Natural England - Research projects

Research projects

We are primarily interested in operational research that addresses key questions for our delivery and where there is a specific knowledge gap. Our research programme focuses on evidence related to our outcomes, or develops and designs approaches to improve our evidence gathering.

Research programmes that significantly influence Natural England's work include Defra-funded research to develop agri-environment scheme options, species recovery research; health and the natural environment and research to support the development of Marine Protected Areas.

This year we are undertaking the Upland Evidence Review. This will review the evidence available on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the uplands, and the impact of land management activities upon them.

Subject: Access and engagement | Biodiveristy | Climate Change | Ecosystem approach | Land management | Landscape, Historic Environment and Geodiversity | Marine | Sustainable land use

Access and engagement

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0419Accessible green space: map based evidenceNatural England holds data on c80% of accessible land. This project aims to combine data held across Natural England in a consistent way; clean data; assess the actual coverage; identify where there are data gaps and assess the potential to make data available to share with partners. The project will also develop applications for the evidence base including: analysis to present visual evidence relating to green space and health; deprivation and other indices; monitoring to measure the provision of green space; and assessment of using data/maps to support a calculator/tool for local communities. The outputs will be a report and maps on WebMap.
  • Spatial data (30/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £3,000.00
Rachel Penny

Biodiversity

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0085Action for Birds in England: English seabird numbers and productivity - Herring Gull, Balearic Shearwater and TernsTo monitor numbers and productivity of birds at important seabird colonies in England which are not included within the national Seabird Monitoring Programme. These datasets are used by regions to assess site condition and by partners and Natural England to report on the status of the seabirds of both England and UK levels. To determine the causes of adverse trends in S41 seabird numbers or productivity and to identify management or other solutions to reverse these trends. Project on-going until 2015. Project in partnership with RSPB and part of Action for Birds In England (AfBiE).Andrew Brown
RP0091Action for Birds in England: corn bunting solution testingTesting of new management solutions for corn buntings in arable landscapes across eastern England. Project on-going until 2014. In summer of 2012 corn bunting breeding activity was monitored in seventeen grass plots and seventeen experimental double-drilled cereal strip pairs / singles, plus adjacent fields. Project in partnership with RSPB and part of Action for Birds in England (AfBiE).

