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+ Managing Biodiversity on Campus University of Glasgow 28 April 2010

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1 + Managing Biodiversity on Campus University of Glasgow 28 April 2010
Michelle Dixon - Director

2 + Workshop Objectives Context and introduction
Preparation of a business case Planning habitat surveys Project planning Producing environmental interpretation Ground maintenance specifications

3 + What is biodiversity? The variety of life on Earth
All living things that we share our planet with, us as a major influence and integral part Not just wild places – cities, gardens, farmland, universities, colleges

4 + Our natural heritage The UK has a highly diverse and important biodiversity. The UK is international important for many species and habitats, for example: Heathland Blanket and lowland bogs Veteran trees Chalk rivers and grasslands Estuarine habitats, fresh and seawater lochs Seabirds, wintering waders and wildfowl Bats

5 + Threats to biodiversity Habitat loss and degradation Development .
Agricultural changes Changes in woodland and forestry Water abstraction, drainage or inappropriate river management. Inappropriate coastal management Sea fisheries practices. Environmental pollution and Climate Change Other factors e.g recreation and disturbance, invasive species, overfishing

6 + Opportunities for biodiversity
Conventions, Strategies, Action Plans etc Habitat designations and species protection Legislation, regulation and planning policy Monitoring and reporting Conservation bodies, programmes and initiatives Increased awareness and appreciation

7 + The UK approach Following the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, the UK became the first country to produce a National Biodiversity Action Plan: Description of the biological diversity resources of the UK A detailed and targeted 20 year plan Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) – 65 now listed Species Action Plans (SAPs) for the most threatened species – 1150 now listed Local Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs)

8 + ‘Conserving Biodiversity: The UK Approach’, DEFRA
Vision and approach to managing biodiversity in the UK, 2007 Shared commitments by administrations in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK Government Approach to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 Interconnections between all living things central to the vision “Our vision is that in our countryside, towns and seas, living things and their habitats are part of healthy, functioning ecosystems; we value our natural environment, a concern for biodiversity is embedded in policies and decisions, and more people enjoy, understand and act to improve the natural world about them.”

9 + ‘Conserving Biodiversity: The UK Approach’, DEFRA
Complementing Habitat and Species Action Plans, an emphasis on ‘Ecosystem Services’ and human reasons to conserve biodiversity Life support services (Food, Water, Soil) Economic products and services e.g. timber, pharmaceuticals, oils, fabrics etc Flood attenuation Carbon sequestration Wellbeing and recreation Morals and ethics

10 + ‘Scotland’s Biodiversity: Its in Your Hands’
A vision for Scotland’s biodiversity for 2030: Halt the loss of biodiversity Responsibility, stewardship and awareness Attractive and diverse landscapes Integrated planning, policy and design Learning opportunities. Publications/2004/05/19366/37239 “Its 2030: Scotland is recognised as a world leader in biodiversity conservation. Everyone is involved, everyone benefits. The nation is enriched.”

