Natural England

Activities

Work has continued on Brown Syke South and Hawthornthwaite during the 2017-8 winter season - blocking rills and gullies, reprofiling hags, revegetating bare peat. Film of work produced. Work funded by AONB, Grosvenor estate, EA & Defra.

31st March 2018

Additional re-profiling and re-wetting followed by reseeding on area already fenced out on Hawthornthwaite, Abbeystead.

31st March 2018

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

Advice has been given to potential applicants, NE colleagues and agreement holders on the suitability of sites for meadow restoration, the methods of restoration in practice and the ways of demonstrating success. Numbers are not precise as advice ranges from phone calls through to repeat farm visits, but is in the region of 4-8/yr.

6th January 2016

CS targetting was completed during 2014-5, using nation-wide data sets rather than local ones. The AONB unit input to the consultation and discussions and offered use of local datasets, but only national sets were used. The mid-tier developed differently, and it was in the Facilitation Funded catchment groups which in the end were most locally focussed. The AONB is a partner in the Loud catchment group (see 1.2E).

6th January 2016

Peatland restoration work on the Bowland Fell SSSI units (those which are unfavourable recovering) is ongoing as budgets allow. In the autumn of 2015, EA budget was identified and allocated to Brown Syke, Abbeystead. By the end of March 2016, the works to reseed the already re-profiled bare peat and hags will have been completed. Tender specs produced by AONB staff, project managed by LCC staff, reporting to EA by AONB staff.

6th October 2015 to 31st March 2016

Worked jointly with the Friends group to carry out a habitat management task on Worsaw Hill SSSI near Downham.  This involved pulling out hawthorn saplings to prevent their spread on this species-rich grassland.

22nd September 2015

In July 2015, through the Hay Time project and an HLS agreement amendment, green hay from Bell Sykes SSSI was transferred and spread onto new Ings Meadow, in order to: restore cover of yellow rattle, red clover, eye bright and hawkbits; reduce grass:herb ratio; increase number of indicator species; inoculate with seed of other meadow species.

This work is intended to improve the condition of the habitat. The site will be revisited from 2016 to see at what point there is a change in the condition assessment.

27th July 2015

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

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

During the summer of 2014 & 2015, large amounts of Himalayan Balsam were pulled from the hedges and edges of Clear Beck Meadow. It was reported that less was in evidence in 2015 than in 2014, but the location of the site next to a water course mewans that this needs to be an ongoing management action. The work was undertaken by AONB, LCC & NE staff together with members of Friends of Bowland.

An assessment is needed as to the next steps of restoration - soil compaction has been identified as a problem.

1st May 2014 to 1st May 2019

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

The N4N project aimed to help create a living network of nectar hubs for bees and other pollinating invertebrates across the AONB by creating small patches of species rich grassland and corn field annual patches, mainly on non-farmed land such as in school grounds, businesses and community spaces.

The project created 25 nectar patches, 7 mini-meadows and worked at a field scale to restore 35 ha of meadows as well. The project worked with 10 community groups, 6 private landowners, 10 businesses and 5 schools. We organised 12 public events, attracting 170 people.

1st April 2014 to 31st March 2016

The Bowland Hay Time project has restored 35 ha of meadows during 2014 & 2015. This has been possible through partnership working with the N4N project, LEF, the Coronation Meadows project, NE and YDMT. We used green hay and brush harvested seed, as well as plug planting on several sites.

In 2016 we restored 20 ha with a further 11ha in 2017, all using green hay, brush harvested and vacuumed seed. Sites included SSSIs (New Ings and Tarnbrook) in need of seed addition.

In 2018 a further 3 meadows of feild scale restoration were completed through Bowland Haytime

1st April 2014 to 31st March 2018

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

40 ha of bare and hagged peat fenced off and re-profiled using HLS. Half of the bare peat treated with heather brash and geo-jute put in place, limed and seeded.

31st March 2014

Separate Festival Bowland events brochure produced for 2014.

Festival Bowland programme for 2015 included as part of Discover Bowland guide.

2016 programme currently under development and will be included as part of discovery guide again.