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
Phil Grice
RP0261Determining historic ecological conditions in lowland rivers: applying palaeoecological techniques to river restoration planning (NERC CASE PhD)River restoration needs to be underpinned by an understanding of how biological communities have changed as a result of physical habitat modifications and how they would benefit from restoration measures. This project will characterise contemporary and historical faunas in lowland river SSSIs in relation to physical habitat modification. The results will be used to help underpin restoration efforts on river SSSIs and other rivers. NERC CASE PhD student: Emma Seddon, Loughborough University.
  • PhD thesis (30/09/2012)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £6,000.00
Chris Mainstone
RP0262The role of nutrients and hydrological disturbance in determining the status of attached algal communities in rivers (NERC CASE PhD)Strategic monitoring, experimental manipulations and modelling to clarify how nutrient availability interacts with other environmental factors in influencing algal growth in rivers. The work will be used in future refinements to the definition of nutrient targets for controlling eutrophication impacts on river SSSIs and SACs, and for informing views on the wider river network in relation to the Water Framework Directive and the UK BAP. NERC CASE PhD student: Rosie Law, Lancaster University.
  • PhD thesis (30/09/2012)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £6,000.00
Chris Mainstone
RP0294The ecology of hen harriers outside the breeding season (PhD)The hen harrier is a Red-listed Bird of Conservation Concern and an EBS S41 species. Little is known of the whereabouts of individual birds outside the breeding season, nor of the ecology of English-breeding birds at this time of year. This project explores the movements, habitat selection, survivorship and fate of radio- and satellite-tagged hen harriers of known breeding provenance. Natural England-funded PhD student: Stephen Murphy, John Moores University, Liverpool.
  • PhD thesis (31/03/2014)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £10,230.00
Stephen Murphy
RP0295Are the population dynamics of seabirds in the west of Britain driven by climate change? (PhD)Seabird populations are changing very rapidly across the UK. This study will disentangle the effects of climate change (and consequent changes in plankton and fish populations) and other changes, including fishing effort, in driving the population dynamics of seabirds nesting in south-western Britain. NERC/Sir Alistair Hardy Foundation PhD student: Valentina Lauria, Plymouth University.
  • PhD thesis (01/09/2012)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £9,000.00
Andrew Brown
RP0296Impacts of climate and land use change on the UK cuckoo population (PhD)To disentangle the effects of climate in different forms of land use, and focus on the key mechanisms affecting the cuckoo population in the UK, and the implications of future change. This long-term project is a combination of long-term data, field observation, experimentation and modelling. The results will guide Natural England and RSPB in developing appropriate mitigation measures for this iconic species. Natural England/RSPB funded PhD student: Chloe Denerley, Aberdeen University.
  • PhD thesis (01/10/2012)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
Phil Grice
RP0305Bats and roofing membranes (PhD)(1) To gain an understanding of the impacts of the use of breathable membranes on bat roosts where these occur in roofs and (2) to disseminate findings and recommendations as a guidance document for use by both the building industry and conservation organisations. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council/Natural England/Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments (TSBE)/Bat Conservation Trust PhD student: Stacey Waring, Reading University.
  • PhD thesis (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £10,000.00
Katherine Walsh
RP0374Action for Birds in England: turtle doveThe turtle dove is a red-listed bird of conservation concern and a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species which has declined by 89% in the period 1970-2008. This is a project to research optimal land management solutions for turtle doves. Prior research has indicated that the provision of seed rich habitats during the breeding season delivered through agri-environment schemes would be the key measure for recovering the species, this project will investigate this and trial optimal land management solutions. Project in partnership with RSPB and part of Action for Birds In England (AfBiE).
  • Natural England Technical Publication (29/03/2013)
  • Trial management of habitat or species (29/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £40,000.00
Phil Grice
RP0387Adder conservation geneticsTo investigate whether there are problems for small, isolated populations of adders due to genetic impoverishment. Project will involve field sampling, to collect DNA from small, possibly inbred populations and compare this with large, potentially outbred populations. Project in partnership with the Institute of Zoology and the University of Oxford, linking in with volunteers who have studied adders at a range of sites in England.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £8,000.00
Paul Edgar
RP0399Genetic investigations into threatened vascular flora and micro-propagationNatural England and the Royal Botanic Gardens aim to improve the knowledge of threatened plant population genetics and the propagation of endangered orchid species, pasque flower and whitebeam for reintroduction. Key objectives: (1) Study threatened plant populations to improve understanding of taxonomic relationships and the extent of functional or evolutionary significant units (to focus conservation strategies most appropriately). (2) Develop in-vitro techniques for propagation of threatened orchid taxa for which re-establishment work is currently impossible. Project in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew)
  • Trial management of habitat or species (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £50,000.00
Ian Taylor
RP0428Valuing biodiversity: developing criteria for use in biodiversity offsetting implementation and monitoringA key element of biodiversity offsetting schemes is a metric to measure biodiversity loss and gain. At its most basic a metric may simply be area but more complex measures are normally desirable. This project seeks to devise a metric applicable to the UK situation which, whilst being a practical to implement, also gives a good description of the biodiversity value of a site. This project is a CASE studentship with Essex university.
  • PhD thesis (30/09/2014)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £3,000.00
Adrian Jowitt
RP0459Conservation of the Croston worm Prostoma jenningsiA project to aid the recovery of the Croston worm, a nemertean worm globally endemic to the UK and at 1 site in Lancashire. The project will: 1. widen the taxonomic expertise which is currently founded in 1 retired academic; 2. re-survey the pool, establish water quality parameters; 3. raise the profile of this most unloved group of animals. A project in conjunction with Lancashire Wildlife trust & University of Lancaster Project extended by 1 year to re-double efforts to survey and find the species which is proving elusive. Same partners involved. November 2012 - 2 new Prostoma populations discovered in nearby pools!
  • Evidence published by a partner (29/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £2,000.00
David Heaver
RP0488Alchemilla - threatened Lady's mantlesTo assess the populations of these critical taxa to ensure conservation action is targeted to the right sites and to develop detailed management protocols for them. In partnership with Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI)
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £8,000.00
Ian Taylor
RP0493Lobarion lichen community survey and assessment of reasons for declineResurvey of known locations for species within the 'Lobarion' lichen community including species for which Britain has an International Responsibility. This will allow for the current status of these species to be assessed. The information will also help to assess the reasons for the decline of this community in recent decades. This is a 3 year project. In partnership with British Lichen Society.
  • Population and/or breeding data (Completed)
  • Population and/or breeding data (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £5,000.00
Mike Sutcliffe
RP0503Developing a conservation strategy for selected widespread Critically Endangered and Endangered vascular plantsA project to improve evidence-base for long list of threatened 'widespread declining' vascular plants listed on the UKBAP and S.41, to evaluate representation across protected sites network and to pinpoint key populations lying outside that network requiring conservation action. BSBI to collate data for agreed subset of the species covered by this project, passing to Plantlife for detailed analysis. Partnership with Botanical Society of the British Islesexternal link[www] (BSBI) and Plantlifeexternal link[www]
  • Other report/publication (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £48,560.00
Simon Leach
RP0509Pulsatilla vulgaris - Pasque flower - future options for the conservation of this species in EnglandTo collate most recent available records, including population counts, for all native extant sites. To summarise habitat condition and suitability of current management of these sites. To assess future options for conservation of pasqueflower in England, including recommendations for management of both existing and former sites. To explore role of assisted pollination and ex situ cultivation and re/introductions and augmentations across its historic range. To input to major project on ladscape-scale restoration of this species by Kew under Kew MoA. In partnership with Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI), included in BSBI MoA.
  • Peer-reviewed paper (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (22/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £2,100.00
Simon Leach
RP0519Lower Derwent valley: bird ringing and researchThe reserve is one of the top five sites in England for breeding waders of wet meadows. It is particularly important for snipe and ruff. The project involves ringing breeding curlew, redshank, lapwing and snipe and also breeding and wintering waterfowl and ruff. The information is used to help establish population changes, advise local management and landscape scale issues, and contributes to our knowledge nationally of certain species (eg quail). The data allows interpretation of international flyways and provides avian influenza assessment. Partnership with Huddleston and Jackson Ringing partnership, Fera, WWT, CCT.
  • Population and/or breeding data (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £1,000.00
Craig Ralston
RP0535Putting Plants on the Map: a data services/surveillance/monitoring MoA with the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI)This agreement sets out and delivers the botanical data services required by Natural England in support of vascular plant conservation in England. The Botanical Society of the British Islesexternal link[www]has a key role to play across a wide array of Natural England's botanical work, including species surveillance, UK Biodiversity Action Plan and the England Biodiverity Strategy implementation, species status assessments, targeting of conservation action in the wider countryside and reporting on the distribution and trends of threatened species. 2012-13 to include work on a major project to compile an England Red List.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £88,509.00
Simon Leach
RP0625Research into Hydrobia spp. populations of Scolt Head Island NNRLong standing research undertaken by University of Cambridge Zoology Dept. Dr Richard Barnes who is the leading international authority on these small, brackish-water snails. This work of Dr Barnes' is published regularly in scientific journals.
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (30/09/2012)
Michael Rooney