11 + Biodiversity indicators

12 + Biodiversity indicators

13 + Biodiversity indicators

14 + Biodiversity indicators In Scotland, between 1998 and 2007:
Improved ecological condition of streams Broadlands and mixed woodland increased by 9%, Less intensive habitat management - some net species loos headwater streams plant species richness was shown to have increased by 9% number of ponds also increased by 5%, mainly in the lowlands. Surface soils less acidic scientifically reliable evidence about the state or ‘health’ of the UK’s countryside today This evidence is used to help form policies that influence management of the countryside, The general picture in Scotland across the past decade is of improved ecological condition of streams, recovery from acidification in soils and restoration of broadleaved woodland. Between 1998 and 2007 upland habitats remained stable to an extent. Grasslands, woodlands and arable areas showed larger shifts with the area of broadleaved and mixed woodland increasing by 9%, reflecting new planting and the diversification of felled plantation forest. Across the same period, changes in habitat condition indicate less intensive management of many habitats and increases in tall, fast-establishing species resulting in net loss of species across many upland and lowland habitats. In headwater streams plant species richness was shown to have increased by 9%. The Surface soils (less than 15cm deep) became less acidic indicating a gradual recovery from acid deposition in the past. Wildlife challenge: England’s lost and threatened species 11 March 2010 First ever audit of all of England’s lost and declining native species Centuries of conservation records go under the microscope Natural England has launched the most complete audit of hundreds of years of England’s wildlife winners and losers to an audience of leading conservationists at the Zoological Society of London today (11 March). Lost Life: England’s Lost and Threatened Species identifies nearly 500 animals and plants that have become extinct in England – practically all within the last two centuries. On top of this, nearly 1,000 native species have been given conservation priority status because of the severity of the threats facing them. Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive of Natural England, said: “Coinciding with the International Year of Biodiversity, this report is a powerful reminder that we cannot take our wildlife for granted and that we all lose when biodiversity declines. Every species has a role and, like rivets in an aeroplane, the overall structure of our environment is weakened each time a single species is lost. Biodiversity matters and with more and more of our species and habitats confined to isolated, protected sites we need to think on a much broader geographical scale about how we can reverse the losses of the recent past and secure a more solid future for our wildlife.” The Lost Life report highlights how habitat loss, inappropriate management, environmental pollution and pressure from non-native species have all played a part in the erosion of England’s biodiversity. All of the major groups of flora and fauna have experienced losses, with butterflies, amphibians, and many plant and other insect species being particularly hard hit – in some groups up to a quarter of species have been become extinct since 1800. Despite these pressures, conservation efforts have achieved many notable successes in protecting priority species and habitats – including the return of the red kite and the large blue butterfly. Nevertheless, losses continue and 943 native species are now classed as a conservation priority, while the numbers of several hundred more are in significant decline. Some of England’s most familiar species – including the red squirrel, common toad, and European eel – face an uncertain future. To provide long-term support for our wildlife, Natural England is working with a range of partners in the England Biodiversity Group to adopt a “landscape-scale” approach to conservation which goes beyond the conservation of small protected sites and individual species and embraces the management of entire landscape areas and the ecosystems that operate within them. Wide-scale restoration of habitats and ecosystems and linking of habitat areas are seen as key to taking the pressure off the biodiversity hotspots of individual sites and reserves and giving broader support to wildlife in the wider countryside. Dr Helen Phillips continued: “Current conservation programmes have been central to supporting England’s biodiversity and they show that we can reverse some of the losses of the past. But firefighting to rescue species in severe decline can never be a long-term solution. We need a step-change in conservation that goes beyond the targeted work that has gone on to protect individual sites and species, and which focuses on restoring the health of ecosystems across entire landscapes. We have to give wildlife and habitats more room to thrive and only by tackling the problems of environmental decline in this co-ordinated way, and at this sort of scale, can we succeed in halting and ultimately reversing many of the recent declines in biodiversity.” UK Headlines Natural England Latest Report:

15 + Government conservation bodies

16 + Species and habitat designations

17 + Legislation and regulation
Rare species are protected regardless of where they are found. These include: bats badgers great crested newts otters water voles wild birds. Causing damage to a protected site or species may result in prosecution. Implications for Practical conservation activates Grounds Maintenance Construction/demolition and other estates work Obtain advice from you local conservation body if in doubt! Refer to: The Planning and Policy Guidelines (October 1994, Nature Conservation, DoE, PPG9)

18 + Species and habitat designations
There are a wide variety of protected sites in the UK. These include: Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) Special Protection Areas (SPAs) Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar sites) National parks Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - England, Northern Ireland and Wales, National Scenic Area (NSA) – Scotland Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or, in Northern Ireland, Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) National Nature Reserve (NNR) Local Nature Reserve (LNR) Local Wildlife Sites

19 + Legislation and regulation
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) - main UK wide Act that protects wild birds, plants, animals and some protected areas Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act, 2004, Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act, a general duty on every public body to further the conservation of biodiversity consistent with the proper exercise of their functions.  The Badgers Act 1991 and Protection of Badgers Act 1992 – Illegal to disturb badgers Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations Protection of individual trees from removal damage Control of Pesticide Regulations – restrictions of type, use, storage of pesticides. Forthcoming regulations on pesticide application registers.

20 + The business case for biodiversity in Universities and Colleges?
One of the first things you will probably need to do in preparing you biodiversity management programme is to gain senior management commitment to ensure effective funding, staff time and campus planning. In groups prepare a business case for undertaking your programme to present to senior managers.

