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Wildlife and Landscape Survey - Essay Example

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Discuss the stages in planning the monitoring of a moorland management plan drawing out the importance of each stage of the process…
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Wildlife and Landscape Survey
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Download file to see previous pages This plan has been made keeping in view the Moorlands of UK) Background Efficiently managing Moorland through limited burning and grazing can create a variety of natural habitats crucial for nature conservation. It also provides perfect nesting and feeding for a range of native birds. All of this comes along with the availability of perfect grazing grounds for farm animals and domestic livestock. Introduction Well maintained moorlands can serve multiple purposes. Many economic and environmental benefits can be drawn out of them. They can serve as water catchments, an important element in the prevention of floods and as recreational sites. Monitoring Moorlands will need commitment from the farmers that own those lands. It would be better to get them to sign a contract as this will help us in managing the moors according to our objectives and return they will get nicely maintained moorland that can serve for their grazing animals. Plan of Action Cutting and Burning A technique called rotational burning will be used wherever the cutting method won’t be helpful. A tactic to use when choosing which method to apply to the land is; low dwarf heath shrub cover will not be used for rotational burning. This includes the area intense in bracken. Heath (Dry) The areas including dry heath vegetation will be rotationally burnt in proportion to the area they cover measured in number of hectares. An estimate basis, an area of 30 hectares will be rotationally burnt for a period of 20 years. This ratio actually depends on the nature of the contract with the owner of the land. For areas that are home for birds of prey or have rare vegetation will need a different plan of action, especially regarding the rotatory burning. Generally such circumstances call for prolonged burning rotation but a final decision will be made after examining those rare plants and animals. Blanket Bog This is the layer of vegetation that covers the peat deeper than normal vegetation layer. When burning this portion, special attention and care is required as carelessness can damage the useful peat. Moreover, we need the peat to maintain surface vegetation for proper plant growth. It makes sense in understanding that in many areas blanket bog itself is not burnt at all as there is no need to do so or in some cases for conserving nature or for the management of a wider portion of land. While in some areas, where heather still covers the peat it is still desirable to burn the area for conservation purposes. In short wherever burning is necessary, it must be made sure that no part of sensitive vegetation is destroyed or a delicate piece of land is damaged. Heath (Wet) Just like the dry heath, care must be taken while burning the area covered by wet heath, to make sure that this process may not damage any sensitive vegetation or delicate cover on the land or the peat itself. Generally a rotational burning period of 20 years is feasible with a maximum area of 30 hectares with annual burning of 30 hectares in a year on average. This arrangement can be varied depending on the specific needs of the land. Burning Precautions Generally there are some precautions that need to be taken when burning land for Moorland management. 1. Burning process can only be carried out in areas of land where the heather cover is 50% or more and heather itself is 30cm/Ft. or more height wise. And all of this must be consistent with the burning process agreed upon in the contract. (To measure the Heather height, place the measuring stick down into the plant and not stretching out the plant. The height of heather will vary depending upon altitude and the growth speed of moors. 2. It will be decided beforehand that what amount (proportion) of land will be burnt in the course of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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