Habitat management

Wildflower meadow (c) Lena Dixon

Introduction

This DEFRA – funded project developed ‘user-friendly’ habitat management information on 32 BAP Priority Habitats in England.

Summaries of habitat management advice for 32 UK BAP priority habitats are now available. These guides contain essential information to enable the practical conservation of invertebrate species associated with each habitat.

Conserving threatened habitats

Britain’s countryside has been shaped and influenced by man over time, but many of the traditional practices responsible for maintaining it have ceased, resulting in a loss of important wildlife habitats. Targeted habitat management is therefore vital to maintain the diversity and richness of our most important sites.

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan was launched in 1994 to implement Britain’s commitment to conserve, protect and enhance biological diversity under the Convention of Biological Diversity signed in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Since then, a number of habitats and species have been identified as priorities for conservation action and Action Plans have been drawn up for the most threatened.

Invertebrates have often been neglected in land management, but they are of critical importance to the health of our countryside. Recent surveys have shown alarming declines in the numbers of insects such as moths and this has undoubtedly had a serious knock-on effect on other wildlife such as birds and bats. For instance, the plummeting population of house sparrows – 58% in the past twenty years – has been attributed to a lack of summer insects. If we are to restore life to the countryside it is essential that landowners and land managers have the right information to enable them to manage their land sympathetically for invertebrates.

Buglife: Promoting improved habitat management

Buglife has worked with many of the leading national experts to develop understanding of the habitat requirements of invertebrates associated with the 32 Biodiversity Action Plan Priority habitats. Information has been collated on habitat management requirements for a number of invertebrate groups ranging from millipedes (Myriapoda) and snails (Mollusca) to lacewings (Neuroptera), ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and bees (Hymenoptera).

This information is now available to everyone with an interest in land management and nature conservation. To view a summary of this information online, please click on a habitat name on the right.

(c) Steven Falk

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