21 + The business case for biodiversity in Universities and Colleges?
Legal requirements Planning requirements Part of EMS requirements Costs Contribution to local and national biological conservation Attractive working and study environment Educational and volunteer resources Awards and marketing Wider themes e.g. carbon sequestration Group discussion. Additional considerations: Cost reduction can be achieved through reduction in costs of maintenance. Land managed for biodiversity is generally ‘low cost’ Community engagement and CSR issues Contribution to BREEEAM points Links to wider strategies and programmes e.g. Universities that Count and the Green League ‘Quick win’ sustainability projects

22 + How can we protect and conserve biodiversity?
Understanding the species and habitats present Ensuring inclusion in policy, management systems and other and decision making e.g campus estates plans Protection and designation – nationally, locally, institutionally Application of management plans and sensitive management techniques Engaging people, raising awareness and changing behaviour What makes a good policy?

23 + Policy What makes a good Policy?
Relevant to the organisation, perhaps with an introductory paragraph on the nature and scale of the organisation. An overarching vision statement. Clear and realistic commitments made, non- ambiguous A succinct, one-page document Written using clear, direct language that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences. Endorsed by senior management Regularly reviewed Group discussion. What commitments should a Biodiversity Policy contain? Production and implementation of a campus BAP Compliance with legislation Practice low intervention horticultural methods Reduce pesticides and herbicides Management informed by LBAP priorities Identify, manage and monitor important habitats on campus Undertake habitat creation projects Ensure campus planning does not have a detrimental impact on habitats and species Training of grounds maintenance staff Engagement with grounds maintenance contract Consulting with experts Policy review by a responsible committee Communication, awareness and engagement

24 + FHE Resources Refer to the EAUC website EAUC Biodiversity Guide
Scotland Resource Map Case studies and examples Also refer to Joint Nature Conservancy Council and independent government bodies DEFRA Netregs UKBAP Wildlife Trusts BTCV handbooks

25 + Undertaking habitat surveys Objectives:
To ensure well informed management To identify habitats and species with any specialist management requirements To identify interactions with the surrounding ecosystem To identify any other biodiversity threats and opportunities To identify time and resource requirements

26 + Phase 1 habitat surveys
A standardised system and methodology for classifying and mapping habitats Devised by the Joint Nature Conservancy Council, dating back to the 1970’s Initially used to map large areas of British habitats Aim to understand of their history, composition, extent and condition of habitats Uses habitat mapping and target notes Extended phase 1 surveys and/or adapted methodology may be most appropriate for University and College Campuses You may want to follow up with Phase 2 surveys

27 + Planning your survey Start with a desk based study:
Existing maps and aerial photos – identify areas to visit Previous surveys and their records Any historical management records and information on ownership history – identify historic management techniques Maps and any descriptions of surrounding habitats and species – what are the interactions between your campus ecosystem and those surrounding Local Biodiversity Action Plans and Species Action Plans – any habitats of species of particular importance in the area? Current grounds maintenance operations Estates master plans – what are the plans for construction projects?

28 + Undertaking the survey Basic considerations
Consider the time of year – generally April to October but some habitats are best surveyed at more specific times - woodlands in spring, grasslands in mid-summer, heathlands in autumn, open waters between mid-June and the end of September. Work with local experts and/or grounds maintenance staff Use a map 1:10,000 scale if possible or smaller Think about equipment you will need e.g. clip boards, plastic bags, correct clothing etc Any access issues? Can you involve students?

29 + Compiling habitat maps
Record each habitat unit using colour or codes. These are listed in the Phase 1 habitat survey handbook. Some codes include: BW – Broadleaf woodland SI – Semi Improved Grassland A – Arable Codes are likely to be easier to use in the field Final outcome should be a fully coloured map Once mapped you may want to compile brief statistics on the extent and distribution of each habitat i.e the areas of each habitat type as a percentage of the total area.

30 + Target notes Habitat maps should be supplemented by target notes – mark according to red target symbol, recording numerically (or by grid reference) Target notes will inform your management plan and may include: Location of any historical features such as wood banks and boundaries. Notes on any topographic variation of interest. Additional information on vegetation composition and condition within the designated habitat classifications. Notes on any evident historical or current management techniques, for example cutting mowing or historical coppicing. Notes on important habitat features such as woodland glades, rides and edges. Notes on any perceived threats e.g invasive species, surrounding land management, pollution or fly tipping.

