Bringing together data on priority habitats for the first time to create a comprehensive GIS database to build a picture of their extent, condition and current management.
This project brings together habitat data for the first time to create a GIS database that will build a comprehensive picture of the extent, condition and current management of priority habitats in the Rusland Horizons scheme area.
Organisations and the local community will be able to use the data and maps to make land management decisions that will maintain and enhance the landscape and its wildlife.
Nationally, through Biodiversity 2020: A strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services, there is an emphasis on improving the quality and extent of priority habitats and building resilient ecological networks at a landscape scale. Mapping Wild Rusland is a pilot that we will use to develop an approach suitable for roll out across the National Park and Cumbria.
The project will:
1. Improve the awareness of the current extent, condition and management of important / priority habitat located within the scheme area.
2. Benefit the biodiversity of the area through better targeting of nature conservation initiatives.
3. Explore how the local community value their local environment to help shape and prioritise future action.
4. Pilot an integrated approach to strengthening both ecological resilience and the landscape character features of the scheme area which make it unique.
5. Help farmers with submission of applications to Countryside Stewardship as existing agreements expire. In particular, the ability to view the spatial data across multiple land holdings may increase the possibility of successful agri-environment scheme applications in the future.