The intent of this site is to measure the feasibleness of the reintroduction of preservation graze as a direction option for Odiham Common, Hampshire. It presents an overview of the Common, provides an penetration into other UK sites where preservation graze is taking topographic point, reviews possible biodiversity impacts, croping governments and the practical challenges of environmental direction of a multipurpose site where there is considerable resistance to graze.
A personal position will be presented refering preservation graze, giving a balanced overview of the position, home ground and preservation concerns, whilst recognizing recreational and entree demands.
The issue is presented in an accessible manner for a assortment of stakeholders including: occupants, Walkers, Equus caballus riders, Canis familiaris Walkers and local groups. To inform and act upon those opposed to conservation croping about its benefits and the possibility of a partial, well-managed reintroduction.
East of England Grazing Forum
Represented by industry and preservation organic structures to turn to undergrazing and grassland direction.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www.grazingforum.co.uk/
Hampshire County Council ( Hampshire Heathland Project )
Local authorities undertaking integrating graze as a signifier of direction.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www3.hants.gov.uk/biodiversity/environment-biodiversity-landmanagement/heathland.htm
Health and Safety Executive
Cattle and public entree in England and Wales counsel.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ais17ew.pdf
Government adviser on the natural environment supplying practical advice and guaranting sustainable stewardship – grants and funding information.
hypertext transfer protocol: //www.naturalengland.org.uk/grantsfunding/findagrant/default.aspx
Benefits on environment
Figure 13: Tormentil ( Potentilla erecta ) is the exclusive pollen beginning for the Oligolectic bee ( Andrena tarsata ) which requires sufficient flowers to last.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust with experience of preservation croping maintain that it is good as farm animal consume immature trees supplying unwooded countries for rare species ; droppings available for insects ; stalwart strains digest unsmooth flora and churn up land for wildflower seeds to colonize and insects to burrow17/22.
An independent study of UK cattle-grazed forests ( FAQs ) indicates that croping supports nature preservation and enhances biodiversity as low denseness graze reduces dominant workss and Pteridium esculentum, and creates regeneration niches for a wider assortment of flora, invertebrates and birds. The study revealed that at 83 % of sites the aims of croping were fulfilled, and where this was non the instance it was attributable to inappropriate carrying densenesss or presence of other big herbivores4.
These indorsements and studies reflect experience of croping across a scope of home grounds by a assortment of administrations, and indicate that appropriate graze can be adapted to accommodate most state of affairss. The tabular array below gives a favorable contemplation of croping in comparing with other direction options5.
Case surveies and advice
The undermentioned instance surveies and croping administrations have been selected as they address different issues and show the potency of preservation graze as an environmentally sustainable option.
Hook Common: a local site grazed by common mans ‘ animate beings. Fencing restored with Gatess to protect entree. Horse riders, ramblers and locals consulted during implementation22.
Sheffield Wildlife Trust: similar contention environing the recreational impact. Grazing was successfully introduced under the undermentioned guidelines: no bulls or cattles with calves ; Canis familiariss and Equus caballuss introduced to cattle offsite ; information about the principle behind graze ; independent impact and hazard appraisals. The populace appreciated the presence of cowss and the nexus to farming23.
Petersham Meadows ( National Trust ) : free scope croping herd popular with locals and protected by the Petersham Trust. Moveable electric fence installed but opposed because of the ocular impact, uneven graze and as no old struggles experienced24-25.
Hazeley Heath: similar home ground and SSSI position. A feasibleness survey suggests croping as the preferable option and covers the wildlife impact, croping government, entree issues and public perceptions5.
Wessex Conservation Grazing: manage a scope of sites and supply a sustainable graze government to run into wildlife preservation aims and regulations26.
Forestry Commission Scotland: Woodland Grazing Toolbox – advice and information on optimal degree of croping to heighten biodiversity and safeguard cultural heritage21.
Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust: provides appraisal, monitoring, preparation and suited ponies for preservation graze. Tor View Moor is an illustration of the immediate impact and betterment of flora structure27-28.
