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West Weald Landscape Project Conference: South downs woodlands, heathlands and bats projects


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Presentation from West Weald Landscape Project Conference 22 May 2014

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West Weald Landscape Project Conference: South downs woodlands, heathlands and bats projects

  1. 1. South Downs National Park Forestry Partnership, Heathlands Reunited and Woodland Bats Project EmilyBrennan,BiodiversityStrategyLead
  2. 2. South Downs Forestry Partnership • 3 year project (jointly funded) • Partnership with Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the South Downs National Park Authority.
  3. 3. Project Aims • Establish the condition and ownership of the woods within the National Park •Map and conserve habitats with priority woodland species •Workwith project partnersand land owners to develop continuous management of woodland inparticular PAWS •Deliver a joint package of targeted advice and support for landowners and local businesses • Stimulate a local woodland business networkby linkinglandowners with local enterprises •Reinvigoratethe ‘wood culture’of the South Downs National Park.
  4. 4. Project Outcomes •Confirmed mapped data of woodland ownership, managementand keysites of biodiversity •Using GIS data for a targeted approach to owner engagement • Greater uptake of woodland management schemes • Increasedpublic awareness of the benefits of woodland management for conservation and biodiversity • Vibrant woodland based enterprisenetwork •Well managed woodland and a vibrant woodland economy becoming an integral feature of theNational Park identity. •Pride in a thriving‘wood culture’.
  5. 5. Progresstodate GIS mapping ofwoodland ownership Total area of woodland 37,238ha(NFI data) 38,420haincludingwoods under2ha
  6. 6. Priority Woodlands Total areas not in stewardship: PAWS= 1,865ha BOA = 6,801ha SAC = 852ha SSSI = 1,641ha SINC = 3,757ha
  7. 7. Local Forest EnterpriseDatabase • Gain a comprehensive understanding of thelocal supply chain. • Identified over 90woodland orientated businesses within the SDNP to date • Facilitate better links between raw timber supply, processors and end users.
  8. 8. Next Steps •Environmental: Continue to develop the GIS mapping of woodland Prioritise PAWS restoration and woodland with EPS species •Economic: Facilitate the online database of local enterprises with myForest Host a Business Skills Development Course for coppice sector Explore options for an apprenticeship scheme • Social: Engage with the Grown In Britain Initiative Wests Woodfair – exhibit local woodland enterprises Timber construction in the local vernacular.
  9. 9. Heathlands Reunited Project Aims •Bigger –expanded areas of heathland •Better – enhanced, sustainably managed heaths •Moreheathland sites •Improved ecological connectivity of heathland sites •Stronger linkswith local communitiesand more responsible use of heathlands
  10. 10. Project Map
  11. 11. Heathland Opportunity Mapping
  12. 12. Progresstodate • South Downs Heathland Landscape Partnership set up and expanded • Extensive research, evidence gathering and communityengagement workdelivered • External fundingstreams explored and evaluated • HLFHeritage Grantapplication initially submitted August 2012 • First application unsuccessful however bud revised andresubmitted October 2013,and fundingapproved • Funding of £1.6mconditionally secured from HLF; development phase started April2014and delivery phasedue to begin mid to late 2015.
  13. 13. Development PhaseActions • Carryout audit of heathland interpretation • Develop a skills trainingprogramme • Engage with heathland owners and local communities • Draw up formal agreements with partnersand landowners • Carryout furtherhabitat modelling • UndertakePhase 1 habitat surveywork • Corridorsurvey using GIS • Site user surveyand assessment of learning and participation needs of currentand newaudiences.
  14. 14. Delivery PhaseActions People • Develop a suite of interpretation materials • Deliver a series of engaging events • Deliver learningand outreach programmes • Hold workshops on land management skills • Provide trainingand support for local groups Heritage • Carryout heathland restoration • Improvethe age structureof vegetation • Introduceextensive grazing • Expand and linkheathland sites • Machinerypurchasee.g. biomass baler • Invasivespecies management e.g. rhododendron
  15. 15. South Downs Woodland BatsProject Project Aim: To conserveand enhancepopulations of woodland bat species by restoring a network of high- quality bat habitats across the project area
  16. 16. ProjectMap
  17. 17. Priorityhabitats Semi-naturalwoodland Veteran trees Hedgerows Buildings suitable for roosts Bat foraging habitat e.g. floodplain grassland, field margins Potential partners National Trust(lead) SDNPA, Wildlife Trusts, BCT,local bat experts, Woodland Trust,landowners, Biodiversity Records Centres, NE, FC