Report 288
The relationship between Biodiversity Action Plan Priority and Broad Habitat Types, and other woodland classifications
(1998)
Hall, J.E. and Kirby, K.J.
This report discusses the relationships between the Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitats; the National Vegetation Classification (NVC); the Peterken Stand Type system; the Forestry Authority Forestry Practice Guides; CORINE; and Annex I of the Habitats Directive.

Introduction

 
Habitat classification is essential to nature conservation. A consistent means of labelling vegetation communities is vital if people are to understand each other without resorting to long-winded descriptions. For woodland several systems are used by the forestry and nature conservation organisations. They have been produced for different purposes, and at different times, but it is often necessary for individuals to be familiar with several of them.
 
Here we discuss the relationships between the Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitats; the National Vegetation Classification (NVC); the Peterken Stand Type system; the Forestry Authority Forestry Practice Guides; CORINE; and Annex I of the Habitats Directive.
 
Our specific aim is to clarify the relationship between the Priority Habitats identified by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan process and the other classification systems. The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (HMSO 1995) identified six woodland Priority Habitats (then called Key Habitats) for which Habitat Action Plans (HAPs) should be produced. Two additional types are also included here, as they are important semi-natural woodland types, and may be identified as Priority Habitats in the future.
 
Action proposed in these HAPs includes, as well as restoration and expansion targets for each type, completion of the notification of proposed Special Areas of Conservation (pSACs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), and the development of links with continental Europe. The SSSI notification process uses NVC (see Appendix 1), and the Habitats Directive requires designation of SACs for a given set of habitats including certain woodland types (see Appendix 2 for those that occur in Britain). The main habitat classification used to relate the different European systems has been CORINE (Appendix 3), although work to develop a new European classification - EUNIS - is in progress. In addition, a great deal of historical data for woodlands throughout Britain refers to Stand Types (Appendix 4).
 
The relationship between these different classifications is, therefore, important if the targets proposed in the HAPs are to be achieved.
 
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37 pages
ISSN 0963 8091
 
Please cite as: Hall, J.E. and Kirby, K.J., (1998), The relationship between Biodiversity Action Plan Priority and Broad Habitat Types, and other woodland classifications, JNCC Report 288, 37 pages, ISSN 0963 8091