Croping Animals Undertaking: aids croping directors with sustainable land direction systems and bringing of biodiversity targets29.
Support for preservation graze appears to be chiefly from preservation bureaus and associated administrations and the benefits are obliging. However, many factors including unsuitable fence, entree issues, hazards from farm animal and intuitions of outside intercession can take away from the virtues of croping. Consideration of preservation croping hence requires dialogue of the associated environmental, societal and political issues to achieve preservation and recreational aims.
Successful graze undertakings elsewhere indicate that preservation graze is a feasible option in many state of affairss and can be adapted as site specific solutions. Further tests at Odiham Common alongside professional aid, ongoing appraisal, participatory direction procedures and job resolution are pre-requisites to measure and re-introduce preservation graze in this country.
Consultation and communicating
Communication and audience methods would ease execution of preservation graze to prosecute and include the public in treatment, planning and execution. Liaison with croping direction administrations is recommended on appropriate graze governments to run into aims, habitat suitableness and turn toing struggles of involvement and objections30.
The Council ‘s purposes of informing the local community through meetings, newssheets, consultative and ‘friends ‘ groups would be valuable for all parties, every bit good as involvement yearss and encouraging local voluntary involvement7/30.
Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )
What is the significance of SSSI position?
Sites of Particular Scientific Interest preserve valuable wildlife and geological sites and supply legal protection. Natural England notify, buttocks and supervise the status of sites. SSSIs provide cultural, modulating and purveying ecosystem services37-38.
Back: [ [ The home ground of Odiham Common ] ] hypertext transfer protocol: //www.sssi.naturalengland.org.uk/Special/sssi/index.cfm
What information does the Survey of Cattle-Grazed Woodlands supply?
The study was conducted at 105 sites by site directors and visits and covered: intent of graze, carrying governments and seasons, strains, cowss behaviour, tree regeneration, croping force per unit area, shoping penchants and flora. Reasons for graze: nature preservation or agribusiness production with the differences due to set down ownership4.
The Common has been recorded as a common grazing land since 1280 and registered as common land since 193612. The freehold of the Common passed to the Council ‘s predecessor in 19452.
Common rights are registered under the Commons Registration Regulations 1968 and include proviso for graze, with regular graze by common mans ‘ farm animal until the mid twentieth century7/12.
The Commons Act 2006 aims for more sustainable direction by common mans and landowners12. The Secretary of State and local authorization have responsibility to farther preservation and enhancement2.
Croping tests and applications
1998 Application by Hart District Council for consent to fence northeast country for croping for a 5 twelvemonth experimental period granted. It was dumbly wooded but parts were cleared by coppicing and felling2/7.
1998 Council entered into a Country Stewardship Agreement implementing an sanctioned direction program with grants for fence, coppicing and croping endorsed by English Nature2.
1999-2000 Grazing by ponies and farm animal with electric fencing around the southern hayfield and forest graze by cowss during early summer4. Due to high rainfall and pes and oral cavity disease, the full ecological benefits non realised. The inspector ‘s appraisal was that the experimental period was excessively short2.
2002-2003 Hart District Council applied for consent to fence the common on a lasting footing to ease grazing7. An enquiry rejected the application for damaging consequence on visual aspect and entree and inconclusive benefit to nature preservation. Extension of period for impermanent fence advised2/12.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Trust: graze provides a mosaic of flora growing and structural diversity17. With experience in pull offing wood grazing lands they consider that rare home ground saving is dependent upon grazing2.
National Trust: graze indispensable and the lone option that will reconstruct and sustainably keep wood grazing land and cultural graze heritage. Hay cropping requires wake croping to keep biological diversity18-19.
RSPB: recommend low strength graze for heathland with rare genteelness birds, and back it for most cases5.
Royal Agricultural Society of England: croping a cost effectual, natural and efficient direction system for biodiversity preservation, and farm animal can add to the populace ‘s grasp of a site20.
Forestry Commission Scotland: graze improves woodland regeneration, biodiversity and cultural heritage21.
