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Managing Biodiversity on Campus UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 28 April 2010 Michelle Dixon - Director +

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Presentation on theme: "Managing Biodiversity on Campus UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 28 April 2010 Michelle Dixon - Director +"— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing Biodiversity on Campus UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 28 April 2010 Michelle Dixon - Director +

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

3 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 12 + Biodiversity indicators

13 13 + Biodiversity indicators

14 14 + Biodiversity indicators UK Headlines Natural England Latest Report: 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

15 15 + Government conservation bodies

16 16 + Species and habitat designations

17 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 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 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, 2006 - 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 1999 - 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 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 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

22 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

23 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

24 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 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 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 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 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 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: o BW – Broadleaf woodland o SI – Semi Improved Grassland o 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 38 Objectives and targets + Think: S pecific - e.g undertake coppice management in the campus woodland M easurable - e.g coppice compartment B, 1ha A ccountable - e.g environment project manager in partnership with grounds maintenance supervisor R ealistic - what technology, finance and time is available? T ime bound – by 2011

39 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 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

41 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 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 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 n/gardenwildlife/myspace/

44 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 development/advice-for-planners-and-developers/

45 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 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 Nature-Garden-Ponds-and-Boggy-Areas-Havens- for-Wildlife

47 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 48 Woodlands and trees + 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 apter/686 Woodland Grants http://www.forestry.

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

50 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 51 Environmental Interpretation and Communication + Use a variety of communication and interpretation methods : Website, e-mails, 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 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?

54 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 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 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 58 Help and assistance + Delivering Sustainable Resource Solutions Michelle Dixon – Director Tel: 0845 643 1783 Mob: 07595 820660 Email: Web:

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