The Nature of Change: Roger Matthews


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Policy Implications for Natural England
Roger Matthews, Sussex Senior Advisor for Landscape and Biodiversity, Natural England

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  • Over last 50 Years moved from domination and plundering of nature, to recognition that human action can impact with negative consequences and unknown feedbacks, to increasing understanding of the value of natural systems and our dependence on their continued successful functioning. There followed 30 years (1950-1980) of designation of sites for wildlife, though the designation was backed neither with adequate protection nor proper management of the sites – indeed, there was not even systematic notification of the sites, so that many owners and managers were not even aware of their existence. The ‘green revolution’ of agricultural intensification and a burgeoning human population meant that many sites were lost or damaged. The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) introduced notification systems and new laws to prevent damage, and some 20 years of significantly increased protection followed, although often sites were still knowingly allowed to deteriorate. During this period a new tier of protection was also introduced by European Directives on Birds (1979) and Habitats (1992). At the turn of the millennium, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) introduced legislation to encourage, and if need be enforce, proper management of wildlife sites, so that the last ten years (2000-2010) have seen a substantial improvement in the management of the backbone of national wildlife sites, the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and National Nature Reserves (NNRs) (see Section 4.1 for definitions of these and other types of wildlife sites). Since 2000, under a focused and intensive campaign of management, Government, agencies, national and local voluntary organisations, and tens of thousands of individual farmers and site owners, have worked together to move the condition of the English SSSI series from 50% to 93% favourable (or recovering) – an impressive achievement
  • Better – where are the unmanaged parcels and where are the concentrations of unmanaged parcels – separate out onsite and offsite (ie WFD) issues on separate maps Bigger – where are the priorities for increasing size across the SE and where are the concentrations – identify the smallest percentage eg 20%, with some stats to ay what this is More joined up – where are the highly fragmented parcels and the concentrations of fragmented parcels (ie the non functioning ecological networks) More – This is partly answered by addressing fragmentation and linking in to the existing habitat network (ie ‘more joined up’ as above), and is then probably better driven by green infrastructure and local access priorities All of the above combined – where are the overall priorities for action? – equal weighting given to better, bigger and more joined up   More permeable landscape – where are the priorities for this – two measures 1. Hostility of land around BAP habitat, 2. Measure across whole BOA in relation to a-e scheme coverage Do all of the above in relation to: Everywhere BOAs identifying priority BOAs for targeting project development - BOAs could be used as a first filter for some of the above, a framework for landscape scale delivery? Local Authority boundaries
  • NIAS
  • demonstrate local leadership, raising awareness about the vital services and benefits which a healthy natural environment brings for people, communities and the local economy; use their knowledge and expertise to develop a shared environmental vision and set of priorities for their area (this could highlight how protection and enhancement of the natural environment can bring economic and social benefits or could include measures to establish and improve local ecological networks at a landscape scale); add value to a local area’s development through contributing to local authority plans that affect the environment, as well as local plans and local development frameworks; help contribute to the Green Economy by, for example, providing relevant information for Local Enterprise Partnerships in development of their plans; bring together a range of local stakeholders, which may include people from local authorities, businesses, statutory authorities, civil society organisations, land managers, local record centres, local enterprise partnerships and people from communities themselves who can align efforts and make best use of available resources; co-operate with other partnerships where this results in more efficient use of resources and better outcomes.  Co-operation can also be with partnerships that share common interests; work at a landscape scale to improve the range of benefits and services we get from a healthy natural environment. They will aim to improve the multiple benefits we receive from good management of the land through, for example, constituent members supporting Nature Improvement Areas, biodiversity offsets pilots or similar schemes; and form at a level that can take a strategic-enough approach to deliver integrated outcomes with a wide range of benefits. We anticipate around 50 Partnerships across England. However, we will not prescribe that Partnerships should cover a particular spatial area or administrative boundary, as we want to encourage them to form around the places, areas and natural systems that work best locally.
