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The environmental effectiveness of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme; resurveying the baseline agreement monitoring sample to quantify change between 2009 and 2016. Full technical final report

Staley, J.T.; Lobley, M.; McCracken, M.E.; Chiswell, H.; Redhead, J.W.; Smart, S.M.; Pescott, O.L.; Jitlal, M.; Amy, S.R.; Dean, H.J.; Ridding, L.; Broughton, R.; Mountford, J.O.. 2018 The environmental effectiveness of the Higher Level Stewardship scheme; resurveying the baseline agreement monitoring sample to quantify change between 2009 and 2016. Full technical final report. Defra, 283pp. (Natural England Project no. ECM 6937, CEH Project no. C05610)

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Abstract/Summary

Agri-environment schemes (AES) are one of the most significant mechanism for delivering environmental policy within England, both in terms of expenditure and coverage of land. AES are multi-objective, primarily addressing conservation of wildlife, landscapes and the historic environment and providing public access as well as addressing broader environmental issues such as climate change and flood management. This project contributes to evaluation of the Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) AES, which was designed to achieve the highest standards of environmental management and target features of the greatest conservation value, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). Monitoring is a key element of scheme delivery in order to assess the efficacy of AES, and determine which factors contribute to successful AES outcomes. Here, we resurveyed a sample of HLS agreements (surveyed 6-7 years previously), to assess environmental outcomes and in particular change in plant communities over time in relation to AES management. The assessment of change over time allowed the effects of AES management to be quantified against defined objectives, as opposed to drawing conclusions from a single assessment where the conservation value of land entered into an AES can be confounded with AES management effects.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
CEH Fellows
Additional Pages: Appendicies
Funders/Sponsors: Natural England
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Official URL link provides further project information and full-text links. The non-technical summary report is also attached to this record.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 27 Sep 2019 11:28 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/525132

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