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Action Plan:  Habitats
Farmland, Grassland and Heathland
Lowland Heathland
UK Lead Organisation:
Natural England
 
County Lead Organisation:
N/A
 
 
Objectives
  • Maintain the existing important areas of lowland heathland by encouraging appropriate management.
  • Restore degraded areas of lowland heathland by promoting appropriate management.
  • Increase the amount of lowland heathland in appropriate areas by creation and re-creation.

Policy
  • Ensure any examples of lowland heathland that meet the required criteria are given SBI status. (SBI Grading Committee) 
  • Ensure appropriate lowland heathland sites meeting the SSSI criteria are designated. (NE)
  • Seek changes in Common Land Legislation to enable grazing re-introduction. (SWMHP)
  
Protection
  • 63% of all Staffordshire heathlands by area are currently notified as SSSIs.
  • A number of sites containing unimproved lowland acidic grassland have been classified as Grade 1 SBIs.
  • Protective and enhancement policies for heathland have been included within statutory local plans etc.
  • Lowland Heathland has been listed as a costed, key habitat in the UK Steering Group Report.
 
Management, Monitoring, Research and Survey
  • Seek to restore and create further areas of lowland heathland in appropriate areas. (Developers, FoM, DEFRA,  Landowners)
  • Target heathland creation in restoration plans for mineral workings, landfill sites and within commercial forestry in appropriate places. (Mineral Companies, Landfill Companies, FE)
  • Liaise with leisure interest groups to incorporate heathland conservation into their site management or to re-direct their activities to more robust locations. (SWMHP) 
  • Ensure all heathland management plans include a consideration of sustainability issues and fire protection. (SWMHP)
  • Seek to re-introduce grazing on all local authority owned heathland using appropriate breeds by 2005. (SWMHP)
  • Seek to ensure all heathlands with management plans that are eligible for Environmental Stewardship are entered into the scheme. (SWMHP, DEFRA)
  • Encourage restoration of heathland on publicly owned land with surviving heathy fragments such as for example re-establishment of heathland from encroaching scrub. (SWMHP)
  • Liaise with forestry landholders to restore heathland from coniferous woodland. (SWMHP)
 
Advisory
  • Advise on heathland management and restoration. (SWMHP)
  • Promote the biodiversity and landscape value of heathland to the public and landowners. (SWMHP, SBAP Partnership)
  • Maintain ongoing liaison with relevant agencies to ensure best practice in heathland management and re-creation. (SWMHP)
 
Further Information
 
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