silverdale AONB

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Lucy Barron, AONB Manager with Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership presentation covered: The vision behind the NIA bid - more than just nature, How it’s being funded - Environment Bank and Links …

Lucy Barron, AONB Manager with Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership presentation covered: The vision behind the NIA bid - more than just nature, How it’s being funded - Environment Bank and Links beyond the AONB

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  • Just to enable you to get your bearings, this is where our NIA sits in northwest England.
  • Small AONB Internal policy drivers What has made the biggest difference is
  • Our NIA is internationally important for wildlife. The limestone and wetland habitats are of particular importance but the area is also a complex system with unique habitat transitions and mosaics - and this results in a huge richness and diversity. The area has 32 priority habitats and over 195 priority species on the section 41 list and a core area in favourable condition (mostly our designated sites)! About 40% of the area is priority habitat but much of it is undesignated and not in favourable condition. We know from our experience and from detailed biodiversity opportunity mapping that there is huge opportunity for restoring and enhancing habitats as well as buffering and connecting the ‘core areas’ right across our area. This project has grown out of a detailed evidence base generated from across multiple organisations which demonstrates clear species declines. There is the need – an urgent one – and the opportunity through the NIA to change this. Our NIA will make a difference for: Threatened butterflies such as high brown and pearl bordered fritillaries Breeding waders and woodland birds Limestone grassland flora, as well as a number of other species.
  • We will make major improvements to the area’s ecological network – enhancing, restoring and connecting our limestone and wetland priority habitats over at least 1000ha. Our Delivery Team will work in partnership with land managers, providing specialist advice and hands on support to deliver this in a range of different ways – through agri-environment and woodland grant schemes, targeting the project capital fund, and maximising community action and volunteering. We’ll ensure that the approach achieves win-win solutions, particularly in terms of tackling ‘reasons for failure’ for 15 water bodies identified in the Water Framework Directive. A spatial evidence base will continue to guide the work of the delivery team, enabling targeted action to build up the ecological network – and this will improve as we move forward because of improved survey and monitoring. We’ll work as part of the national monitoring project to find effective measures of ecological connectivity and to test the Cambridge model for assessing eco-system services benefits. We will develop and support farming and forestry ‘mentors’ to become advocates in the land management community to demonstrate how nature conservation objectives can be integrated into viable businesses. As part of this we’ll establish 6 demonstration farms, and hold at least 15 knowledge sharing events.
  • In order to promote the growth of a low carbon economy the project will invest in nature tourism and woodfuel sectors. With key partner Bay Tourism Association we will launch a nature tourism business network this year, engaging with 20 business by 2014 and at least 50 by 2015. We’ll produce 10 nature tourism itineraries. Following on from research carried out by the Forestry Commission, we’ll invest in developing woodfuel supply chains and markets. As part of this we’ll bring 200 ha into management for woodfuel (and wildlife) and purchase machinery to be shared as part of a machinery ring. We’ll also work to build up expertise in the sector and to link up contractors and landowners. Our aim is to have at least one of our estates developing a self sustaining woodfuel business by the end of the project.
  • Our local authorities are very aware of the high landscape and biodiversity value of the area and of its value to local communities. They want more information in the right format so that they can make better informed decisions about development, and also so they can be more proactive in terms of achieving improvements to the natural environment. We will work in partnership with the local authorities to develop a spatial evidence base which will have long term benefit – informing local development frameworks, green infrastructure approaches and biodiversity offset schemes. We’ll also work to share the lessons of the NIA approach, working as part of the national network, hosting events and using new IT technologies to stimulate involvement.
  • Our high quality landscape and biodiversity underpins the ‘ sense of place ’ of our local communities. Through the combined effort of our Delivery Team, in particular the community engagement specialist, and existing resources within our organisations, we’ll involve local communities in shaping habitat restoration schemes and provide a series of inspiring opportunities for people to experience and get involved with the natural world. We’ll develop at least 6 community liaison groups, run a celebratory events programme, work with at least 50 schools, and target new and existing volunteer groups to deliver 10, 000 days of management and monitoring in our core activity areas.. We’ll work with 6 local naturalist groups to carry out species monitoring and research.
  • We’ve been clear from the start that this is about ensuring a lasting legacy well beyond the 3 year pilot phase. We’ve put together a programme which aims to build capacity. By acting as a catalyst for sustainable businesses – farming, woodfuel, tourism, stimulating community action through volunteering and laying the groundwork for achieving gains through the planning system.


  • 1. Lucy BarronArnside and Silverdale AONB
  • 2. Lucy Barron, AONB Manager
  • 3. Morecambe Bay Limestones & Wetlands Nature Improvement Area
  • 4. – a step change for nature
  • 5. KendalMorecambe
  • 6. urgent need; huge opportunity
  • 7. joint local action to deliver multiple benefits
  • 8. ecological network: enhance; restore; connect
  • 9. low carbon economy:wildlife tourism; woodfuel
  • 10. influence planning system;share lessons learnt
  • 11. connect people with nature
  • 12. a lasting legacy: build capacity
  • 13. multiple objectives; across boundaries; long term challenge
  • 14. Thank you!Photos by:David Morris, Jon Sparks, Dave Hall, Adam Donaldson, Bart Donato,Simon Webb, Tony Riden, Arnside & Silverdale AONB,Cumbria Wildlife Trust, rspb-images.com
  • 15. Thank you!