Presentation on theme: "+ Managing Biodiversity on Campus University of Glasgow 28 April 2010"— Presentation transcript:
1 + Managing Biodiversity on Campus University of Glasgow 28 April 2010 Michelle Dixon - Director
2 + Workshop Objectives Context and introduction Preparation of a business casePlanning habitat surveysProject planningProducing environmental interpretationGround 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 partNot just wild places – cities, gardens, farmland, universities, colleges
4 +Our natural heritageThe UK has a highly diverse and important biodiversity. The UK is international important for many species and habitats, for example:HeathlandBlanket and lowland bogsVeteran treesChalk rivers and grasslandsEstuarine habitats, fresh and seawater lochsSeabirds, wintering waders and wildfowlBats
5 + Threats to biodiversity Habitat loss and degradation Development . Agricultural changesChanges in woodland and forestryWater abstraction, drainage or inappropriate river management.Inappropriate coastal managementSea fisheries practices.Environmental pollution and Climate ChangeOther factors e.g recreation anddisturbance, invasive species,overfishing
6 + Opportunities for biodiversity Conventions, Strategies, Action Plans etcHabitat designations and species protectionLegislation, regulation and planning policyMonitoring and reportingConservation bodies, programmes and initiativesIncreased awareness and appreciation
7 +The UK approachFollowing 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 UKA detailed and targeted 20 year planHabitat Action Plans (HAPs) – 65 now listedSpecies Action Plans (SAPs) for the most threatened species – 1150 now listedLocal Biodiversity Action Plans (LBAPs)
8 + ‘Conserving Biodiversity: The UK Approach’, DEFRA Vision and approach to managing biodiversity in the UK, 2007Shared commitments by administrations in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the UK GovernmentApproach to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010Interconnections 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 biodiversityLife support services (Food, Water, Soil)Economic products and services e.g. timber, pharmaceuticals, oils, fabrics etcFlood attenuationCarbon sequestrationWellbeing and recreationMorals and ethics
10 + ‘Scotland’s Biodiversity: Its in Your Hands’ A vision for Scotland’s biodiversity for 2030:Halt the loss of biodiversityResponsibility, stewardship and awarenessAttractive and diverse landscapesIntegrated planning, policy and designLearning 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.”
14 + Biodiversity indicators In Scotland, between 1998 and 2007: Improved ecological condition of streamsBroadlands and mixed woodland increased by 9%,Less intensive habitat management - some net species loosheadwater 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 acidicscientifically reliable evidence about the state or ‘health’ of the UK’s countryside todayThis 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%. TheSurface 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 species11 March 2010First ever audit of all of England’s lost and declining native speciesCenturies of conservation records go under the microscopeNatural 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 HeadlinesNatural England Latest Report:
17 + Legislation and regulation Rare species are protected regardless of where they are found. These include:batsbadgersgreat crested newtsotterswater voleswild birds.Causing damage to a protected site or species may result in prosecution.Implications forPractical conservation activatesGrounds MaintenanceConstruction/demolition and other estates workObtain 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 parksArea of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - England, Northern Ireland and Wales, National Scenic Area (NSA) – ScotlandSite 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 areasNature 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 badgersTown and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, Town and Country Planning (Trees)Regulations Protection of individual trees from removal damageControl 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 requirementsPlanning requirementsPart of EMS requirementsCostsContribution to local and national biological conservationAttractive working and study environmentEducational and volunteer resourcesAwards and marketingWider themes e.g. carbon sequestrationGroup 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 issuesContribution to BREEEAM pointsLinks 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 presentEnsuring inclusion in policy, management systems and other and decision making e.g campus estates plansProtection and designation – nationally, locally, institutionallyApplication of management plans and sensitive management techniquesEngaging people, raising awareness and changing behaviourWhat 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- ambiguousA succinct, one-page documentWritten using clear, direct language that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences.Endorsed by senior managementRegularly reviewedGroup discussion. What commitments should a Biodiversity Policy contain?Production and implementation of a campus BAPCompliance with legislationPractice low intervention horticultural methodsReduce pesticides and herbicidesManagement informed by LBAP prioritiesIdentify, manage and monitor important habitats on campusUndertake habitat creation projectsEnsure campus planning does not have a detrimental impact on habitats and speciesTraining of grounds maintenance staffEngagement with grounds maintenance contractConsulting with expertsPolicy review by a responsible committeeCommunication, awareness and engagement
