River Glen Integrated Study

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Phase 1: Project Appraisal

Report prepared for the South Lincolnshire Fenlands Partnership by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, August 2014.

The River Glen Integrated Catchment Management Study seeks to integrate the planning of water resources and land-use for public water-supply, natural environment, agriculture, flood risk management, navigation and leisure. To achieve this, it has developed a partnership approach to the integrated use of catchment water resources and has consulted relevant stakeholders.

River Glen Integrated Study

The impetus for the South Lincolnshire Fenlands project and hence for the River Glen Integrated Catchment Management Study comes from a growing consciousness of the need for habitat creation and restoration and ensuring that those fragments of nature that survive are connected.

This awareness is well articulated in the “Lawton Review” (Lawton et al. 2010). Amongst the five key points was the recognition that many of England’s wildlife sites are too small; indeed 77% of SSSIs and 98% of LWS are smaller than 100 ha. Secondly, losses of certain habitats had been so great that the remaining area is no longer enough to halt further biodiversity losses without coordinated efforts; this is notably the case in species-rich grasslands and in fens. Thirdly, with the exception of Natura 2000 sites and SSSIs, most semi-natural habitats are insufficiently protected and/or under-managed. Fourthly, many of the natural connections in our countryside have been degraded or lost, leading to isolation of sites. Lastly, the report recognised that too few people had easy access to wildlife.

The South Lincolnshire Fenlands project sits squarely within the programme advocated by Lawton, making a “step-change in nature conservation” through “more, bigger, better and joined” places for nature. The project attempts to: a) improve the quality of current sites by better habitat management; b) increase the size of current wildlife sites; c) to create new sites; d) enhance connections between, or join up, sites; and e) reduce the pressures on wildlife by improving the wider environment, including through the buffering wildlife sites.