RP0627Carline thistle populations on Scolt Head Island NNRResearch undertaken by Animal & Plant Sciences Dept of the University of Sheffield into the carline thistle population on Scolt Head Island NNR. Occasional academic papers are published by Professor Mark Rees of Sheffield University in scientific journals.
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (31/12/2012)
Michael Rooney
RP0628Research into saltmarsh development, behaviour of dune 'washovers' and other aspects of coastal processes on Scolt Head Island NNRLong standing research undertaken by University of Cambridge Geography Dept into coastal change & natural processes on Scolt Head Island NNR, dating back to the 1920's. Occasional academic papers are published in scientific journals by Dr Tom Spencer.
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (31/03/2016)
Michael Rooney
RP0848Polygala amarella - survey of extant sites and review of its conservation status in EnglandCollation of existing data for Polygala amarella (dwarf milkwort) in Kent and Yorkshire, site surveys, assessment of habitat suitability and management recommendations to safeguard this rare and threatened species; also a review of the taxonomy of the species and the two varieties/subspecies (amara and austriaca), with revised threat assessments of each. The findings will be published as a report and subsequently a paper.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £5,000.00
Simon Leach
RP0855Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group - autecologicol reseach into the habitat requirements of the Barbastelle BatUndertake landscape-scale survey of barbastelle involving local communities, including radiotracking of colonies including the colony at Paston Great Barn NNR. Improved understanding of current distributiona and ecological requirements will allow more targeted action to be taken to conserve the species, both in Norfolk and across its UK range as a whole. The group was set up by NE and NT and includes a wide-range of partners including FC, NWT, RSPB as well as private landowners.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £2,500.00
Ash Murray
RP0860Fenn's and Whixall NNR: Soil analysisSoil chemistry analyses is required to inform the restoration and management needed to restore some of the fields within the NNR to bog or heathland.
  • Habitat creation, enhancement or protection (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £1,000.00
Joan Daniels
RP0864Derbyshire Dales NNR: River Lathkill low flows investigationThe River Lathkill has suffered for many years from low flows. Some reaches dry out completely in the spring/summer/autumn. Whilst its upper reaches might be considered to be winterbourne, its middle section has the morphology of a permanent river. Its middle section flows over old lead mines and we are investigating the direct associations here as well as at a wider catchment level. The project is linked to the condition of the river SSSI units and its SAC species (white-clawed crayfish and bullhead) which exist, or have existed, in the lower reaches.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £7,500.00
Kevin John Bull
RP0866Humberhead Peatlands NNR, Scarce Vapourer Survey and Autecological InvestigationsScarce Vapourer is a very rare BAP moth, restricted to the Humberhead Levels and Norfolk Broads, with only one Yorkshire record since 2010. The project will ascertain the current distribution of the moth within the NNR and surrounding areas, through larval searching and assembling of males to virgin females. Factors affecting the distribution and population of the species will be investigated, where possible.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £50.00
Julian Small
RP0867Humberhead Peatlands NNR, Survey and Research on Bembidion humerale and Curimposis nigritaBoth the Thorne Pin-palp Beetle (Bembidion humerale) and the Mire Pill-beetle (Curimposis nigrita) are found only in the UK on the Humberhead Peatlands NNR, and it's immediate surrounds. This project will enable us to understand the distribution of the species on the NNR, their habitat requirements and ensure that we can secure sustainable populations in the face of the site changing as it moves towards favourable condition.Julian Small
RP0894A review of threatened endemic hawkweeds in EnglandA rapid desk-based review of what we know (and what we don't know) about the current status of the 52 threatened (Red-listed EX, CR, EN, VU, NT, DD) hawkweeds (Hieracium spp) in England. Results of this project will feed in directly to: (1) SSSI review; (2) assessment of interest features and feature condition on SSSIs; (3) species prioritisation in NCAs; (4) the Schedule 8 Quinquennial Review; and (5) emerging priorities for vascular plants within the EBS and the work of the Vascular Plants Taxon Group.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £5,000.00
Simon Leach
RP0897S41 invertebrates on saltmarshThis project will focus on assessing the relative invertebrate diversity of established saltmarsh and managed realignment sites, with a focus on S41 invertebrate species. This will help to improve the design of managed realignment schemes for such species. In particular, the surveys will focus on the transition between upper saltmarsh and grassland.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £30,000.00
Jon Curson
RP0922Hawfinch ecologyHawfinch is a UK BAP priority and S41 species, and is on the 'Red' list of birds of conservation concern. The project will investigate the causes of decline in the UK Hawfinch population. It will combine data from broad-scale comparisons between occupied and unoccupied sites and detailed ecological studies conducted by both professional and voluntary ornithologists across the UK. It forms part of the 'Action for Birds in England' progarmme of NE and RSPB.Phil Grice
RP0923Diagnosing Starling declinesStarling is a UK BAP priority and S41 species, and is on the 'Red' list of birds of conservation concern. The project aims to diagnose the decline of the UK breeding starling population. Fieldwork will focus on SW England, where declines have been particularly severe. It involves establishing new nesting populations of starlings in nestboxes for subsequent study of diet-breeding performance relationships. This willl include faecal analysis, direct observation and nestbox cameras, as well as measuring breeding productivity. It forms part of the 'Action for Birds in England' programme of NE and RSPB.Phil Grice
RP0924House Sparrow urban solutionsEarlier research in Leicester showed strong evidence for breeding productivity being limited by invertebrate prey availability, and a subsequent feeding experiment in London confirmed this and demonstrated population-level impacts of supplementary feeding. This project takes the next step of testing sustainable long-term conservation measures aimed at enhancing invertebrate prey for House Sparrows and other urban wildlife in London, including testing the efficacy of wildflower and grass plots in London. It forms part of the 'Action for Birds in England' programme of Natural England and RSPB and is part-funded by SITA trust.Phil Grice
RP0925Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat ProjectSpecies Recovery Programme (SRP) project to promote best practice in the conservation of greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum throughout Devon. To support the long term persistence and enhancement of greater horseshoe bat populations through linked landscape scale conservation initiatives, the project will take an ecosystems approach to secure robust and ecologically coherent landscapes. Lead partner East Devon AONB.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £10,000.00
Phil Stocks
RP0937A description of the vegetation and physical characteristics of the Hard Hill Experimental Burn Plots on Moor House NNRThe Hard Hill experimental burn plots were establish in the 1950's to investigate the impact of burning upon blanket bog vegetation communities. The plots were established as replicates but recent visits indicate that there are differences between them. This project aims to provide a baseline description which can be used to help interpret past, exsisting and future research projects that use the plots.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £20,000.00
Alistair Crowle
RP0970Developing approaches to the provision of compensatory habitat where Open Mosaic Habitat on Previously Developed Land is lost to development.Often when brownfield habitat of high environmental value is lost to development green roofs are used to provide compensatory habitat. Evidence shows that this can provide some features of value, but normally the complexity of high quality brownfield habitat cannot be fully recreated on a roof. Trial plots of terrestrial habitat will be developed to provide new evidence on design and the timescales involved in creating a habitat that is functional for key BAP invertebrates. The project will also develop approaches for increasing the range of habitat features incorporated onto green roofs. This project is part of first year PhD reserach.
  • PhD thesis (31/10/2015)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £3,500.00
Samantha Lyme
RP0987BD5214 - Understanding the combined biodiversity effects of the component features of hedgerows.Hedgerows are of considerable importance to biodiversity within farmed landscapes providing habitat, food, breeding opportunities, shelter and movement corridors. Hedgerows usually have one or more of the following components: woody shrubs, mature trees, banks, ditches and herbaceous margins. However, the way in which these components act together to support wildlife is poorly understood. This research projects addresses this gap in our knowledge and is intended to increase the effectiveness of conservation measures. The results will be used to improve hedge management advice and options delivered through Environmental Stewardship.
  • Other report/publication (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (22/02/2013)
  • Other report/publication (31/03/2013)
Emily Ledder
RP1008Churchyard Ecology SurveyThere are over 600 churchyards in the Greater London area all varied in their locations, topography and physical and natural contents. Survey of these sites has been ad-hoc and incomprehensive to date. This project will address these knowledge gaps and further scientific understanding of churchyard ecology in an urban environment. 20-30 sites will be selected for survey as a representative sample. A recording form will be developed. The methodology developed will be transferable to other projects.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £10,000.00
Samantha Lyme
RP1009Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land InventoryThis Defra funded project seeks to develop an inventory of OMHoPDL sites in England. Currently no such data exsit and it is not possible to identify priority habitat sites from exsisting previously developed land data. Outputs will include a survey form, surveyor handbook and webiste.Samantha Lyme
RP1024Hydrological investigations at potential re-location sites for the freshwater pearl mussel in the River Clun (Shropshire)A hydrological assessment of the upper Clun catchment to develop a better understanding of the key chacracteristics of the flow regime. Of particular interest is the control that land use exerts on the flow regime, and whether changes in land use could generate a less flashy, more baseflow influenced regime. A more 'subdued' flow regime would be favoured by freshwater pearl mussels because it is more likely to generate sufficient water depths throughout the year, less mobile substrate and less fine sediment. These are all crucial if mussels are to succeed.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £40,000.00
Gavin Measures
RP1029Determining the Impact of Wind Turbines on Bats in the UK.To support an extension to the Defra led project, 'Determining the Impact of Wind Turbines on Bats in the UK'. This funding will allow further work to take place at additional sites to improve the statistical power of the project to identify habitat and weather variables linked with the risk of bat collisions with large-scale wind turbines. This will allow appropriate mitigation strategies to be developed. Additional bat surveys will take place, building on the current monitoring protocol. This will allow better understanding of bat usage across wind turbine sites in relation to linear features.
  • Evidence published by a partner (30/09/2013)


  • Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
Katherine Walsh

Climate Change

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0322Managing peatlands as carbon stores (MAPCARS) (PhD)This project seeks to increase certainty about the impact of land management on the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of peatlands in particular (1) whether reduced losses (and even gains) of carbon by the restored peatland may be counteracted by increased methane emissions and (2) the extent to which fluvial carbon loss from peatlands contributes ultimately to GHG emissions. NERC CASE PhD student: Gemma Dooling, Leeds University.
  • PhD thesis (01/07/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £4,500.00
Matthew Shepherd
RP0364National Character Area climate change vulnerability assessmentProject to assess the vulnerability of the natural environment to climate change and identify appropriate adaptation responses. A method has been developed to assess the vulnerability of England's landscapes to climate change, and this is being a trialled in a number of pilot National Character Areas across England. These areas are: (1) South East Northumberland Coastal Plain (2) Lancashire & Amounderness Plain (3) Morecambe Bay Limestones (4) Solway Basin (5) Humberhead Levels (6) Sherwood (7) London (8) South Downs (9).
  • Natural England Technical Publication (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £25,000.00
Andy Neale
RP0384Is eroded peat a source of atmospheric CO2? (PhD)To quantify/understand the fate of particulate organic carbon (POC) in streams draining upland peatlands, in particular the transformation to CO[Super]2[/Super] released to the atmosphere. Specifically the project will: * Measure the loss of POC and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from peat-covered catchments by mass balance. * Understand the transformation of POC into DOC and CO[Super]2[/Super]. * Quantify competing processes for POC and DOC loss including adsorption and flocculation. * Develop inclusion methods of POC transformation and loss to the atmosphere into present carbon models. PhD student: Catherine Moody, Durham University
  • PhD thesis (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £3,000.00
Mike Morecroft
RP0437Mapping Peat Depth and Carbon Storage in EnglandPeat soils are our most important land store of organic carbon. Natural England estimated peat carbon (C) storage in the 2010 NE257 report, but this was based on few, and old, data. This project, run under an MoA with the North Pennines AONB Partnership's Peatscapes initiative, will: i) collate and analyse all available peat depth/C data; ii) develop a survey methodology to assess peat depth/C; iii) conduct some new targeted peat surveys; iv) coordinate with NPAs, NGOs etc. on new surveys; v) produce a improved and easily updateable peat depth/C storage map for England; and vi) supply a report, database & licence-free map.
  • Spatial data (21/06/2013)
  • Natural England Technical Publication (19/07/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £31,000.00
Matthew Shepherd
RP0757Factors conferring resilience in invertebrate populations in agricultural systemsInvertebrate populations within agricultural systems provide key ecosystem services such as pollination and nutrient recycling; represent a key link in the food chain and are of biodiversity interest in their own right. Climate change will pose both direct and indirect pressures on populations within agricultural systems. This project aims to determine whether a climate change signal can be detected in invertebrate communities in agricultural systems, and if so, what factors confer resilience in them to climate change.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (31/03/2014)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £30,000.00
Simon Duffield
RP0758Adaptation to climate change by nature conservation managersIn this project we are conducting a survey of how the managers of nature conservation sites (such as National Nature Reserves) are approaching the issue of adapting to climate change. The survey covers topics such as climate impacts of concern, conservation goals, management actions being undertaken, barriers to action, and sources of information used. The first stage of the project, covering sites in East Anglia, is almost complete; a second stage in 2012 and early 2013 will focus on northwest England.
  • Presentation (Completed)
  • Presentation (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (30/08/2013)
Nicholas Macgregor
RP0759Investigating potential climate change refugia for wild species in EnglandWhen desiging ecological networks to be resilient to climate change, one particularly important set of areas to identify and protect are those that might function as refugia (areas that are likely to remain protected or relatively climatically stable and so enable species to persist despite climate change making surrounding areas unsuitable). This project will investigate the characteristics of potential refugia, identify sites with these characteristics at a range of spatial scales. This is one of a suite of new projects investigating a range of aspects of the design and implementation of ecological networks and related issues.
  • Other report/publication (31/07/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £79,747.40
Nicholas Macgregor
RP0766Farm Resilience PlanningThis project seeks to develop an initial Natural England concept of a Farm Resilience Plan, by which farmers could identify the threats and opportunities posed by climate change to their farm business and to the natural environment on their farm and also to identify appropriate adaptation actions. The model seeks to interpret landscape scale assessments of climate change at the level of the individual farm and to encourage integration of planning for farming and for management of the natural environment.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £11,000.00
Trevor Mansfield
RP0888East Dartmoor NNR: Breeding birds of western upland oakwoods response to climate changeThe ongoing research examines aspects of declining populations of migrant breeding birds, with specific focus on pied flycatcher and wood warbler of Dartmoor oakwoods. Key elements include: 1) For the first time in the UK, fitting of geolocaters to 20 male pied flycatchers to be recovered in 2013. This is a joint project between the NE, BTO, Exeter University, a European research group and Biotrack. 2) Co-ordination of SW upland oak wood nest box schemes and records, and correlation with climatic data. 3) Behavioural and food supply studies of wood warbler at East Dartmoor NNR