24 + FHE Resources Refer to the EAUC website EAUC Biodiversity Guide Scotland Resource MapCase studies and examplesAlso refer toJoint Nature Conservancy Council and independent government bodiesDEFRANetregsUKBAPWildlife TrustsBTCV handbooks
25 + Undertaking habitat surveys Objectives: To ensure well informed managementTo identify habitats and species with any specialist management requirementsTo identify interactions with the surrounding ecosystemTo identify any other biodiversity threats and opportunitiesTo identify time and resource requirements
26 + Phase 1 habitat surveys A standardised system and methodology for classifying and mapping habitatsDevised by the Joint Nature Conservancy Council, dating back to the 1970’sInitially used to map large areas of British habitatsAim to understand of their history, composition, extent and condition of habitatsUses habitat mapping and target notesExtended phase 1 surveys and/or adapted methodology may be most appropriate for University and College CampusesYou 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 visitPrevious surveys and their recordsAny historical management records and information on ownership history – identify historic management techniquesMaps and any descriptions of surrounding habitats and species – what are the interactions between your campus ecosystem and those surroundingLocal Biodiversity Action Plans and Species Action Plans – any habitats of species of particular importance in the area?Current grounds maintenance operationsEstates 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 staffUse a map 1:10,000 scale if possible or smallerThink about equipment you will need e.g. clip boards, plastic bags, correct clothing etcAny 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 woodlandSI – Semi Improved GrasslandA – ArableCodes are likely to be easier to use in the fieldFinal outcome should be a fully coloured mapOnce 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 notesHabitat 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 codesCodes are likely to be easier to use in the fieldFinal 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 monitoringYou may feel that the classifications require specialist knowledge that you do not haveYou may want to undertake pre-planned simplification of the coding systemNumerical not grid reference target notes
33 +Extended Phase 1Extended phase 1 habitat surveys provide additional information on vegetation and/or protected species.Suitable for Universities and Colleges as they are relatively small sitesYou may want to include:Botanical species listsTree species listNotes on rare plant or animal species e.g. birds, bats, badgers, ancient woodland indicatorsRecommendations for any Phase 2 surveysLocal 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 standardOverview of the desk based study findingsInterpretation and description of habitats found in order to evaluate the site – character, distribution, importance, current and historical management threatsReferences 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 techniquesPreviously recorded habitats and speciesAreas of interest for the surveyPotential interactions with surrounding habitatsImportant habitats and species in the local areaCurrent management techniquesAny likely threats or opportunitiesAny 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 PlanSenior Management/Committee Support and Ground Level Champion is importantA small budget allocation will probably be requiredThe 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 plansHabitat descriptions and some headline information from your surveyDetails on important habitats/ species found on campusManagement objectivesManagement and monitoring scheduleTargets and performance indicatorsMonitoring and reporting process
38 + Objectives and targets Think:Specific - e.g undertake coppice management in the campus woodlandMeasurable - e.g coppice compartment B, 1haAccountable - e.g environment project manager in partnership with grounds maintenance supervisorRealistic - 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 techniqueEnvironmental 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 plansHabitat descriptions and some headline information from your surveyDetails on important habitats/species found on campusManagement objectivesManagement and monitoring scheduleTargets and performance indicatorsMonitoring and reporting processGroup discussion. BAPs should:Include an overview of aims and objectivesBe based on up-to-date survey informationBe easy to read – no jargon, use of bullet points, indexedCategorise information – for example the use of HAPs and SAPsInclude photographsRefer to the survey map and specific locationsInclude 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/gardensBuildings and structuresWildflower areas/ meadowsPondsHedgesWoodland and treesRefer to the EAUC biodiversity guide
