Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan - Hampshire County Council

Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan - Hampshire County Council

This document includes mapping data licensed from Ordnance Surveywith the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office.© Crown copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.Rushmoor Borough Council 100024264

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Contents3.5 Wetland Habitats3.5.1 Lakes & Ponds3.5.2 Basingstoke Canal3.5.3 Blackwater River3.5.4 Cove Brook3.6 Urban Environments232626262728Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)4 What can you do to help?5 Action Plan3133AppendicesA Useful ContactsB List of Nature Conservation Designations3942MapsMap 1 - Map showing land designated as Thames Basin Heath Special Protection AreaMap 2 - Map showing designated SSSI landMap 3 - Map showing designated Sites of Importance for Nature ConservationMap 4 - Map of different woodland habitatsMap 5 - Map of different grassland habitatsMap 6 - Map of heathland and dry acid grasslandMap 7 - Map of wetland habitatsMap 8 - Map showing urban green spaces in Rushmoor89101316202430

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity: From Rio to Rushmoor 111.1 IntroductionThe natural environment in Rushmoor has experienced large changes over the past century. Localwildlife has been in decline as a result of increasing pressures from human activities. Despite this thereis still a wide variety of habitats and species within the borough, this document highlights the threats tothese habitats and species and aims to identify what can be done to protect the wildlife we have andenhance the area to increase local biodiversity.The production of the Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan will help translate national and regional targetsinto action into local action, whilst also identifying species and areas of local importance. The plan hasbeen written to ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of biodiversity throughout theborough because the council recognises that biodiversity is important to not just local wildlife but alsofor improved quality of life. It will be necessary for all members of the community, including the council,businesses, volunteer groups and residents, to work together to achieve the aims set out in thisdocument. As a result a local biodiversity partnership will be set up to deliver, monitor and reviewactions set out in this plan.ACTION: Set up a Rushmoor Biodiversity Forum by 2010.1.2 What is biodiversity?The word biodiversity was first used at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, it stands for biological diversityand is the term used to describe all variety of life on Earth in all its forms. This includes variety ordifferences in genes and individuals of the same species, between different plant and animal speciesand within or between entire ecosystems.We can see and experience biodiversity in the world around us everyday, for example an oak tree has high biodiversity because it can supportover 450 species of invertebrates, mammals, birds, lichens, fungi,bacteria and mosses. A concrete path has relatively low biodiversity asthere are only a few species that it can support.1.3 Why is biodiversity important?Biodiversity is very important to maintain the environment in which welive because it is the mix of animals, plants and bacteria in the natural world that provides us with oxygen,water and food and is a major source for our medicines and cosmetics. Loss of biodiversity will haveimpacts on many areas of our lives because it would reduce the natural worlds ability to provide us withthese essential resources e.g. loss of plant diversity can lead to higher air and water pollution.The natural environment is also important for the regions tourism and economy, adding to the cultureand aesthetics of the borough. Maintaining a high quality environment will have positive impact onrecreation and health (The Value of Biodiversity, 2007) and make Rushmoor a better place to live.

2Biodiversity Action Plan 20081 Biodiversity: From Rio to Rushmoor1.4 Why do we need to conserve biodiversity?Biodiversity in Rushmoor and throughout the UK has been in decline over the past century. It is importantwe conserve biodiversity to maintain a healthy and strong natural environment, one that has the abilityto provide the direct and indirect benefits described in the section above.According to the Department of Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) over the past 100 years the UK haslost over 100 species of animals and plants and a similar trend is occurring around the world at differentrates. This level of extinction is much higher than the rate expected by natural processes (MillenniumEcosystem Assessment).In Rushmoor, extinctions have been observed on a local level, especially over the past fifty years asdevelopment in the towns of Farnborough and Aldershot has grown, resulting in dramatic changes tothe local landscape.Marsh Fritillary ButterflyCommon in Rushmoor in the 1980's the specieshas declined rapidly since and has not beenrecorded in the borough since 1991.Biodiversity is integral in many processes that support human life and it can also help mitigate againstextreme weather patterns, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change.By conserving biodiversity we will not only maintain a healthy and interesting landscape for ourselvesand future generations to enjoy, but we will also be conserving the potential to find new solutions tomedical and other problems.