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £2,000.00
Simon Lee
RP0916National Biodiversity Climate Change Vulnerability ModelWe have developed a national biodiversity climate change vulnerability model to undertake analysis of current datasets to provide an assessment of the relative vulnerability of habitats to climate change. Datasets have been generalised to 200m x 200m grid square providing the framework for analysis. The GIS grid approach provides us with the flexibility to analyse the data contributing to four stages of the model that assess sensitivity, adaptive capacity, asset value and overall vulnerability. Using the results of the vulnerability assessment we can develop tools and products to inform decisions on local priorities and targeting resources.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
Sarah Taylor
RP0939Species risk & opportunity assessment to climate changeSpecies vary in their response to climate change - some appear to be already benefitting and others being detrimentally affected. Thomas et al. 2011 developed a framework for assessing the threats and benefits of climate change to species based on current and projected future impacts, but also including an assessment of data certainty and other factors affecting the population trends of species. The aim of the project is to use the framework to analyse the risk for a wider range of taxonomic groups than has been tested so far.
  • Other report/publication (31/12/2012)
  • Other report/publication (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £119,964.12
Humphrey Quentin Pitts Crick
RP0944Bicco-Net: Biological Impacts of Climate Change Observation Network. Phase IITo collate and analyse relationships between terrestrial and freshwater species populations and climate across different monitoring schemes and taxa. It will provide evidence of change in biodiversity that will allow adaptation measures to be developed on a reliable basis. It will allow us to test whether theoretical understanding of climate change impacts and model outputs are reliable. This is the second phase of the project which is being let by Defra, but with a contribution by Natiural England. The results will be posted on a project website: www.bicco-net.orgexternal link[www]which is already worth checking out.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £40,000.00
Humphrey Quentin Pitts Crick
RP0949Environmental Stewardship and displacement of greenhouse gas emissions.Existing evidence (Defra R&D project BD5007) indicates that ES reduces greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land management by 4M tCO[Super]2[/Super]equivalent per annum. However, there is an important caveat to this: we do not know the extent to which these emissions savings are 'displaced': ie that agricultural production increases outside of the ES area (either on the same farm or on farms not in ES), hence displacing the GHG emissions. This project will seek to assess the extent to which those emissions savings are displaced within the individual farm by conducting a series of case studies on farms within ES.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £22,000.00
Trevor Mansfield
RP0961The role of landscape and site scale characteristics in making species populations resilient to climate change and extreme eventsExtreme events, such as droughts and periods of unusually high or low temperatures can have a disproportionate effect on ecological communities. Projections indicate that climatic events that are extreme compared to long-term means may become more common under climate change. Increasing resilience to these events is therefore an important aspect of developing a coherent and resilient ecological network. This project aims to evaluate how landscape configuration influences both the sensitivity and recovery of species populations following extreme climatic events. We wish to commission a contractor to work with us to deliver the project.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (31/03/2014)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £55,000.00
Simon Duffield
RP0989Evaluation of the risks associated with increasing landscape connectivity for the spread of invasive speciesIncreasing connectivity to enhance the resilience of landscapes to climate change is a key adaptation principle. Joining up landscapes was also one of the main findings of the Lawton Review. However increased connectivity can lead to an increased risk of spread and in certain circumstances isolation and the introduction of barriers to spread is used as a conservation measure. This project aims to investigate the potential conflicts and trade-offs between increasing connectivity to enhance resilience through enabling species to track climate change and reducing resilience through encouraging the spread of invasive species
  • Natural England Technical Publication (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £60,267.00
Simon Duffield

Ecosystem Approach

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0640Managing Grassland Diversity For Multiple Ecosystem ServicesThe overall aim of this proposal is to assess the potential for UK grasslands to deliver multifunctional objectives of carbon sequestration, nutrient retention, pollination and biodiversity conservation, while maintaining economically viable levels of production. The main focus of the project is soil carbon sequestration. For more information see Defra funded project BD5003external link.
  • Defra publication (31/03/2015)
Chris Chesterton
RP0641Provision of ecosystem services in Environmental Stewardship SchemeThis project will inform Environmental Stewardship policy and will greatly enhance our knowledge of how to manage the land for ecosystem services. Dissemination of the results and training and demonstration will ensure Natural England and Defra staff can implement the findings and stakeholders can make best use of the project outputs. Defra funded project BD5005external link.
  • Defra publication (30/09/2014)
Stephen Chaplin
RP0753Identification of areas providing multiple Ecosystem ServicesThis project will develop a series of England level Ecosystem Service maps (based on a 200m grid) which will be used to support England Biodiversity Strategy targets and Natural England's Ecosystems Approach embedding project. We shall also produce maps at a finer resolution to test the maps and methodology behind them at a smaller scale (for example, with Nature Improvement Areas). A separate part of the project will draw together current service mapping initiatives and make them available to all via an online tool. A workshop will be arranged in early 2013 for key practitioners to discuss service mapping issues.
  • Other report/publication (Completed)
  • Web site (25/01/2013)
  • Natural England General Publication (29/03/2013)
  • Other report/publication (29/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £30,556.00
Nick Dales
RP0918Valuing Natures Services: Moving towards payments for ecosystem services and conservation credits in England.This project will build on the work on the pilots and other landscape scale projects to develop the methodology to identify, quantify and value packages of services building on our existing baseline data collected in the pilots and the relationships with partners and land managers. It will work with the Environment Bank, Defra, Natural England and the partnerships of the two selected projects to address the questions articulated below.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £25,000.00
Ruth Waters

