A study to develop the scope for monitoring landscape-scale biodiversity impacts of agri-environment schemes in England. Final report for LM0457

Staley, J.T.; Siriwardena, G.M.; Smart, S.M.; O'Connor, R.S.; Henderson, I.G.; Jarvis, S.K.; Jones, N.; Freeman, S.N.; Redhead, J.W.; Carvell, C.; Hallam, C.; Jitlal, M.. 2016 A study to develop the scope for monitoring landscape-scale biodiversity impacts of agri-environment schemes in England. Final report for LM0457. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs / Natural England, 168pp.

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Agri-environment schemes (AES) are the most significant mechanism to deliver environmental policy within England, and include the new Countryside Stewardship (CS) AES launched in 2016. Previous studies of AES have found mixed evidence for effects on biodiversity, and have largely focussed on responses of wildlife taxa within individual AES options or agreements, with a few assessments of effects at the landscape or national scale where possible. Here, we present the findings of a study to scope approaches to monitoring biodiversity responses to AES at a landscape scale in England, specifically considering impacts beyond farm or agreement boundaries. The objectives of this study were to: 1) Review the evidence for key species groups, focussing on landscape-scale studies where available, to collate information on (i) the strength and type of evidence for responses to AES (ii) field survey techniques, (iii) habitat and landscape variables shown to influence the response of taxa to AES interventions and (iv) existing monitoring schemes that could contribute to landscape-scale AES monitoring. 2) Consult stakeholders on: (i) which species groups to include in the evidence review, (ii) the relevant spatial and temporal scales for monitoring a range of taxa, (iii) appropriate field survey techniques, (iv) the use of volunteers for AES monitoring and (iv) broader comments around landscape-scale monitoring of AES effects. 3) Develop a score for level of AES intervention on potential study units within National Character Areas (NCAs), and test the use of NCAs as landscape units for landscape-scale monitoring. 4) Design a species monitoring strategy, including detailed field survey protocols, a framework to assess AES implementation, estimates of the replication required and indicative costs for landscape-scale monitoring of AES effects. 5) Scope analytical approaches to quantify the relationship between the extent of AES intervention and the responses of taxa at local and landscape scales, and including AES implementation success and key habitat variables. Consider the possible role of predictive modelling to scale up beyond those landscape areas monitored for responses to AES.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
Funders/Sponsors: Natural England, Defra
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Freely available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 12 Oct 2018 11:51 +0 (UTC)

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