Stakeholders who are non to the full supportive conclude that betterment is necessary and suggest croping tests on little areas19.
Expostulations to preservation graze
Those opposing croping include locals, Equus caballus riders, Canis familiaris Walkers, Odiham Parish Council. Odiham Common Preservation Society and occupants ‘ associations2. Reasons for resistance include tree clearance cut downing home grounds, of import trees and the noise barrier to busy roads2. Cattle are deemed to be a menace to Walkers, Canis familiariss and route users and do rutting of waies and marshy ground2. There is more resistance to fencing than croping as it restricts public rights of manner and entree to woodland and split meadows19. Fencing has besides been considered a move towards managed and de-registered common2. It is claimed that historical graze was non that extended ; the Common was good run before the SSSI imposed ; the experimental strategy insufficient ; and fiscal motive a factor in its reintroduction2. Alternate options are besides available such as hay meadows2.
The Inspector ‘s Report ( 2003 ) rejected the application for lasting fence as no baseline ecological study conducted prior to croping, no grounds of old croping being a success, entree troubles, over-felling, waterlogged land ( H2O tabular array rise due to removal of trees ) and harm to trails2. Those opposed to croping on the Common refer to debasement and struggle between animate beings and prosaic entree at other local sites ( Bastley Heath, North Warnborough ) 18. These issues are of import and must be taken into consideration for future tests or reintroduction.
An appraisal of site conditions, public usage, rights of manner and suited stock are the first phases of execution. Before a grazing test or lasting reintroduction commences, a croping test license must be obtained and permission granted for fencing common land from the Secretary of State for the Environment. Whilst lasting margin fence and shepherding provide free scope graze and assistance handiness, impermanent fence is more appropriate and acceptable for this site10. Liability insurance is required31 and funding available from the English Nature Wildlife Enhancement Scheme and Countryside Stewardship Scheme5.
Successful execution requires adept counsel to fit strains with home ground demands and preservation objectives32. Hardy strains of farm animal ( Exmoor ponies or Galloway cowss ) at low denseness for the forest, and cowss, ponies or sheep for the hayfields are recommended in the Council ‘s bill of exchange plan10. The consideration of continuance and timing33 of croping to accommodate the stock and flora and monitoring and motion of stock necessity to forestall overgrazing34.
Croping force per unit area and carrying denseness should be less for nature preservation state of affairss and higher for scrub control and bar of regeneration as tree regeneration and sapling denseness diminution with increased grazing4. Initial clearance of forest in readying for farm animal and rotational scalloped cutting of forest borders for wildlife re-colonisation is advisable13.
To understate struggles between stock and worlds, Canis familiariss and Equus caballuss, the off-site preparation of stock and instruction to cover with contact with animate beings can be implemented23/35. Information on preservation graze, entree paths and exigency contact and electric fence marks are public consciousness requirements35. The continual appraisal of impacts and ecological recording with possible voluntary aid is critical to supervise attainment of marks.
At times croping may take away from other biodiversity aims ( e.g. seedling regeneration ) or turn out unsuitable for the conditions36. Other options such as mowing and mechanical clearance may be preferred or at least until farther tests are conducted.
The undertaking covers the environmental direction options for Odiham Common concentrating on the possible reintroduction of preservation graze. The site contains rare home grounds and species and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest presently at risk1. The Common is capable to ordinances that involve a responsibility to farther preservation enhancement2, and historical administration and graze tests lay the foundations for future determinations. There are struggles over entree rights which undermine recreational precedences that need to be addressed in croping programs.
Benefits of preservation graze
Conservation graze is the resurgence of a traditional land direction method which conserves and enhances biodiversity to counter the loss of home grounds and species caused by intensification of agriculture3. A assortment of preservation and associated administrations endorse graze and these sentiments are substantiated by local and national surveies.
Resistance and challenges
Local expostulation to croping on the Common consists of resistance to fence, loss of trees, menaces from cowss, direction rights and the result of recent croping trials2.