31 + Compiling habitat maps
Record each habitat unit using colour or codes Codes are likely to be easier to use in the field Final outcome should be a fully coloured map

32 + Adapting the methodology
Adopting this nationally recognised methodology has benefits for comprehensive utilisation of the survey information and survey replication/ site monitoring You may feel that the classifications require specialist knowledge that you do not have You may want to undertake pre-planned simplification of the coding system Numerical not grid reference target notes

33 + Extended Phase 1 Extended phase 1 habitat surveys provide additional information on vegetation and/or protected species. Suitable for Universities and Colleges as they are relatively small sites You may want to include: Botanical species lists Tree species list Notes on rare plant or animal species e.g. birds, bats, badgers, ancient woodland indicators Recommendations for any Phase 2 surveys Local wildlife experts may be able to assist you free of charge.

34 + The survey report You need to summarise and interpret your findings
Include: Description of methodology and any variations from the standard Overview of the desk based study findings Interpretation and description of habitats found in order to evaluate the site – character, distribution, importance, current and historical management threats References to previous surveys, other sources of information

35 + Desk based study: group exercise
Using the information you have brought on your site or the information provided, Make notes on: Historical management techniques Previously recorded habitats and species Areas of interest for the survey Potential interactions with surrounding habitats Important habitats and species in the local area Current management techniques Any likely threats or opportunities Any other information that you feel is relevant for the survey

36 + Biodiversity Action Plans
Once you have undertaken your survey the next stage is to put in place a Biodiversity Action Plan Senior Management/Committee Support and Ground Level Champion is important A small budget allocation will probably be required The aim should be to improve biodiversity on campus and also contribute to the objectives of national and local biodiversity action plans

37 + Biodiversity Action Plans Include in your action plan:
Context – general information about biodiversity, national and local biodiversity action plans Habitat descriptions and some headline information from your survey Details on important habitats/ species found on campus Management objectives Management and monitoring schedule Targets and performance indicators Monitoring and reporting process

38 + Objectives and targets
Think: Specific - e.g undertake coppice management in the campus woodland Measurable - e.g coppice compartment B, 1ha Accountable - e.g environment project manager in partnership with grounds maintenance supervisor Realistic - what technology, finance and time is available? Time bound – by 2011

39 + Use of performance indicators
How will you measure performance against your targets? Management Performance Indicators – e.g. Production of BAP, budget allocation, undertaking a management technique Environmental condition levels – e.g. Nitrate levels in local brook, changes in number of protected species. Identify methods of data collection, management and reporting e.g. Annual species and habitat surveys

40 + Group exercise: BAP Review
In groups review the three University BAPs. What are their strengths and weaknesses in documenting the following: Context – general information about biodiversity, national and local biodiversity action plans Habitat descriptions and some headline information from your survey Details on important habitats/species found on campus Management objectives Management and monitoring schedule Targets and performance indicators Monitoring and reporting process Group discussion. BAPs should: Include an overview of aims and objectives Be based on up-to-date survey information Be easy to read – no jargon, use of bullet points, indexed Categorise information – for example the use of HAPs and SAPs Include photographs Refer to the survey map and specific locations Include SMART targets – possibly as an appendices of ‘pull out’ Include a management and survey schedule

41 + Project ideas, guidance and tips
The most common habitats found on campuses in the UK are: Formal grounds/gardens Buildings and structures Wildflower areas/ meadows Ponds Hedges Woodland and trees Refer to the EAUC biodiversity guide

42 + General guidance Ensure you survey first and get any specialist advice (possibly in-house) Preference to native species of local provenance – Preference to drought resistance plants, if possible Ensure management work at correct time of year – woodlands in winter, ponds in autumn Create interlined habitat mosaics Take into account LBAP, HAPs and SAPs Take before and after photos

43 + Formal grounds Do all areas need to look tidy?
Introducing wild areas practicing low intervention gardening now more fashionable Reduce chemical use and use sustainable material Look to simulate natural habitats wherever possible – plant with native species found elsewhere on campus, habitat mosaic, food sources, nesting sites

