Management of UK Lowland Heathland Habitats

 

Given the threats to lowland heathland habitats, it is often necessary to undertake some form of management to improve or maintain their condition. There are a number of sources of information to guide such action, examples of which are outlined below.

 

Management guidance and best practice

 

Habitat management search engine

JNCC has developed a customised search engine, Habitat Management on the Web, which is designed to direct users to information about how to manage UK terrestrial and freshwater habitats for biodiversity conservation.

 

Annex I management models

The European Commission has published Management Models for Annex I Habitats, including some heathland examples. Each document includes information on the distribution, ecological requirements of the habitat, main trends and threats. Relevant management actions and prescriptions are described in detail. Main constraints, risks and modifiers of the proposed management have been also included. Finally, relevant parameters for cost estimates, cost estimate examples and potential sources of EU financing are illustrated.

 

Guidance on heathland burning management

Where heathland is managed by burning, it is important to observe the codes of practice produced by each country. These include: the English Heather and Grass Burning Code; the Welsh Heather and Grass Burning Code; and the Scottish Muirburn Code and Muirburn Guide to Best Practice.

 

Lowland heathland management for invertebrates

Buglife has produced guidance for the management of UK BAP priority habitats for invertebrates, including advice on Management of Lowland Heathland for Invertebrates.

 

Managing lowland heathland for reptiles

The Reptile Habitat Management Handbook, produced by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, brings together habitat management advice for all native UK reptiles – lowland heathland being a particularly important habitat for this group of species.

 

Managing heathland in the face of climate change

The 2008 National Heathland Conference reported on the latest developments in heathland management and science in terms of climate change, nutrient management, fire management, housing and development, and heathland interpretation.