Land management

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0194Diversification of grassland through the manipulation of plant-soil interactions and the identification of indicators of restorabilityThe aims of this project are to: confirm association of high fungal-to-bacterial ratios with species-rich grasslands; quantify the impact of key plant species in the development of fungal dominated soils; identify mechanisms that influence plant species on fungal-to-bacterial ratios and soil biota influences on vegetation; evaluate other potential indicators for targeting grassland enhancement and creation. Defra funded project1451external link.Steve Peel
RP0196Testing of modified management of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and birds (Phase 2)Phase 1 tried reducing grazing pressure and ceasing grazing. Reduced grazing increased invertebrates but not bird usage. No grazing increased invertebrates but caused unacceptable sward deterioration. A separate study tested mowing and forage harvesting to reduce skylark nest losses. These were potentially successful but difficult to incorporate into modern farming. Phase 2 is testing modified techniques. Defra funded project BD5207external link.
  • Evidence published by a partner (31/03/2013)
Pete Stevens
RP0199Techniques to enhance the establishment and persistence of poor-performing species in grassland restorationTo (1) identify the constraints on the survival of poor-performing, specialist species for a wide range of UK grassland types; and (2) develop and test practical management prescriptions to enhance the establishment of these species under the agri-environment schemes. Defra funded project 1459external link.
  • Defra publication (30/09/2012)
Pete Stevens
RP0200Sustainable management systems for unimproved neutral grasslandTo determine the appropriate level of grazing by cattle to maintain species-rich grassland, and quantify the impact of grazing on invertebrates and on the growth of cattle. This will build on the research that was developed in a previous Defra project on integrating understanding to develop grazing and cutting guidelines. Defra funded project BD1460.external link
  • Defra publication (29/03/2013)
Richard Jefferson
RP0201Wide scale enhancement of biodiversity: effects on other resourcesA moderate increase in plant diversity has the potential to deliver multiple benefits including (1) increased diversity and abundance of fauna; (2) improved soil structure, nutrient retention and water infiltration; (3) improved forage quality and livestock production. This project aims to provide further evidence to support new options for Environmental Stewardship suitable for intensive beef/sheep farms. Defra funded project BD5208external link.
  • Defra publication (31/03/2013)
Steve Peel
RP0202Influence of spring grazing regime on the floristic diversity and restorative potential of upland hay meadowsTo provide improved guidance for meadow management in agri-environment schemes, in particular to (1) identify the optimum spring grazing regimes and shut up dates for the maintenance and enhancement of botanical interests and (2) assess the impact on hay yield and quality. Defra funded project BD1467external link.David Martin
RP0278Effects of hedgerow management and restoration on biodiversityTo examine the effects of simple cutting management regimes promoted by Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) on the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat, and food resources in hedgerows; and identify, develop and test low-cost, practical options for hedgerow restoration and rejuvenation applicable at the large-scale under both ELS and HLS. Defra funded projectexternal link.
  • Other report/publication (Completed)
  • Peer-reviewed paper (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (Completed)
  • Defra publication (30/06/2015)
Emily Ledder
RP0420Developing a method for reporting & monitoring the direct & cumulative impacts of Environmental Stewardship on the maintenance & enhancement of Landscape Character & Quality.The aim of this 3-year research and development project is to develop and test a robust, repeatable and comprehensive evaluation framework for reporting and monitoring the direct and cumulative impacts of Environmental Stewardship on the maintenance and enhancement of landscape character and quality at a variety of scales, and using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques. Defra funded project BD5303external link.
  • Defra publication (31/03/2013)
Sarah Manning
RP0421Improving effectiveness of grassland restoration and creation options: development of a methodology for setting indicators of success and assessing progressTo develop and test a rapid methodology to assess the progress and timescales that restored or re-created grassland swards take to develop into BAP priority grasslands. The methodology will be used primarily for monitoring the progress and outcomes of HLS agreements under grassland options HK7 and HK8 (Restoration and creation of species-rich semi-natural grassland) and to assist in setting indicators of success. The methodology will utilise floristic, structural and possibly soil-based attributes. DEFRA funded Project BD5101.
  • Defra publication (30/09/2012)
Richard Jefferson
RP0449SHINE into HLS: Development of a cost effective and timely way of capturing information and advice from Historic Environment Records to inform delivery of HLSThis project involves the further development of the SHINE protocols (Selected Heritage Inventory for Natural England) that were developed for ELS, to enable local authority Historic Environment Records (HERs) to attach management advice to verified historic environment features for the purposes of informing HLS applications and agreements. Defra funded project BD5305
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (31/12/2012)
Victoria Hunns
RP0635Restoration of blanket bog vegetation for biodiversity, carbon and waterDefra-funded project from the ES R&D programme looking at management techniques to reduce dominance of heather on blanket bog as part of restoration to active condition and the impacts on biodiversity, carbon and water.
  • Defra publication (31/03/2017)
David Glaves
RP0636Restoration of Purple Moor Grass and rush pasture and associated fen habitatsThe aims of this project are: review and summarise information from the European literature and other primary and secondary data sources to identify the habitat conditions required for the existence, restoration or re-creation of fens, 'purple moor-grass and rush pastures'. For more information see the Defra project description. Defra funded project BD5103external link.
  • Defra publication (28/09/2012)
Iain Diack
RP0637Setting Indicators of Success for Species-rich grasslandThe aim of this project is to develop a decision framework that can be used by field surveyors with a range of expertise to identify appropriate indicators for measuring the success of management of species-rich grassland, in particular allowing the monitoring of progress within timescales appropriate to the length of agri-environment scheme agreements. For more details see Defra funded project BD5101external link.
  • Defra publication (29/03/2013)
Richard Jefferson
RP0638Developing a multi-functional arable agri-environment option: enhanced fallowResearch to support development of Environmental Stewardship options. Defra funded project BD5203external link
  • Defra publication (30/09/2012)
Mike Green
RP0639Improving the management and success of arable plant options in ELS and HLSProject to support Environmental Stewardship options. Defra funded project BD5204external link.
  • Defra publication (31/03/2015)
Mike Green
RP0906Attitudes of woodland owners and managers to ecological and economic challengesThis partnership project managed by SYLVA, involves an online questionnaire survey of private woodland owners and managers, and subsequent analysis of the results. The questions relate to ownership, management and markets and aim to determine the extent of sustainable management practices in Britain by asking about attitudes to current ecological, social and economic challenges, eg to find out why owners of unmanaged woodland do or dont take up forest management grants or engage with regulatory systems that could improve sustainable forest management. NE is on the steering group for this survey.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £2,000.00
Christine Reid
RP0920Lapwings on agri-environment scheme fallow plots: research to improve lapwing breeding success (BD5211)The aim of this project is to assess whether breeding success on fallow plots established under ES is higher than on spring crops without agri-environment measures. It will also determine whether breeding success and, in particular, chick survival is sufficient to maintain stable or increasing lapwing populations at a landscape scale. If this is not the case, it will identify which management and landscape factors have most influence on productivity, to facilitate future targeting and ensure that future management of plots maximizes breeding success. Defra funded project BD5211 part of the ES R&D programme.
  • Defra publication (30/09/2014)
Phil Grice
RP0921Effects of winter-long provision of seed-rich habitats on seed-eating farmland birds (WM5210)The primary aim of the study is to test whether the provision of seeded ryegrass can fill the late-winter hungry gap for farmland birds. It will do this in a pastoral landscape (North Wales) where other sources of winter seed are lacking. We aim to provide seed-rich habitat at the target scale of 2% (as per the Farmland Birds Package for arable landscapes) of the suitable habitat within designated intervention tetrads. The project will assess the impacts of seed provision on winter foraging and body condition, as well as impacts on overwinter survival and population size. It is funded by Defra as part of the ES R&D Programme.
  • Defra publication (31/10/2015)
Phil Grice

