Condition of UK Lowland Wetland Habitats

 

The condition of UK lowland wetland habitats has been assessed using Common Standards Monitoring Guidance for Lowland Wetland  Habitats. This involves making an assessment of habitat condition from a nature conservation perspective. It is based on a series of habitat characteristics or attributes and standardised condition categories.

 

Sites are judged to be in favourable condition when the objectives for the habitat are being met. Sites with habitat that is in an unsatisfactory state are classed as in unfavourable condition. Where this is the case, a judgement is made as to whether the habitat is: (i) recovering – moving towards the desired state; (ii) declining – moving away from the desired state; or (iii) no-change – neither improving nor declining. Sites are classed as destroyed (partially or completely) when the habitat is no longer present and there is no prospect of being able to restore it.

 

Condition on designated sites

 

The tables below summarise information on the condition of lowland wetland habitats at a UK-level as reported in 2006-07.

 

On sites designated as SSSI/ASSIs, the condition of the majority of the two lowland wetland habitat types was either favourable or unfavourable recovering. Nevertheless, a sizeable percentage of each was unfavourable and did not show signs of recovery. Less of these habitats was in favourable condition on SACs, but more of the lowland raised bog in unfavourable condition was recovering.

 

Information from SACs on lowland wetland habitats recognised under the EU Habitats Directive showed that the condition of these types varied greatly. Although in some cases most of the habitat was in favourable or unfavourable recovering condition, for others a large part was unfavourable with no signs of recovery.

 

Since 2006-07 the condition of some lowland wetland habitats has improved (e.g. see The State of the Natural Environment 2008).

 

Tables of condition of UK lowland grassland habitats

 

Click on the habitat links in the table for details – based on data from the Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year Report (2006) and the 2nd UK Report on Implementation of the Habitats Directive (2007)

 

A. Sites designated as SSSI/ASSIs

 

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Destroyed or part destroyed

Lowland fen

41%

21%

37%

1%

Lowland raised bog

22%

35%

41%

2%

 

B. Sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

 

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Destroyed or part destroyed

Lowland fen

18%

39%

43%

-

Lowland raised bog

19%

52%

29%

-

 

C. Sites designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) – broken down into EU Habitats Directive Annex I types

 

 

Favourable

Unfavourable recovering

Unfavourable not recovering

Lowland raised bog

 

 

 

H7110 Active raised bogs

13%

65%

22%

H7120 Degraded raised bogs capable of natural regeneration

1%

88%

11%

Lowland raised bog/Lowland fen

 

 

 

H7150 Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporin

[most of this habitat occurs in upland areas]

[43%]

[26%]

[31%]

Lowland fen

 

 

 

H7140 Transition mires and quaking  bogs

[most of this habitat occurs in upland areas]

[58%]

[1%]

[41%]

H7210 Calcareous fens with Cladium mariscus and species of the Caricion davallianae

20%

12%

68%

H7230 Alkaline fens

(most of this habitat occurs in upland areas)

[5%]

[30%]

[65%]

(all tables created Nov 2010)