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Workshop: Landscape Character and Biodiversity

10th May 2005
Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester, M1 3BB

Download workshop proceedings PDF (402kB)

There is a growing awareness of the importance of landscape scale processes and patterns for biodiversity. Furthermore, biodiversity is now recognised as an important aspect of the cultural landscape and a key contributor to health and well being. This workshop provided an opportunity to explore the methods and outcomes of projects that have used Landscape Character Assessment to help deliver landscape scale benefits for biodiversity and for people.

It is now recognised that Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) cannot be maintained in favourable condition if they exist as isolated sites. Many species inhabit mosaics of habitats across wide areas and depend upon well connected patches of semi-natural habitat in the landscape for feeding, nesting and shelter. The appreciation of landscape scale functions and processes has resulted in a move away from site-based conservation towards a landscape scale approach.

Biodiversity in English landscapes has been shaped over millennia by a complex set of social, historical and economic factors operating against a varied physical background. Future landscapes that are rich in biodiversity will only be achieved with the involvement of all stakeholders. There is a need to understand and communicate biodiversity at the landscape scale and Landscape Character Assessment is an important tool to meet this need.

The workshop provided the opportunity to find out about existing examples of landscape scale approaches to improving biodiversity. The workshop also demonstrated how Landscape Character Assessment has been used to increase understanding of biodiversity at the landscape scale, to assist biodiversity planning and to facilitate the active involvement of diverse partners and communities.

The Countryside AgencyEnglish Nature

Philip James
, The University of Salford:
Chair and introduction

Jonathan Porter, Countryscape:
'Landscape and biodiversity working together'

Stephen Preston, English Nature:
'Emerging visions of England - whither or wither Natural Areas?'

Chris Bolton, Defra RDS:
'Biodiversity and Agri-environment Schemes - sitting comfortably?'

Craig Blackwell, Oxfordshire County Council:
'Oxfordshire wildlife and landscape study'

Jess Allen, Herefordshire Council
'Herefordshire Lifescapes: grass roots and great crested newts'

Rebekah Newman, Peak District National Park Authority
'The Peak District National Park Authority’s Vision for Wildlife Project'