Landscape, Historic Environment and Geodiversity

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0225UK Geodiversity Action Plan (UKGAP)The UKGAP provides a framework planning and recording the delivery of geoconservation across the UK. The aim of this project is to provide evidence (through a range of case studies) to illustrate how the UKGAP is currently being delivered across its objectives. It will also undertake new research on existing delivery monitoring measures for Local Geodiversity Action Plans (LGAPs) in order to develop a standard mechanism for measuring progress that can be adopted by the UKGAP and LGAPs. The work is supported by a wide range of partners across the UK.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £21,900.00
Hannah Townley
RP0229Soils data projectThis is long term project improving the availability of soils data derived from Agricultural Land Classification surveys to Natural England staff and the general public. In addition securing the associated ALC archive of which Natural England has guardianship on behalf of Defra. Current phase of project involves scanning remaining paper Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) maps and associated information. Also updating Gi ALC layer. - continuation of 2008/09 2009/10 projects. Gill Shaw
RP0346Geodiversity technical guidance reviewNatural England has a number of technical guidance and advice documents providing advice on geological and geomorphological conservation. These guidance and advice documents have been developed over a number of years and this project will review existing guidance and its need for updating. Guidance considered of high priority for revising will be rewritten and reissued through this project.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (29/03/2013)
Hannah Townley
RP0522Review of large-scale conservation in Great BritainWe are studying existing large-scale nature conservation initiatives in England, Scotland and Wales. The project has four broad aims: (1) To gain a better overview and understanding of the large-scale conservation projects in Britain. (2) To explore the scientific principles that are being used. (3) To explore the social, institutional and community aspects (4) To analyse the environmental outcomes that have been achieved. It is a joint project with Defra, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Countryside Council for Wales. Work is being done by the University of Southampton, the University of Cambridge, and Natural England.
  • Presentation (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (Completed)
  • Natural England Technical Publication (28/02/2013)
  • Advice to practitioners or users (28/02/2013)
  • Workshop/conference/event (29/03/2013)
  • Peer-reviewed paper (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £143,638.00
Nicholas Macgregor
RP0605Identifying the movement of female Greater Horseshoe bats in Beer Quarry caves70% of the visible greater horseshoe bats at Beer Quarry Caves SAC are known to be male. This raises the question where are the females: elsewhere within the complex of caves not accessible by humans, or somewhere else completely? Proposal would be to install remote monitors around the caves to plot their movement around the complex to see if there are significant movements in peripheral areas of the caves.
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (29/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £1,500.00
Cathy Fitzroy
RP0934Landscape context and human aspects in the planning, design and implementation of ecological networks: integrating the socio-cultural dimension and public perceptions of landscape change with natural sciences evidenceThis will explore effective ways of capturing public perceptions of (ecological) landscape change and socio-cultural context. Develop practical means of presenting and using this often more qualitative information so that it can be better integrated with the natural sciences data, evidence and mapped information in the planning and design of ecological networks. Bringing natural evidence & cultural context together, the design of ecological networks can aim to conserve and enhance landscapes so that they are better connected ecologically as well as reinforce people's connection with them and the benefits they bring as they change.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £48,195.00
Andy Wharton

