Biodiversity

Bumblebee Conservation Leaflet

Bumblebee Leaflet

The North Wessex Downs is home to one of just six populations of the shrill carder bee in England and Wales.

It is vital to retain and expand habitat in these areas to prevent the national extinction of this native bumblebee. Bumblebees need large areas of pollen and nectar rich flowers in order to forage and areas of long grass or hedgerows in which to nest. This leaflet, produced in partnership with Bumblebee Conservation outlines measures that can be taken through environmental stewardship to provide such habitat.

Bumblebee Conservation Leaflet


Creating new species-rich grassland

This project sought to investigate the financial implications of converting arable land to species-rich chalk grassland (“traditional downland”), and identify constraints and opportunities associated with chalk grassland restoration. The author reviewed 10 examples of projects completed or underway1, and developed two balance sheets to illustrate likely costs and income for in-hand and contract farms carrying out a 15-ha chalk grassland creation project.

Creating new species rich grassland


Chalk Grassland Strategy

A report published in 2005 to build a clear picture of the extent, status and condition of chalk grassland within the AONB and to set a clear strategy for its management. It continues to form the baseline for work conducted through the North Wessex Downs ‘Big Chalk’ project.

Chalk Grassland Strategy


North Wessex Downs Farmland Bird Project

North Wessex Downs Farmland Bird Advisor Diane White visits farms giving advice on the Farmland Bird Package of options in Environmental Stewardship. These include farms already in Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and considering renewal, those thinking about Higher Level Stewardship and farms not in any environmental stewardship scheme at all. An introductory leaflet has been produced detailing the options available.

The project also publishes annual newsletters for farmers and land managers in the North Wessex Downs. You can download these below;

North Wessex Downs Farmland Bird Newsletter 2012
North Wessex Downs Farmland Bird Newsletter 2011

There is also a newsletter covering the South West, which can be downloaded below:

Download South West Farmland Bird Initiative Update Winter 2012/2013


Arable Biodiversity Strategy

This research develops a target area approach to landscape scale restoration of the arable habitat and associated species, whilst identifying management strategies to enhance and extend these biodiversity hotspots. It was initially published in 2008, and updated in February 2010.

Download the Arable Biodiversity Strategy


BeWILD Legacy Report

B-Wild

This report is an evaluation report of the BeWILD Project, an ancient woodland management project delivered across Berkshire from 2008-2011.

The Report pulls together the successes and achievements of the BeWILD Project, and aims to share the experiences and findings from the Project for the benefit of those involved in new and existing woodland management in Berkshire and beyond. It has been written in an accessible toolkit format with case studies, project summary tables, and Top Tips for woodland projects boxes. It contains guidance on woodland management for wildlife, timber production, marketing and woodfuel, as well as lots of links to woodland and woodfuel organisations and guidance material. The Report is designed to be dipped into and read at different levels depending on the reader’s interest and time.

Written and produced by Meg Chambers, Karen Davies and Mel Hardie.

BeWILD Legacy Report