BD Working Group

Activities

This project aims to identify a minimum of 3 threatened hay meadow species; collect & propagate seed to bolster species numbers in their historic locations through plug planting.

Working with LERN and Lancashire Botany Group on historic records of floral species, and previously identified declining species; 5 potential species were identified: globe flower, melancholy thistle, bird's eye primrose, saw wort, and dyers' greenweed.  

The seed has been collected and propagated by volunteers with a view to planting plug plants out by September 2019.

1st November 2018

Plans have been produced for Greater Butterfly orchid, Globeflower and Juniper.

All three plans are underway.

6th January 2016

The AONB contains xxxx SSSIs cover ing a total of xxxxxha. Of this, as of  [date]NE have calculated for us that ????% are in favourable condition; ????% are in unfavourable recovering condition; ????% are in unfavourable no change condition and ????% are in unfavourable declining condition.

Unfavourable no change - New Ings Meadow, Bolton by Bowland (low frequency of indicator species and high grass:herb ratio)

Unfavourable declining - units 5, 6, 15, 50 of Bowland Fells (low numbers of breeding black backed gulls)

Unfavourable declining - Clear Beck Meadow, Wray (low frequnecy of indicator species, increase in grass:herb ratio, hymalayan balsam infestation, increase in rush cover)

6th January 2016

NE provided the Biodiveristy working group with the results of a wet flush survey of sites in Lancashire from 2014, this included some sites in the AONB. A list of additional sites was produced, and Eric Greenwood began surveying this list in the summer of 2015. Further sites visits are planned for 2016, and we need to pull together a list of the sites still to be visited.

6th June 2015 to 6th June 2016

In Jan 2015, it was decided that a woodland survey was the top habitat survey priority. As the staff resource was limited, the number of BHS sites alone within the AONB is 197 and because the Pendle LPS area has recently been deliniated, it was decided that it made good sense to start off with the survey of the BHS woodlands within the Pendle area. This was done using the LWT rapid assessment method. 40% of sites were surveyed in the spring of 2015, the rest will be done in the spring of 2016. The rapid assessment method was very effective in showing management needed, and the results from the sample were used in drawing up the Pendle LPS application. trainees from the Biodiverse Society project helped in the 2015 survey, as did colleagues from the AONB & LCC team.

1st March 2015 to 30th September 2016

During the autumn of 2014, a task & finish group of the Biodiversity Working Gruop met to discuss and agree the priority list in terms of habitats within the AONB in need of survey. The list decided on in Jan 2015 was as follows: 1) woodlands 2) wet flushes 3) species rich pastures.

1st January 2015

The BD working group T & F group met to look at survey data. The Lancashire Botany Group have been active in the AONB for many years, and have counted and recorded sites and individuals of scarce species during this time, a fantastic resource.

Survey data (inc counts and locations) is available for a number of plant species, and the following were prioritised for action: Greater Butterfly orchid (1 known location remaining, population of 10-20 individuals); Globeflower (4-5 known locations, total population in the 100's); Juniper (3 known locations, population of 7-9 individuals).

Other species which are regularly monitored by the group include birds eye primrose, grass of Parnassus, tea leaved willow.

1st November 2014 to 31st December 2014

A task & finish group of the Biodiversity Working group met on this subject in the autumn of 2014 - looking at plant species only. Work by Eric Greenwood, Geoff Morries, Jon Hickling & Sarah Robinson established that the was wide disparity between species at risk nationally and species at risk within the AONB. The consensus of the BD working group was to prioritise those species rare nationally and locally, and then those rare locally.

31st October 2014

Working group re-established in April 2014.

Will meet approx twice per year and direct biodiversity delivery through the development of annual delivery plans, made up from work across the delivery group.

1st April 2014

An assessment of the peatland restoration work still to be completed within the AONB area was undertaken as the Priority peat 2013 project, which was produced as a report in April 2014. The matrix approach allows priorities for action to be determined based on a large number of datasets and consultation with key partners. It has since been used to prioritise sites to be put into EU LIFE+ bids (2014 & 2015) and to direct EA funds to 'shovel ready' projects (eg work on Brown Syke, Abbeystead).