1st January 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

1.1 Landscape
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.1A Ensure all local planning authorities and other interested organisations have access to AONB Landscape Character Assessment GIS data layers and understand how these can be used as a planning tool
All LPAs supplied with GIS data layers.
2014
Hold at least 1 meeting per year with LPA or other partner to raise awareness of AONB LCA and its uses.
Annually
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1.1E Develop and disseminate advice note with design guidance for fencing in sensitive open landscapes (e.g. moorland, open river floodplains)
Advice note developed
2014
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1.2 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.2C Contribute to research on the value of 'ecosystem services' provided by the natural environment of the AONB and communicate findings to a wide audience
Research opportunities with Natural England identified
2014
Research commenced
2015
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1.2E Play an active role in the government's 'Catchment-based Approach' (CaBA) to river management and restoration for the Lune, Ribble and Wyre
Meet with EA catchment management staff and Rivers Trusts for Lune and Wyre re:CaBA
2014
Attend at least 2 Ribble Life stakeholder exchange meetings per year
Annually
Investigate opportunities for catchment-based management options and agreements for the New Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS).
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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1.3D Restore and re-wet areas of blanket bog habitat as identified in the AONB Peatland Restoration Plan
Restoration and re-wetting of 35hectares of blanket bog habitat (subject to funding availability)
2019
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1.3E Play an active role in local and regional peatland initiatives (e.g. Lancashire and Pennine Peat Partnerships) to seek additional funding to deliver AONB Peatland Restoration Plan
Lancashire Upland Peat Partnership restoration plan (incl. AONB data) complete
2014
AONB projects included in Pennine Peat Partnership bid for EU LIFE+ funding
2014
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1.3G Support the creation of new native woodland in appropriate sites and the expansion of existing woodlands to reduce habitat fragmentation
Utilise woodland opportunities mapping to guide future woodland creation and expansion
2016 onwards
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1.4 Species
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
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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1.6 Historic Environment
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.6A Work closely with statutory agencies to identify designated heritage assets 'at risk' and develop management plans to facilitate the removal of assets from English Heritage's 'Heritage at Risk Register'
Hold meeting with English Heritage to discuss establishment of 'Heritage at Risk Register' for AONB
2014
Complete first designated heritage asset management plan
2016
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1.6B Develop bid to Heritage Lottery Fund 'Landscape Partnership Scheme' for a landscape restoration programme for Pendle Hill area
Complete Stage 1 Bid planning
2015
Submit Stage 1 bid
2015
If successful:
2016
Commence development phase
2017
Submit Stage 2 bid
2017-18
Commence LPS delivery
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2.1 Farming and Land Management
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
2.1A Provide appropriate support and guidance on landscape, biodiversity and access for farmers and land managers who deliver agri-environment scheme agreements
Advice provided for at least 6 agri-environment scheme agreements per year
Annually
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2.1B Continue to support the development of the 'Bowland Land Managers Forum' to represent the land management sector locally, regionally and nationally (e.g. influencing the development and implementation of local rural development programmes in Lancashire and North Yorkshire)
Hold 4 meetings per year (min.)
Annually
Forum members nominated for proposed RDPE/LEADER Local Action Group(s) covering the AONB
2015
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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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2.1F Work with Natural England and Defra to develop landscape-specific management options and agreements for the new Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS)
Commence discussions amongst key partners
2014
If appropriate, proposal developed for Bowland landscape-specific management options and agreements under NELMS.
2014-2015
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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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2.1J Support Lancashire Fire Operations Group (FOG) to encourage good practice in upland heather burning by providing training opportunities for land managers in the AONB
Lancashire FOG contributes to AONB 'Upland Management ' seminar
2015
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2.3 Community Engagement
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
2.3A Raise the profile of services and support offered by the AONB Partnership amongst community groups, parish councils and local businesses
Develop and deliver a series of 'Know your AONB' events for community groups, parish councils and businesses
By 2017
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3.2 Public Rights of Way and Access Land
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
3.2B Support the management of, and access to 'Access Land' in the AONB
Establish 'Access Land' as a standing item for Bowland Land Managers Forum
Annually
Annual report to Local Access Forums on 'Access Land' issues
Annually
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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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4.3D Work with partners to ensure they use UKGAP monitoring to report back on delivery of geodiversity actions within the AONB
Provide reporting to UKGAP annually
Annually
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