Management options and instance surveies
Case surveies and counsel from croping administrations demonstrate the possible benefits for preservation in different contexts and cover public entree, fencing issues, croping schemes and public perceptual experiences. Surveies at other croping sites reveal that preservation aims are attained and croping comparisons favorably to other direction options4-5. Successful reintroduction requires a participatory procedure of audience and communicating in add-on to readying and practical execution steps suited to cultural and preservation aims. In decision, the feasibleness of successful preservation croping solutions is dependent upon monitoring, tests and run intoing legitimate concerns with feasible solutions.
Odiham Common has multiple recreational chances including: guided walks, drives, walking, cultural and historical involvement such as the Hunting Lodge, a picturesque lake and wildlife. Proposed hereafter usage includes orienteering, usage by young person groups and older people, and improved environmental instruction initiatives7. The preservation croping scheme demands to be appropriate for the hereafter usage of the site so that it remains accessible and balances wildlife precedences with diversion and instruction.
The home ground of Odiham Common
Odiham Common is located in North Hampshire ‘s Lowland Heath Character Area consisting wood grazing land and meadows12. It is one of the few illustrations of wood grazing land outside the New Forest and a Site of Special Scientific Interest ( SSSI ) ( FAQs ) hosting rare vegetations and zoologies including ancient forest index species1.
A recent entomological study reveals that much of the forest is badly overgrown. The decrease in canopy screen from storm harm and tree clearance without croping leads to development of birch undercover at the disbursal of more desirable forest land vegetations and zoologies which is restricted by deficiency of light13.
The SSSI position of the wood grazing land ( Unit 2 ) is ‘unfavourable retrieving ‘ with deficit of unfastened infinite and structural diverseness, veteran trees under force per unit area from environing trees, and lessening in species diversity14-15. A suited graze and cutting government to better this status is recommended16.
The Common ‘s southern hayfields have historically been grazed, although non for many old ages apart from recent tests. Without a suited signifier of direction, coarser grasses, brambles, chaparral and trees dominate taking to the loss of flower, insect and bird diverseness. Natural England urge wake croping following cutting in late summer/autumn7/16.
The Council, as site proprietor, has a responsibility to farther preservation and sweetening of vegetations, zoologies and geological features2.
The undertaking issue
Conservation graze is a traditional signifier of direction sing a resurgence as a sustainable method of conserving and bettering biodiversity. It is promoted by administrations such as Natural England but can be perceived as a agency of enforcing their ain aims without sufficient consideration of local precedences, habitat suitableness and entree.
The direction of Odiham Common has been raised in Odiham Society newssheets with mention to the Council ‘s Management Plan, its recreational and preservation demands and the combative issue of the reintroduction of grazing6-7.
The undertaking intent is to turn to the preservation benefits and unfavorable judgments of croping for Odiham Common. It will use instance surveies, studies and direction methods provided by croping specializers to measure the usage of preservation graze as a sustainable method of heightening home ground and biodiversity.
The issue encompasses a scope of environmental concerns including: preservation, biodiversity, land direction, ecosystem equilibrium, administration, sustainability and the societal dimensions of environmental
What is preservation croping?
Historical graze has been instrumental in the development of semi-natural habitats8. Traditional signifiers of agribusiness have produced ecosystems rich in biodiversity with complex interactions between croping animate being and works life ; nevertheless, modern intensive agriculture has reduced this variety3. Conservation graze is a method of grassland and wood grazing land direction, leting rarer workss, invertebrates, little mammals and birds to diversify8.
Mechanical methods of land direction clearance can be excessively drastic, cut downing the handiness of suited home ground to enable wildlife to go on to boom. For illustration, hay hayfields that are cut support fewer insects compared with grazed grazing lands which give all twelvemonth unit of ammunition flowering9. Grazing is environmentally sustainable as it reduces the demand for mechanical clearance of scrub10. Conservation croping enables species to re-establish as flora is removed more bit by bit. It promotes species-rich home grounds and maintains biodiversity, construction and composing every bit good as openness and entree by stamp downing harsh grasses and woody plants11. Cattle treading the forest or hayfield land create niches enabling seeds to germinate11.