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity: From Rio to Rushmoor 131.5 What are the main threats to biodiversity?There are a number of key factors that have detrimental effects on the level of biodiversity in this area,most are related to human activities.The top four threats identified are development, pollution, inappropriate land management and climatechange.DEVELOPMENTDevelopment poses a large threat to biodiversity through direct loss ofhabitats and indirectly through habitat fragmentation and the additionalimpacts of a development throughout its lifetime on the surroundingenvironment e.g. changes and demands on natural water systems andpressures from increased traffic and other related infrastructure. Rushmooris positioned within easy access of London; this puts a large developmentpressure on the area for housing, infrastructure and recreation.The increased impact on natural resources from a development are not onlyfrom the material required for the construction phase, but also their demandfor energy and water once the development is active. Impacts on surroundinghabitats also need to be considered as changes in light, wind, drainage andusage of these habitats can affect the type and amount of different speciesable to survive there.It is important that in setting out actions to improve biodiversity within the borough, we are mindfulto reduce our negative impact on the biodiversity of other areas.ACTION: Ensure the council Development Control and Planning Policy departments includebiodiversity as a priority in all development plans and applications.POLLUTIONAir, water, light and noise pollution can all impact on biodiversity, changing local the features andspecies found in different habitats. Different types of pollution can affect different species andhabitats in different ways, e.g. light pollution can delay emergence time for bats, reducing the amountof time they have to forage insects, it can also affect natural mating and foraging behaviour in birds.Pollution can come from many different sources and activities and it is important to identify whererisks of pollution are most likely and to reduce the negative impact on local wildlife.

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity: From Rio to Rushmoor 15GLOBAL ACTIONLOCAL ACTIONRio: The Convention onBiological Diversity(1992)UK Biodiversity ActionPlan (1994)Hampshire BiodiversityAction Plan (1998)UK BiodiversityStrategy: Working withthe Grain of Nature(2002)Rushmoor BiodiversityAction Plan (2008)Table 1 Development of Biodiversity ActionGovernment signatories gave theircommitment to conserve andsustain the variety of life on earth.Developing a programme for biodiversity conservationat the local level should be one of the core functions ofLocal Agenda 21.To combat the loss of biodiversitya list of priority habitats andspecies were identified for targetedconservation action.Lead partners for each priority species and habitat weredecided and they spearheaded conservation priority issues affectingbiodiversity within Hampshire andused the information to preparecounty species and habitat actionMonitoring biodiversity and implementation of action progress against the UKBAP so far and identified howresults could be achieved in thefuture.Re-evaluation of BAPs and increased impetus fromcentral government to ensure loss of biodiversity haltedby 2010Looking at the local flora and faunaand the environmental pressureson them. This plan will set targetsand actions to improve biodiversitywithin Rushmoor.Development of projects and initiatives to maintain andincrease biodiversity within the borough

6Biodiversity Action Plan 20081 Biodiversity: From Rio to Rushmoor1.7 Why do we need a Biodiversity Action Plan?There is already work being carried out across the borough to conserve and enhance our local biodiversityand it is hoped a local biodiversity action plan will help to increase local action by engaging with allmembers of the local community, including the council, residents, developers, businesses and groups,to work together to protect and enhance the biodiversity of Rushmoor. By working together we will beable to achieve more than working individually.It is important that actions identified in the UK and Hampshire Biodiversity Action Plans are implementedat a local level, so that national targets to limit the loss of biodiversity will be met. The production of anaction plan for Rushmoor will help to achieve this, whilst also taking into consideration local biodiversityissues and priorities.The broad aims of this plan are:1. Protect and conserve habitats and species present within Rushmoor2. Create new areas for wildlife3. Raise awareness of biodiversity within the community4. Encourage all members of the community to take an active part in biodiversity projects andinitiatives5. Raise awareness of biodiversity among council staff and members6. Increase partnership working between the council, local businesses, landowners, environmentaland community groups to improve local biodiversity7. Monitor and review local biodiversity and this action plan