1st April 2014

A survey of the BHS (and other) meadows and pastures was begun in 2012 and continued in 2013. There are some sites still to complete, as this survey prioritised meadows over pastures and did not look at wet grasslands. Need an assessment of which sites are still to be surveyed.

1st May 2013

Actions

1.2 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.2D Explore opportunities for biodiversity offsetting with local planning authorities (recognising the mechanism as a last resort after options for avoidance and on-site mitigation have been exhausted)
Hold 'planning and development' seminar to discuss opportunities for biodiversity offsetting within the AONB
2014
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1.3 Habitats
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.3A Ensure AONB's SSSIs are in favourable or recovering condition and take appropriate action to bring those SSSIs that are currently in recovering condition into favourable condition
Ensure 100% of the AONB's SSSIs are in favourable or recovering condition
2019
Ensure at least 50% of SSSIs are in favourable condition
2019
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1.3B Carry out a mapping exercise of priority habitats (including local important and locally designated sites) and commission condition surveys of the priority habitats identified
Peatland and species-rich grassland habitat survey work complete
2014
Agree further work on priority habitat surveys (e.g. woodlands, mires and wet grassland)
2014
Survey at least 2 additional priority habitats
2016
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1.3C Develop opportunity maps for potential habitat creation and restoration for priority habitat identified; linking with LNP ecological frameworks research and mapping for Lancashire and priority areas identified in North Yorkshire (e.g Long Preston Wet Grasslands)
Habitat creation and restoration opportunities mapping developed for 4 priority habitats
2016
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1.4 Species
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.4A Identify local and national 'species at risk' within the area; prioritise and carry out surveys where necessary and work with existing datasets/risk registers on populations of rare species in the AONB
Establish risk register
2014
Commission surveys for 2 'priority species at risk'
2015
Commission surveys for at least 2 further priority species at risk
2016
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1.4B Develop local species recovery plans for priority 'species at risk' identified; ensuring synergy with national species recovery plans where these exist
Produce 4 local species recovery plans
2015
Produce at least 2 further local species recovery plans
2016
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1.4C Continue to support research and monitoring and encourage implementation of habitat projects for characteristic bird species such as hen harrier, merlin, peregrine, ring ouzel, lapwing, snipe, redshank and curlew; including support for relevant species recovery plans
Identify and agree appropriate habitat intervention opportunities for at least 2 species
2016
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1.4D Support local actions to provide suitable conditions to re-establish hen harrier as a breeding species in the AONB, in line with the government's emerging national species recovery plan
Develop local actions to support the re-establishment of breeding hen harrier in the AONB
2014-15
Active participation in the new 'Northern England Protected Landscapes Hen Harrier Group'
Annually
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1.4E Investigate feasibility of establishing pilot predator control areas to reduce the impact of predators on ground-nesting bird populations (waders in particular) within the AONB
Feasibility study complete
2015
If appropriate, seek funding to establish at least one pilot predator control area
2015
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1.7 Planning and Development
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.7I Explore opportunities for biodiversity offsetting with local planning authorities (recognising the mechanism as a last resort after options for avoidance and on-site mitigation have been exhausted)
Hold 'planning and development’ seminar to discuss opportunities for biodiversity offsetting within the AONB.
2014
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2.1 Farming and Land Management
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
2.1E Carry out monitoring and recording of environmental benefits achieved through agri-environment schemes to inform other farmers and non farmers on the benefits from upland hill farming
Develop monitoring programme in liaison with Bowland Land Managers Forum
2015
Establish baseline conditions
2017 & 2019
Biennial survey work carried out
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2.1I Broker discussions with Natural England on future direction of moorland management in Bowland, particularly in relation to grazing and burning/cutting regimes and bracken control
Hold AONB 'Upland Management ' seminar
2015
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4.3 Monitoring and Evaluation
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
4.3C Work with partners to ensure they use Biodiversity Action Reporting System 2 (BARS2) to report back to Natural England and Defra on BD2020 delivery within the AONB
Provide reporting to BARS2 at least twice per year
Annually
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