  • Obesity Obesity is one of the most important public health issues of today The UK has the highest rate in the EU In the UK rates have tripled in the past 20 years By 2050 60% of population and 1 in 4 under 16 year olds will be obese Total cost of obesity to society will be £50 billion by 2020 Regular physical activity can help decrease levels of obesity CMO 5 x 30 moderate physical activity Obesity contributing to cancer mortality doubling by 2050: Sir Michael Marmot, World Cancer Research Fund found that, in addition to poor diet and growing alcohol consumption, obesity could contribute to the number of people dying from cancer doubling in the next 40 years. Mental ill health - Mental illness affects 1 in 6 of the adult population - 1 in 5 under 16yr olds have a mental disorder - By 2020 the WHO claims that depression will be the second most prevalent cause of ill health The total cost to the economy is £75 billion; (£12 billion to NHS) Physical activity has been found to be as effective a treatment for depression as antidepressants for mild or moderate depression. A NICE document in 2004 suggested that 20% could recover through exercise.
  • 4 generations of adults – showing the diminishing range that they had to play in. Present generation cannot go further than the end of the road – as this is busy with traffic.
  • Natural England launched the concept of a Natural Health Service in 2009. Health walks are a major feature as Natural England sponsors these and there are over 90 schemes across the region, engaging people on weekly walks in the natural environment. A low cost option that has been recognised, endorsed by NICE and backed by the Department of Health.
  • The Nature of Change: Roger Matthews

    1. 1. Delivering the new biodiversity agenda Roger Matthews Natural England
    2. 2. I will be covering: <ul><li>We’ve come a long way </li></ul><ul><li>But we still have some way to go </li></ul><ul><li>It’s been a busy year </li></ul><ul><li>Delivering at a landscape scale </li></ul><ul><li>In an integrated way </li></ul><ul><li>Working in partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking alternative sources of funding </li></ul><ul><li>The environment is good for you </li></ul>
    3. 3. 1960 – 2010 We’ve come a long way
    4. 5. Designated sites: why aren’t they enough?
    5. 6. The reasons England’s wildlife sites don’t comprise a coherent and resilient network <ul><li>Many of England's wildlife sites are too small (77% of SSSIs and 98% of Local Wildlife Sites are smaller than 100 ha) </li></ul><ul><li>Losses of certain habitats have been so great that the area remaining is no longer enough to halt additional biodiversity losses without concerted efforts </li></ul><ul><li>With the exception of Natura2000 sites and SSSIs, most of England's semi-natural habitats important for wildlife are generally insufficiently protected and under-managed </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the natural connections in our countryside have been degraded or lost, leading to isolation of sites </li></ul><ul><li>Too few people have easy access to wildlife. </li></ul>
    6. 7. Duke if Burgundy butterfly South East 1990-2007
    7. 8. Duke of Burgundy butterfly South East 2009
    8. 9. Our thinking on how to deliver biodiversity has been evolving - it’s been a busy year <ul><li>National Ecosystem Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) </li></ul><ul><li>Making Space for Nature (Lawton Report) </li></ul><ul><li>EU Biodiversity Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>UN Convention of Biological Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Lives, healthy People: Our Strategy for Public health in England </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Environment White Paper - The Natural Choice: Securing the value of Nature </li></ul><ul><li>etc.... </li></ul><ul><li>So how do we translate all this in to delivery on the ground? </li></ul><ul><li>So how does this all actually translate into delivery? </li></ul>
    9. 10. Delivering at a landscape scale Making Space for Nature - Lawton Review <ul><li>Better </li></ul><ul><li>Bigger </li></ul><ul><li>More </li></ul><ul><li>Joined </li></ul><ul><li>More permeable landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Do all of the above at a landscape scale </li></ul>
    10. 11. Bringing habitats into favourable management - Managing habitats as mosaics - Maximising the number of niches
    11. 12. Size is important Example: flower-rich chalk grassland <ul><li>4300 ha of flower-rich chalk grassland left on the Downs, 4% of the chalk block </li></ul><ul><li>650 patches, average size 6.5 ha – a third of the total area is in patches less than 10 ha </li></ul><ul><li>Concentrated on scarp slope – much is isolated and fragmented </li></ul>
    12. 13. Chalk grassland re-creation – Brighton area
    13. 14. Nature Improvement Areas <ul><li>Nature Improvement Areas are large, discrete areas that will deliver a step change in nature conservation, where a local partnership has a shared vision for their natural environment. The partnership will plan and deliver significant improvements for wildlife and people through the sustainable use of natural resources, connecting local sites and joining up local action. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecological restoration Zones </li></ul><ul><li>Different to LNPs </li></ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul><ul><li>10,000 – 50,000 ha in size </li></ul><ul><li>12 initial NIAs in first tranche </li></ul><ul><li>£7.5million </li></ul><ul><li>NIAs funded for 3 years 2011-2014 </li></ul><ul><li>Panel chaired by Prof. John Lawton </li></ul>
    14. 15. Some of the developing NIAs in the South East 100+ developing across England
    15. 16. Farmland bird targeting & delivery on the South Downs - The South Downs is a very important area for farmland birds, in particular lapwing, grey partridge and corn bunting, as well as skylark, yellowhammer and linnet, - Use new data on specific farmland bird habitat area requirements, overlain with current a-e scheme farmland bird prescription areas, to target squares lacking in key options, whilst avoiding those where thresholds already met. Combine the above with our good knowledge of species current distribution, - Use targeting to guide a significant Classic scheme early transfer programme, new HLS agreements, and refresh of existing HLS agreements where targeting suggests farmland bird options are missing, - Work closely with landowners and partners to take forward agreed work programme.