42 +General guidanceEnsure you survey first and get any specialist advice (possibly in-house)Preference to native species of local provenance –Preference to drought resistance plants, if possibleEnsure management work at correct time of year – woodlands in winter, ponds in autumnCreate interlined habitat mosaicsTake into account LBAP, HAPs and SAPsTake before and after photos
43 + Formal grounds Do all areas need to look tidy? Introducing wild areas practicing low intervention gardening now more fashionableReduce chemical use and use sustainable materialLook 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 etcEngage with capital projects programmeEnsure protection of habitats on campusEnsure rare species are protected during and works, especially batsHow can habitats be incorporated into developments? – green roofs, wildflower areas, soft landscaping, native borders, bat and bird bricksArtificial structures on existing buildings
45 + Wildflower habitats/meadows Perhaps the easiest and cheapest habitat to create on campusAny species rich grassed areas where you can adjust mowing?Supplement with patch seeding – native mixCreate new by removing topsoil soil and seeding - rabbit fencing?Cut late autumn and make sure you remove all the cuttings/content/section/1160
46 +PondsCan be a tricky habitat to create - health and safety, excavation, lining, plantingAny 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 bestThe base and surrounding area is importantLeave some hedge tree to growTrim in rotationAny older hedges on campus – layingPlanting new hedgesHedge whips are cheap to buyChoose a good variety, species with berriesEncourage dense growth through trimmingConsider laying as well as cutting/book/6
48 + Woodlands and trees Woodland Grants http://www.forestry. gov.uk A specific management plan based on survey for existing woodlandsA wide range of management techniques may apply – coppicing, thinning, non-intervention, invasive species control, planting, deadwood preservationIdentify any old or veteran trees on campus – manage public access, protect from root damageNew tree plantingWhips and younger trees are more likely to surviveAre the soil conditions suitable?Reduce surrounding competitionWhen planting new trees add watering pipeWoodland Grantsgov.uk
49 + Discussion What habitats do you have on campus? How are they currently managedHow 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 accessGet support and possible involvementProvide educational interpretationMake links to the wider agenda
51 + Environmental Interpretation and Communication Use a variety of communication and interpretationmethods :Website, s, leaflets, newslettersOnsite boardsLaunch event – media, local celebsWildlife trailsGreen mapsSpecies/seasonal eventsHealth walksThink about your audiencePlain EnglishTest material outIllustrations 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 leagueVideos and podcastsFresher’s fairStaff inductionsChampion networksGiveawaysCommunicate in ‘student language’University publicationsSeasonal activities and photosGet 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 contractOngoing contract management:Attend quarterly meetingsNegotiate changes in management regimes and application of specialist managementProvide information on native, drought tolerant speciesWork in partnership on habitat management and creationWhen is your Grounds Maintenance contract up for renewal?
55 +The tender processIdentification of need – low intervention areas, specialist areasSupplier 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 visitsContract award and implementation– good news stories, inform unsuccessful suppliers in relation to sustainability, KPI’s and action plansManage performance – review meetings, balanced scorecard methodology
57 + Tender specifications Full details of significant habitats and species with management requirementsReduce chemical fertilisers and pesticides, use cultural methods such as mulching and hand weeding. Requirements for application and storageSpring /autumn cutting in designated areasMaintenance of hedges for biodiversity – cutting regimes, no pesticides, no disturbance of nesting birdsPriority given to using native, drought tolerant in border areasNative trees onlySustainable sources of peat and mulch - UK sources, peat freeConservation of deadwood in designated areasWater efficiency – watering in evening and morning onlyLitter recyclingOnsite compostingConsultation with Sustainability representative
58 + Help and assistance Delivering Sustainable Resource Solutions Michelle Dixon – DirectorTel: Mob: Web: