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What do we mean by a landscape scale approach?

A landscape approach looks beyond single sites or habitats to wider areas of multiple habitats and species generally over 1,000 to 10,000ha. These areas will also generally be defined by a range of different land uses and have the potential to deliver a range of public benefits such as flood alleviation, carbon capture or food production. A landscape scale approach will involve a wide range of partners and local communities working together to identify what needs to be happen in the area and find solutions together to help achieve this.

The identified 50 key locations across the region have been termed 'Biodiversity Delivery Areas' (BDAs). Public, private and 3rd sector organisations will work in these areas to secure and restore, habitats, landscapes, and nationally/locally important species that make the South West so special. This is not an exhaustive list meant to capture all the important conservation work happening in the region, but rather it's a spatial representation of where local biodiversity partnerships believe landscape scale conservation and ecosystem recovery efforts should be directed over the next five years.

What do we mean by Delivery in this plan?

When we talk about delivery of biodiversity projects within the BDAs we mean this to cover any activity which brings benefits to wildlife or habitats or enhances understanding of these contributing to the objectives for the area as set out and agreed by the partnership working in the area. This includes (this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Practical work on the ground for habitats or species such as scrub clearance or ditch management to create, restore habitat;
  • Surveys or other monitoring work;
  • Information giving - either directly through signage etc or walks and events; Educational/awareness raising work;
  • Project planning and implementation;
  • Gains through planning;
  • Gains through Agri-environment schemes.

The process for identifying these important areas has involved many local, county and regional organisations plus representatives of national bodies. This work has bought people together building better relationships between groups, organisations and individuals.

The BDAs represent the new 'landscape scale' approach for conserving wildlife. A review of England's wildlife sites and ecological networks (pdf) has also been published which makes recommendations for the future management of our wildlife, including a need to think about how our sites fit together into a landscape scale approach.