Developing Nature Improvement Areas in Warwickshire – bigger, better and connected
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Developing Nature Improvement Areas in Warwickshire – bigger, better and connected Local Wildlife Sites and Connectivity Mapping. Chris Talbot Biodiversity Project Manager Warwickshire Habitat Biodiversity Audit. Local Wildlife Sites.

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Chris Talbot Biodiversity Project Manager Warwickshire Habitat Biodiversity Audit

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Developing Nature Improvement Areas in Warwickshire – bigger, better and connectedLocal Wildlife Sites and Connectivity Mapping

Chris Talbot

Biodiversity Project Manager

Warwickshire Habitat Biodiversity Audit

Local Wildlife Sites

  • Areas carefully identified and selected for their special wildlife habitats - ‘County importance’

  • The best natural places in everyone’s neighbourhood – ‘Local’

  • Form a network of our most valuable urban and rural areas for the natural environment

  • Complementary to statutory designations such as SSSIs and LNRs

  • Afforded protection through the planning system

    (but non-statutory)

  • Perform a crucial role in protecting our natural environment

Statutory wildlife sites in Warwickshire

  • 13 Local Nature Reserves (LNR’s)

  • 57 SSSI’s

  • 1 Special Area of Conservation (SAC) - Ensor’s Pool

    Collectively cover 0.7% Warwickshire sub-region

    National figure is 6.8%

    Local Wildlife Sites cover 2.71% Warwickshire sub-region

Warwickshire Local Wildlife Sites project

  • Guidance for Non-Statutory Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) in Warwickshire - May 1998

  • formalised into the Local Wildlife Sites Project (LWSP) as part of the HBA in 2000

  • range in size from less than 1 hectare to over 120 hectares

  • cover 13 wildlife habitat types from canals to woodland and scrub

  • include churchyards, road verges, ponds, meadows, disused railway lines, orchards, rivers, quarries etc..

  • occur on publicly and privately owned land, urban and rural

  • Incorporated into the LBAP habitat plans

Proportion of Local Sites in positive conservation management – defra2012

Tame Valley Local Wildlife Sites

CoombeAbbey Local Wildlife Site SP37Z2

  • Designated 21/09/2010

  • Area 51.45 ha

  • Habitats:

    • Wet woodlands

    • Dry woodlands

    • Acid grasslands

    • Neutral grassland

    • Open water

  • Rare Flora

    • Sanicle

    • Large Bittercress

    • Hard shield-fern

    • Narrow Buckler-fern

    • Black Poplar

  • Rare Fauna

    • Spotted Flycatcher

    • Marsh Tit

    • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

    • Beeflies

    • Nomad Bees

Grange Farm Moat Meadows LWS

Dordon Spoil Heap LWS

Wappenbury Wood LWS




  • Warwickshire’s habitat

  • Connectivity mapping

  • Joint project WBRC, York University and HBA - 2011

  • Woodlands

  • Hedgerows

  • Grasslands

  • Wetlands

Connectivity modelling

  • Designed for highly fragmented habitats

  • Applied to different types of habitat e.g. woodlands, grasslands, wetlands.

  • Key components of the model are the quality, size, shape and type of patch (habitat)

  • Requires GIS mapping to extract habitat data and interpret results

  • LWS information and Phase 1 habitat mapping is ideally suited to applying the model because of the detail and quality of the data

Applying connectivity

Identifying strategic areas for wildlife – forward planning

  • Incorporating connectivity into local plans – Lawton report recommendations

  • Delivering Living Landscapes initiatives through habitat connectivity

  • Individual species connectivity e.g. bats, butterflies, dormice, water voles etc.

The LawtonReport

  • Bigger

  • Better

  • Connected

  • Put the

  • Right Habitat

  • in the

  • Right Place

Making Space for Nature: a review of England’s wildlife sites and ecological networks: defra 2010

Incorporating connectivity mapping into local plans

  • Stratford-on-Avon District Council- Ecological Study of Local Service Villages July 2012

  • Warwick District Council - Landscape Sensitivity and Ecological & Geological Study November 2013

  • Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council – Ecology and Geodiversity Assessment April 2014

Delivering living landscapes initiativesPrincethorpe project

Conservation measures

  • hedgerow gap reduction and hedge row creation

  • tree plantation - infilling

Species connectivity: Barbastelle bat study Whichford Wood

Conservation measures

retention and management of key woodlands, flight-lines and foraging areas

hedgerow creation - connectivity

small linear woods

field margins

wet meadows


  • Local wildlife sites make a valuable contribution to wildlife conservation in Warwickshire

  • They do require protection where ever possible

  • Difficult to determine their condition and continuing management for wildlife

  • Good habitat data and connectivity mapping is the basis for delivering living landscapes

  • LWS are the building blocks for living landscapes

  • More research opportunities and applications in applying connectivity

Thank you

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