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Latest Natural England reports for July 2009

Natural England publishes a wide range of science and technical reports to help support our environmental delivery work and ensure that our advice, to Government and others, is based on the best available evidence.

In July the following reports have been produced and are now available as PDFs on Natural England’s website by following the links indicated below:

1. Adopting effective stakeholder engagement processes to deliver regional Marine Protected Area network (NECR008)
Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) commissioned this research to provide an evidence base and advice on effective stakeholder engagement for the new Marine Conservation Zones. The findings will be used by Natural England, JNCC and the Department of Food and Rural Affairs to help define the process by which stakeholders will identify Marine Conservation Zones.

2. Proceedings of the 10th National Heathland Conference: Managing Heathlands in the Face of Climate Change (NECR014)
Managing our heathlands has never been so challenging. Climate change could radically alter how heathlands look and will certainly change our approach to heathland management in the coming decades. This report looks at the threats and opportunities posed.

3. Analysis of vegetation data from different quadrat sizes (NECR006)
Information on semi-natural vegetation gathered from across the United Kingdom’s bioclimatic regions could provide a valuable opportunity to look at historical vegetation changes in the context of climate change and other environmental drivers. This report address the need for standardization in the way this data is prepared for analysis.

4. River Wensum Restoration Strategy (NECR010)
The physical restoration strategy for the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation was the first whole-river strategy of its kind in the UK. The pilot was successful and the resulting Strategy has now been officially adopted both by Natural England and the Environment Agency. The Strategy has identified synergies between physical restoration of the river for its wildlife and key social objectives such as flood protection and managing diffuse pollution from agriculture. The procedures piloted on the Wensum are being rolled out to other rivers with special designations for wildlife and will inform strategic approaches to river restoration in the wider river network under the Water Framework Directive.

5. The regeneration of bryophytes after the burning of dry heath (H12a) and wet heath (M16d) moorland on the North York Moors (NECR011)
The North York Moors are atypical uplands because of their low altitude and low rainfall. Many are intensively managed as grouse moors. The report looks at whether or not the North York Moors Sites of Special Scientific Interest could achieve ‘favourable condition’; and whether management plans for burning could aid bryoflora diversity.

6. An estimate of the economic and health value and cost effectiveness of the expanded Walking the Way to Health Initiative (TIN055)
The Walking the Way to Health Initiative (WHI) aims to get more people walking, especially those who take little exercise or live in areas of poor health. The initiative has helped to create over 500 local health walk schemes. Green spaces are areas of natural or semi-natural land that are accessible to people. This technical note provides an assessment of the health value and economic benefits of the WHI scheme and of providing wide spread access to green spaces.

7. Rats: options for controlling infestations (TIN057)
Rats live successfully throughout the UK in both urban and rural environments. This technical note is intended primarily for farm and other commercial premises. It provides general information on brown rats and describes how to control infestations.

8. Rats: control on livestock units (TIN058)
Farms with livestock attract rats and these can cause significant problems, for example transmitting human and livestock diseases; damaging buildings; creating fire hazards by gnawing electrical wiring and contaminating foodstuffs and stored crops with droppings and urine. It is therefore important that occupiers and managers of livestock units take appropriate action to control any existing infestations and to prevent new ones from becoming established.

9. Urban grey squirrels (TIN056)
The grey squirrel is an introduced species that is now common throughout most of England. They are often viewed as an attractive addition to our wildlife. However, they can cause damage when they access buildings and fire when they chew electrical wiring. They also strip bark from trees, which causes serious economic damage in woodlands. Grey squirrels compete with our native red squirrel for food and shelter and this has contributed to the decline in red squirrel numbers. This technical note provides information on how to manage grey squirrel problems.

Publications (TIN056, TIN057 & TIN058) are updated editions of existing publications, from our range of Wildlife Management Advisory Leaflets that are available.

All publications are available as downloadable PDFs by following the related links.


Notes to Editors:

Natural England
Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban, coastal and marine areas. We conserve and enhance the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people, and the economic prosperity it brings.

Natural England Commissioned Reports
Publication codes start NECR. Natural England commission a range of research and follow up reports from external contractors to generate evidence. These contribute to the delivery of the robust evidence base that underpins all our activities. The views in the reports are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Natural England. However, they provide evidence and advice that help us deliver our duties.

Technical Information Notes
Publication codes start TIN. Technical Information Notes contain information and guidance on scientific and technical issues related to a broad range of work areas. They include practical advice to help our staff, partners and others implement work.

Natural England also publish other scientific and technical reports that are not mentioned in this release:

Natural England Research Reports
Publication codes start NERR. These have the same function as commissioned reports but the research and writing has been done by Natural England staff.

Research Information Notes
Publication codes start RIN. These are a summary of the Natural England Research Reports.

Other Publications
Publication codes start NE. These support Natural England’s strategic outcomes and corporate plan. They can contain significant scientific and technical input, for example they might bring together evidence from a range of sources and provide strategic analysis and interpretation of the findings.

Our Framework for Science, Research and Evidence is set out in our Natural England Research Report NERR011.

For further information contact: The National Press Office on 0845 603 9953, email; out of hours 07970 098005.

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