    16. 18. Integrated delivery - delivering multiple ecosystem services on the same piece of land
    17. 22. Clean drinking water
    18. 23. Good environmental management - Tackle the source - slow the pathway - protect the receptor
    19. 24. Households that are deficient in ANG (for 300m ANGSt)
    20. 25. Use of evidence to identify priorities Connectivity, Topography, Mitigation, Sensitivity and Value (200m grid) High Vulnerability Low Vulnerability Initial visual representation only – not for use
    21. 26. Working in partnership – going well beyond the usual suspects
    22. 27. Local Nature Partnerships Vision <ul><li>Diverse partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Local environmental leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Influence local decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Shared environmental priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Add value to local area development </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to green economy – working with Local </li></ul><ul><li>Economic partnerships and businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperate to align efforts and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Work at a landscape scale </li></ul><ul><li>Support Nature Improvement Areas </li></ul>
    23. 29. Brighton & Hove Biosphere Reserve bid core area buffer area transition zone
    24. 30. Need to ensure that the management that delivers the landscape and biodiversity we value is financially viable and not dependent on Government grants
    25. 31. Branding – eat the view burn the view
    26. 32. Big health issues of the day <ul><li>Obesity epidemic </li></ul><ul><li>In the UK rates have </li></ul><ul><li>tripled in the past 20 years </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of obesity to society </li></ul><ul><li>will be ~£50 billion pa by 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>It is an indicator for Chronic heart </li></ul><ul><li>disease, type II diabetes & </li></ul><ul><li>Hypertension. </li></ul><ul><li>Diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>2 million people in UK affected </li></ul><ul><li>Associated problems costs </li></ul><ul><li>£5.2billion a year </li></ul><ul><li>Mental health problems </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 6 people affected </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety and depression most common </li></ul><ul><li>£12 billion on health and social care service & £23 billion in lost economic output </li></ul>
    27. 33. Hastings and St Leonards Hailsham and Eastbourne Newhaven B&H Littlehampton Worthing Shoreham
    28. 34. Less space for children
    29. 35. Biodiversity, green space & health <ul><li>Reduce stress, anxiety & depression </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance social interaction & promote independent living </li></ul><ul><li>Help promote & sustain increased physical activity </li></ul><ul><li>Greenspace can: </li></ul><ul><li>Save lives </li></ul><ul><li>Help local authorities with pressing social, health & wellbeing issues </li></ul>Evidence to support the case: Living in the greenest areas significantly reduces the health inequality gap between rich and poor. (Lancet, 2008) For every 10% increase in green space there can be a reduction in health complaints in communities equivalent to a reduction of 5 years of age. (Nature & Health, 2001)
    30. 36. Natural Health Service <ul><li>Aims: </li></ul><ul><li>Every GP & health professional to be able to refer their patients into a Health Walk or other Green Exercise opportunity. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone to have access to Natural Greenspace and Green Exercise initiatives close to where they live. </li></ul>
    31. 38. Brighton & Hove’s network of green spaces
    32. 39. Biodiversity right up to your backdoor