Marine

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0286Marine connectivity: analysis of keystone species within the British Isles (PhD)To assess connectivity in marine ecosystems, in particular, the connectivity between populations of sessile marine invertebrates (ie marine invertebrates that are attached to something at the bottom of the sea so cannot move around, eg sponges, anemones and oysters) over a range of geographical scales. Connectivity assessed by measuring genetic relatedness between populations. Natural England-funded PhD student: Lyndsey Holland, Exeter University.
  • PhD thesis (29/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £12,280.00
Jen Ashworth
RP0479Restoration of native oyster through the development of broodstock areasA feasibility study of native oyster stock regenerationexternal link[PDF]commissioned by Seafishexternal link[www]identifies that restocking broodstock areas with half-grown imported oyster spat is both cost and ecologically effective. The intent would be to support the recovery of this BAP and FOCI (feature of interest for MCZ designation) species, and to monitor the biodiversity benefits associated with reef development. In partnership with National Oceanography Centre
  • Trial management of habitat or species (Completed)
  • Other report/publication (31/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
Jed Nicholson
RP0494Harbour Porpoise Bycatch Reduction ProjectIncidental bycatch of Harbour Porpoise by gill netting remains the most significant single threat. Pingers have been shown to reduce bycatch by 80% or more in several fishery studies. The EU regulation on pingers on over-12m boats has been blocked on grounds of pinger durability or safety, although pingers are in regular use in the USA. This difficulty has proably now been lifted by the impending launch of a new pinger - the banana pinger from Fishtek Ltd. This work trials these pingers. In partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).
  • Trial management of habitat or species (30/09/2012)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £2,000.00
Robert Enever
RP0499A study to determine shark and ray eggcases laying sitesSome large ray species have disappeared from parts of their former range. Spatial management of important ray habitats, such as egg-laying sites has been suggested as a potentially useful method for the improved management of their stocks. Our current knowledge of such habitats are poor. Three species of ray listed on BAP and OSPAR schedules to which egg-laying sites are not known. Electronic tagging, will aim to identify a method in locating these egg-laying sites. In partnership with Centre for Environmental Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).
  • Evidence published/used in some other format (30/09/2012)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £12,000.00
Robert Enever
RP0574Review of the impacts and monitoring requirements for tidal stream energy in sensitive habitatsWave and tidal energy will be an increasingly important source of renewable energy in England. The number of current projects is fairly small and limited to demonstration sites. However, large commercial scale arrays are a real possibility. Natural England is using this time to pro-actively review the current evidence of impacts from wave and tide deployment, predict where this might be an issue in England, and develop a tool kit for staff to use in early engagement with this emerging sector.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (29/03/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
James Bussell
RP0576Climate change risks in the marine environmentUnderstanding the vulnerability of our marine habitats and species to climate change is important in terms of informing action to improve resilience, better target our monitoring, inputting to work assessing projected impacts on habitats and raising awareness of the potential scope of habitats impacts. To date, there has been a range of reviews, and research projects that evaluate vulnerability of terrestrial landscapes, there is a paucity of information on the vulnerability of marine communities and a gap in terms of an approach to vulnerability assessment. This current work aims to fill that knowledge gap.
  • Peer-reviewed paper (29/03/2013)
  • Natural England Technical Publication (30/09/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £15,000.00
Robert Enever
RP0622The development and behaviour of shingle spits on Scolt Head Island NNRResearch into the development and behaviour of shingle spits on Scolt Head Island NNR, undertaken by Prof J Raper & D Livingstone of Kingston University & City University. Scolt is an international type locality for this aspect of coastal process research and work will inform sea-level rise scenarios.
  • Other report/publication (31/03/2013)
Michael Rooney
RP0734Chichester Harbour Oyster Partnership Initiative (CHOPI)1. To relay native oysters (Ostrea edulis) in a high density patches within the Harbour to boost recruitment potential and kick-start wider re-population of the Harbour. 2. To work with a range of partners including regulators, industry and academia to restore a BAP species and an important commerical species. 3. To develop a Fisheries and Conservation Management plan for Native Oysters in Chichester Harbour. 4. To work with local fisherman to promote sustainable inshore fisheries.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £3,000.00
Emma Kelman
RP0778Poole Harbour Bird disturbance of bait digging and draggingA study is required to increase understanding into the impacts of bait digging and bait dragging on the bird features of Poole Harbour SPA. The results will be mad available through Poole Harbour Study Group.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £16,500.00
Susan Burton
RP0779Impact of algal mats on benthic invertebrates in Poole HarbourMany harbours and estuaries are under particular stress from eutrophication as a result of domestic waste and diffuse agricultural run-off. Through field observations and sampling, this PhD will investigate relationships between the growth of algal mats and invertebrate diversity and biomass and feeding responses of coastal birds to the presence of algal mats. Using ecological modelling techniques, the project will aim to predict the consequences of the growth of algal mats on coastal bird populations in harbours and estuaries.
  • PhD thesis (31/03/2016)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £21,000.00
Susan Burton
RP0978The development of a generic framework for informing Cumulative Effect Assessment (CEA) related to marine protected areas through an evaluation of best practiceThe project will develop a practical, logical and usable framework which can be used by regulatory advisors when being consulted on cumulative effect assessments in marine protected areas. The project outputs will form a tool which will be used by advisors when working with developers and regulators. It will present a structured basis upon which cumulative effect assessments can be developed and will outline examples of good practice. It will focus on how systematic processes interaction matrices can be used as a mechanism for identifying receptors, delineating cause-and-effect relationships and evaluating quantitative relationships.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £34,500.00
Mark Johnston
RP0981Mapping maerl bed in St Austell Bay with Cornwall IFCAMaerl (Lithothamnion corallioides) mapping with sidescan sonar and dropdown camera in the St Austell Bay area off the south coast of Cornwall. Will be conducted using Cornwall IFCA's boat and equipment. Starting point will be the maerl recorded by Seasearch divers but search area will extend across the whole bay. The maerl is not within any MPA but it is a BAP habitat.
  • Spatial data (31/01/2013)
Angela Gall

Sustainable Land Use

Research

IDTitleDescriptionContact
RP0454Solent Disturbance and Mitigation ProjectResearch project co-ordinated by the Solent Forum to investigate the impacts of recreational pressure on the nationally and internationally important populations of birds that shelter, feed and breed in the Solent. The project will assess the current and future potential effects of visitor pressure and recreational use on these sites, including that arising from proposed new housing development within reach of the Solent shores. It will establish whether avoidance or mitigation measures are necessary to ensure the future protection of the Solent's important birds.
  • Evidence published by a partner (Completed)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £5,000.00
Allison Potts
RP0770Removing information barriers to tackling diffuse water pollution impacts on SSSIsIn support DWP SSSI remedy programme delivery, key evidence requirements for progressing measures to tackle DWP at the catchment level will be reviewed. The current availability of information and its use across the affected SSSI series will be assessed. Evidence gaps that present a barrier to progress will be identified for future action. Opportunities will be identified for addressing local evidence needs through a nationally coordinated programme of investigation.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (31/03/2014)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £30,000.00
Russ Money
RP0771Green Infrastructure - valuation tools summaryThis project, ''GI-valuation tools'' will build on MEBIE by drawing together and reviewing the GI valuation tools and methods available. This information will be presented in a report, providing links to the tools as well as case studies demonstrating the use of the tools. This will publicise the existing tools creating a valuable resource for people looking to assess the value of GI whether working at a site or strategic level. This work is supported by the valuation workstrand of the GI Partnership and will provide an important first step in the large scale valuation project that was previously proposed by Defra and Natural England.

Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £11,500.00
Tom Butterworth
RP0902To what extent does Green Infrastructure improvement act as a catalyst for economic growth: an assessment of the international evidenceThis project will employ economists and social scientists to 1. Identify prominent case studies where investment in GI is claimed to have been a catalyst for an improvement in economic growth results for a city or conurbation. 2. Develop a method to assess these claims, taking account of qualitative as well as quantitative evidence. 3. Make a statement, based on the evidence on the extent to which Green Infrastructure investment acts as catalyst for economic growth, the key circumstances and contexts in which this is or is not the case and the strength of the evidence base, and ways in which this could be improved.Tim Sunderland
RP0936Phd - Moorland Track StudyThis is an investigation into the impact of moorland tracks on blanket peat. A series of treatments will be established along a proposed vehicle route which will be monitored before and after establishment of the track.Alistair Crowle
RP0943Local Economic Development and the Environment (LEDE) project - part 2This year we ran three trials of the Local Economic Development and the Environment (LEDE) toolkit with LEPs and Local Authority staff. The feedback from these trials has lead to changes to the toolkit. This trial will re-run the toolkit following these changes, using experts to use the toolkit for a specific LEP. This will test the product we are publishing and provide a case study of its use for others who might be interested in using this toolkit.Tim Sunderland
RP0983Thames Basin Heaths SPA visitor survey 2012.This survey provides a repeat of the previous SPA visitor survey in August 2005, but the timing of the 2012 survey has been extended to include a greater part of the Annex 1 birds' nesting season. The 2012 survey also includes a greater number of survey access points. The results of this research will provide an essential contribution to the evidence base informing the strategic management and protection of the SPA. Its key importance will be in assessing the effectiveness of measures to protect the SPA from recreational pressures and to determine whether these measures are contributing towards the favourable status of the SPA.
  • Natural England Technical Publication (30/06/2013)


Natural England's financial contribution to this project is currently estimated to be: £48,000.00
Patrick McKernan