44 + Buildings and structures
Identify any current nest/roots sites - cavities, eaves, barns etc Engage with capital projects programme Ensure protection of habitats on campus Ensure rare species are protected during and works, especially bats How can habitats be incorporated into developments? – green roofs, wildflower areas, soft landscaping, native borders, bat and bird bricks Artificial structures on existing buildings

45 + Wildflower habitats/meadows
Perhaps the easiest and cheapest habitat to create on campus Any species rich grassed areas where you can adjust mowing? Supplement with patch seeding – native mix Create new by removing topsoil soil and seeding - rabbit fencing? Cut late autumn and make sure you remove all the cuttings /content/section/1160

46 + Ponds Can be a tricky habitat to create - health and safety, excavation, lining, planting Any currently wet/damp areas on campus that can be improved? Carefully manage existing ponds – no goldfish, reduce dominating species, don’t over manage, de-silt in winter only when vital

47 + Hedges Can you adjust cutting regime on existing hedges?
Every 2-3 years is best The base and surrounding area is important Leave some hedge tree to grow Trim in rotation Any older hedges on campus – laying Planting new hedges Hedge whips are cheap to buy Choose a good variety, species with berries Encourage dense growth through trimming Consider laying as well as cutting /book/6

48 + Woodlands and trees Woodland Grants http://www.forestry.
A specific management plan based on survey for existing woodlands A wide range of management techniques may apply – coppicing, thinning, non-intervention, invasive species control, planting, deadwood preservation Identify any old or veteran trees on campus – manage public access, protect from root damage New tree planting Whips and younger trees are more likely to survive Are the soil conditions suitable? Reduce surrounding competition When planting new trees add watering pipe Woodland Grants

49 + Discussion What habitats do you have on campus?
How are they currently managed How could the management be improved?

50 + Environmental Interpretation and Communication
Interpretation and communication is a vital part of all projects: Raise awareness of what you are doing – esp. high impact projects and those that will restrict access Get support and possible involvement Provide educational interpretation Make links to the wider agenda

51 + Environmental Interpretation and Communication
Use a variety of communication and interpretation methods : Website, s, leaflets, newsletters Onsite boards Launch event – media, local celebs Wildlife trails Green maps Species/seasonal events Health walks Think about your audience Plain English Test material out Illustrations and layout


53 + Environmental Interpretation and Communication
Have you come up with any creative ideas for communication and interpretation? What have you found to be most useful? Group discussion. Useful approaches: Link to wider programmes e.g. green impact. Green league Videos and podcasts Fresher’s fair Staff inductions Champion networks Giveaways Communicate in ‘student language’ University publications Seasonal activities and photos Get to know habitats and species e.g tree of the month, naming species found on campus

54 + Grounds maintenance contracts
It is very important that you engage with the management and award of your grounds maintenance contract Ongoing contract management: Attend quarterly meetings Negotiate changes in management regimes and application of specialist management Provide information on native, drought tolerant species Work in partnership on habitat management and creation When is your Grounds Maintenance contract up for renewal?

55 + The tender process Identification of need – low intervention areas, specialist areas Supplier selection/sourcing – ensure procurement team area are aware of legislation and policy, what biodiversity management experience should be specified? Production of specification – ensure all biodiversity and sustainability requirements are included and related to the subject matter, include details in advert.

56 Pre-qualification – general questions and those tailored to the specification and overarching objectives, site visit? Tender issue and evaluation – relating to your specification: apply sustainability minimum standards, evaluation criteria and weighting with pre-defined scoring methodology, sustainability staff part of interviews/site visits Contract award and implementation– good news stories, inform unsuccessful suppliers in relation to sustainability, KPI’s and action plans Manage performance – review meetings, balanced scorecard methodology

57 + Tender specifications
Full details of significant habitats and species with management requirements Reduce chemical fertilisers and pesticides, use cultural methods such as mulching and hand weeding. Requirements for application and storage Spring /autumn cutting in designated areas Maintenance of hedges for biodiversity – cutting regimes, no pesticides, no disturbance of nesting birds Priority given to using native, drought tolerant in border areas Native trees only Sustainable sources of peat and mulch - UK sources, peat free Conservation of deadwood in designated areas Water efficiency – watering in evening and morning only Litter recycling Onsite composting Consultation with Sustainability representative

58 + Help and assistance Delivering Sustainable Resource Solutions
Michelle Dixon – Director Tel: Mob: Web:

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