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Protecting Biodiversity 272.1 IntroductionBefore the development of Rushmoor and Aldershot took place over the last century, a mixture ofheathland, woodlands, grassland and wetland environments were present within the borough. Today,a large proportion of this land has been developed for housing, retail and industrial purposes and thishas resulted in a mosaic of different environments including buildings, gardens, parks and roads thatsit between patches of natural habitats e.g. heath/acid grassland, lakes, ponds and woodlands.The UK Biodiversity Action Plan identified priority habitats for conservation work and attention; the areaof these habitats present in Rushmoor is shown in the table below. A total of 663 hectares of priorityhabitat is currently identified within the borough.Table 2 Priority Habitat Types in RushmoorPriority habitat typeLowland heathland and dry acid grasslandLowland meadowsEutrophic standing watersFens, swamps and reedbedsFloodplain grazing marshLowland mixed deciduous woodlandWet woodlandAncient hedgerowsOpen mosaic habitats on previously developed landArea in Rushmoor(hectares)1762unknown2414366unknownunknownACTION: Quantify extent of all priority habitats in Rushmoor.2.2 Designated areasMany areas of natural habitats have local, national and, or, international designations to protect themfrom further fragmentation and decline; often providing a refuge for wildlife in close proximity to thedensely urban areas of Aldershot and Farnborough. These sites have been designated for the habitatspresent there or for the rare species they support. These areas provide the opportunity to experiencean environment that is in decline in other areas. Together all areas designated at different levels formpart of a semi-natural landscape and help to maintain biodiversity in the borough.In Rushmoor 930 hectares is designated for its nature conservation value. Areas of habitat decliningon an international scale are given a high level of protection in law, areas of habitat or areas supportingspecies declining at a local level are protected at a local level through the council plans.

8Biodiversity Action Plan 20082 Protecting Biodiversity2.2.1 Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA)The highest level of protection is awarded to areas of international importance, these areas are knownas Special Protection Areas (SPAs) or Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Areas designated underEuropean law represent the best examples of habitats that are severely restricted throughout Europeor areas that support internationally rare species. Part of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA falls withinRushmoor’s boundary.Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA)The Thames Basin Heaths SPA was designated in 2005 under the EC Birds Directive and covers atotal area of 8,284 hectares across land in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. The areas in Rushmoorare one part of this ecosystem and over the coming years it will be important for all those involved intheir maintenance to work together to ensure the heaths are restored and maintained to favourablecondition for the wildlife they support.Areas of heathland have been designated because their habitats support breeding populations ofwoodlark, nightjar and Dartford warbler. All three birds are listed in Annex 1 of the Birds Directive andas such these areas are covered by strict legislation. Parts of the important heaths conifer plantationslie within Rushmoor and in adjacent countryside in other boroughs and districts.Map 1 Map showing land designatedas Thames Basin Heath SpecialProtection Area

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Protecting Biodiversity 292.2.2 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)The borough contains areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), areas designatedbecause of their importance at a UK level, as you can see on the map some of these areas are alsodesignated as Special Protection Areas.Map 2 Map showing designated SSSIlandThere are five SSSI’s that lie either wholly or partly within Rushmoor borough, these are:Yateley & Hawley CommonFoxlease & Ancell’s MeadowsEelmoor MarshBourley & Long ValleyBasingstoke CanalNatural England are responsible for assessing the condition of these habitats and the government hasset a Public Service Agreement target that aims for 95% of SSSI area to be in favourable or unfavourable,recovering condition by 2010. To view a map of the SSSI units and see their current condition you canvisit the nature on the map website at:

10Biodiversity Action Plan 20082 Protecting Biodiversity2.2.3 Local Nature Reserves (LNR)There is one Local Nature Reserve in Rushmoor, Rowhill Copse in Aldershot. Although the majority ofthe site sits outside the Rushmoor boundary in Surrey, it is still an important area for our residents andlocal wildlife and is an important site for educating schools and local groups. A Local Nature Reserveis a statutory designation, and these areas are protected from damaging activities.Rowhill Nature Reserve is managed by the Rowhill Conservation Volunteers and provides a goodexample of traditional woodland management.ACTION: Designate a further Local Nature Reserve within the borough by 2014.2.2.4 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC)Locally important examples of habitats and species areprotected through the designation of Sites of Interest for NatureConservation (SINCs). The Council works in partnership withthe Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC) to identifyand designate Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation(SINCs) in the borough and then to monitor and help maintainthese sites. HBIC assesses each site individually against aseries of criteria drawn up by Hampshire County Council, NaturalEngland and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Thesesites are important because they contain habitats and featuresthat cannot be recreated or species that are rare withinHampshire.Map 3 Map showing designatedSites of Importance for NatureConservationThere are 36 SINCs in Rushmoor and they vary greatly in sizeand reason for designation, from small roadside verge sites thatsupport nationally scarce species, to larger areas of heathlandand grassland habitats. The location of SINCs can be foundon the council website and is update annually, these areas aregiven local protection from activities that may damage them,such as development.

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Protecting Biodiversity 2112.2.5 Green NetworksThis framework of protected sites helps form a network of green spaces across the borough and region,representing a link between urban areas and the surrounding countryside in neighbouring boroughsand districts.Networks of green spaces are important for many species to aid dispersal and migration. These networksnot only include the areas identified as being of importance for particular species and habitats, but alsoother more common green areas such as public parks, cemeteries, road verges and domestic gardens.Combined, all these green spaces can help form green corridors and stepping-stones that provide theopportunity for species to migrate.

12Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in Rushmoor3.1 IntroductionRushmoor borough supports a wide mix of habitats and species, in it's heathland, woodland, grasslandand wetland sites and throughout the more urban areas. It is important that priority habitats are protectedand that action is taken to enhance and recreate habitats to support local wildlife species. In eachsection species of national, regional and local importance have been identified and it will be the role ofthe Rushmoor Biodiversity Forum, when set up, to identify actions to help local populations of thesespecies.3.2 WoodlandThere are some areas of natural woodland within the borough. Good examples of this habitat can beseen at Rowhill Copse and Southwood woodland, but there are also many other small pockets ofwoodland habitat adjacent to urban parks. Rowhill and Heron Wood would have been much largerwoodlands in Victorian times, now only small patches remain. The areas of woodland present todayare important and add to the diversity of habitats in Rushmoor. Although most of Rowhill lies withinSurrey it is still enjoyed by the residents of Rushmoor and represents a useful resource for educatingpeople about woodland habitats and management.Southwood Woodland supports a high number of invertebrates, in particular those that depend on deadwood environments, which is unique in the borough and important at a county level. The secondarywoodland supports species strongly associated with ancient woodlands e.g. native bluebells, and is animportant habitat for many species of bat for roosting and feeding.To increase the biodiversity of woodlands their management is very important to encourage naturalregeneration. Management for other habitats may have a negative effect on woodland in the borough,e.g. removal of trees for heathland regeneration. Forestry plantations, most often conifers planted onex heathland sites, are among the poorest for wildlife, often with virtually no ground flora, removal ofthis tree cover can lead to re-establishment of heathland vegetation.There is 436ha of lowland mixed deciduous woodland and 6ha of wet woodland in Rushmoor. Thisrepresents a small percentage of the overall woodland in Hampshire but these areas add greatly to ourlocal natural environment and are important on a landscape scale. These habitats need to be managedto allow natural regeneration.Priority species associated with woodlands:Lesser spotted woodpeckerSpotted flycatcherBullfinchSong thrushPurple emperorFestoon mothWood antGreen flowered helleborine

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 313Map 4 Map of different woodland habitats

14Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorTHREATLack of appropriate managementFragmentationRecreation pressures – disturbanceand tramplingACTIONCreate database to collate woodlandmanagement informationSupport traditional managementevents in regionWrite management plans for councilowned woodlandEnsure up to date surveys forwoodlandsIdentify areas for planting buffer zonesDraw up green infrastructure strategyfor Rushmoor boroughHold an annual woodland event toraise awareness of woodlandconservation and educate residentsWrite press articles for local media onwoodland management activitiesTIMESCALE PARTNERS20091 eventeach year2009 - 20142010, 2011Write surveytimetable -2009Surveys2009 - 2014201020101 event ayear 2009 -20142 articlesper year2009-2014RBC, MoD,RNRVRBC,RNRVRBCRBC, HBICRBC, HBICRBC,landowners,developersRBCRBC,RNRVRBC

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 3153.3 Unimproved GrasslandThere are different types of grassland habitat present in Rushmoor, representing underlying groundconditions. Dry acid grasslands are included in the Heathlands section of this document.Management of grasslands has an impact on which species will be present and how diverse the overallhabitat will be. Unimproved grasslands are the most diverse grassland habitat, this is because theyhave not been treated with fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides.The practice of agriculturally improving grasslands through fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides allowsonly some of the plant and insect species to survive because they introduce high levels of nitrogen intothe habitat. In improved grasslands the high nitrogen levels provide conditions where a few specieswill out compete the others and dominate the area. One of the most attractive qualities of unimprovedneutral grasslands, and the reason for their high biodiversity value, is their diversity of wildflowers, whichin turn attracts a large number of insects, such as butterflies and bees.Most priority grassland habitats in the borough have been included within the boundaries of designatedareas and with correct management, their biodiversity can be maintained and enhanced. It is importantto survey all grassland sites not protected to ensure all priority grassland habitats within the boroughare identified and we are able to monitor their condition over time.Priority species associated with unimproved grasslands:SkylarkGrizzled skipper butterflyGreen-winged orchidQuaking grassPotter flower beeAdder

16Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorMap 5 Map of different grassland habitats

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 317THREATLack of active grassland management, changein type of managementLoss and fragmentation from developmentRecreational pressures – disturbance andtramplingACTIONOrganise grasslandmanagement seminar forlocal landownersReview roadside vergemanagement –implement conservationcut regime whereappropriateReview council parkmanagement on siteswith unimprovedgrassland/priorityspecies presentEnsure all plans containstrong policies to protecthabitatRequire full vegetationsurvey to be submittedwith planningapplicationsSurvey grasslandhabitats within boroughto ensure they areprotected and beingmanaged appropriatelyWrite green corridorstrategy for RushmoorboroughTIMESCALE201020112 a year2010-2014As appropriatewhen plans areproduced.2009-20142009 – surveytimetable &database2009-2014 –identification ofnew sites asappropriate2010Increase information 2010signs in areas whereconflict betweenrecreation andconservation is expectedProduce leaflet ofgrassland habitats inborough to educateresidents2012PARTNERSRBC,HWT,BVCPRBC,VeoliaRBCRBCRBC,DevelopersRBC, HBICRBCRBC,CBGG,BVCP,HWTRBC,CBGG,BVCP,HWT

18Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorPollution and fly-tippingPromote council greenwaste schemeProduce media articlesto advertise the negativeeffects of fly-tipping2009-20141 a year2009-2014RBCRBC

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 3193.4 HeathlandHeathland habitat is characterised by a mixture of dwarf shrubs such as heathers, gorse, acid grassland,bare sand and gravel and may include everything from parched ground to bog pools. As a habitat, itsupports many species that depend upon the special conditions it provides, including protected andBAP priority species.Heathland soil is generally acidic and poor in nutrients restricting the plants that can colonise and persistin these areas. Heathlands are one of the UK’s most important but threatened habitats; rare elsewherein Europe the heathlands remaining in the South of England represent an important stronghold for thishabitat. To see good examples of heathland habitat you can visit Hawley Commons and Bourley &Long Valley.In the past, much of the borough area would have been heathland and this habitat was maintained bythe grazing of cattle, ponies, sheep etc. on the land. The cessation of grazing, introduction of coniferplantations to the area and loss through development have caused a large decrease in the borough’sheathland. In recent years cattle have been reintroduced to areas of heathland in the borough withpositive effects on the biodiversity of those areas and the regeneration of heathland.The majority of heathland in Rushmoor is MoD training land, with large areas open to the public andthe MoD have been working closely with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and HampshireCounty Council to restore heathland areas to favourable condition where this does not impede uponmilitary activity.Priority Species associated with heathlands:Silver studded blue butterflyMining beesNightjarWoodlarkDartford warblerA Ruby-tailed waspPale heath violetMarsh clubmossNail fungusThere is 176ha of lowland heathland and dry acid grassland in the borough and this represents 10% ofthe heathland area in Hampshire (excluding the New Forest). These areas are also important at alandscape level in combination with the other areas making up the Thames Basin heaths.

20Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorMap 6 Map of heathland and dry acid grassland

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 321THREATLoss and fragmentation fromdevelopmentRecreational pressures – disturbanceand tramplingACTIONSurvey heathlands anddesignate as SINCs allareas that meet criteriaWork with landowners toproduce managementplans for heathland sitesAll heathland SSSIs tobefavourable/unfavourablerecoveringSafeguard heathland andback up grazing landIdentify potential sites forheathland regenerationEnsure all plans containstrong policies to protecthabitatHold annual awarenessraising event forcommunity to explainissues affectingheathland andencourage appreciationof habitat andmanagement strategiesProduce leaflet toadvertise all dog walkingareas within boroughProvide information forresidents about how theycan decrease theirnegative impact whenvisiting heathlandsWrite media article aboutdetriment of fires onheathlandsExplore with landownersways of decreasing theincidents of accidentalfiresTIMESCALE2009-2014201220122009-20142010As appropriatewhen plans areproduced2009-20142013200920102009PARTNERSRBC, HBICRBC, MoD,LandownersNE, MoDRBC, NERBC,LandownersRBCRBC, HWTRBC, DevelopersRBCRBC, HWTRBC,Landowners

22Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorTHREATACTIONTIMESCALEPARTNERSLack of/inappropriate managementExplore opportunities tocreate links betweenmanagement and othersustainable industries2013RBC, HCC,LandownersAssist landowners toproduce and implementsite management plans.2009-2014RBC,Landowners,HampshireHeathlandProject

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 3233.5 Wetland HabitatsThere is great diversity of wetland habitats within Rushmoor, and these support high levels of biodiversityand a variety of important species. From rivers and streams to lakes and ponds, these habitats do notexist in isolation and are often found together with other habitats such as wet grassland and wet woodlandareas.The range of habitat structure within wetland environments is one of the reasons they can support largenumbers of species, often making these areas biodiversity hotspots. The river, brooks and canal alsoserve as green wildlife corridors through the borough and are important in helping species migration.The high number of invertebrate species found along the river and canal are important for attractingother species, such as bats, as they are an important source of food. There are many pressures onwetland habitats from changes in hydrology of the area, from development and water extraction, and itis important to maintain wildlife corridors in light of the expected effects of climate change and theincreased likelihood of species migration.Wetland habitats within Rushmoor borough are often within close proximity to highly urban areas whichcan cause conflict and make them prone to pollution events. It will be necessary for all members andgroups in the community to stop pollution of the waterways and help enhance these areas for wildlifeand people.Priority species associated with wetland habitatsGadwallPochardWater voleOtterDowny emerald dragonfly6 stamened WaterwortHair-like pondweedPillwort

24Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorMap 7 Map of wetland habitats

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 325THREATRecreational PressuresIntroduction of alien speciesLoss of wetland habitat throughinappropriate management ordevelopmentIncreased water demandWater pollutionRELATED ACTIONIncrease participation in conservationof rivers and streamsHold one event annually to highlighthabitat and speciesProvide educational material on effectsof dumping garden waste on habitatincluding list of invasive speciesNo decline in wetland areas in boroughfor length of planWork with partners on LoddonCatchment Biodiversity Plan andsupport catchment wide projectsDevelop strong policies included incouncil plan documents to safeguardwetland habitatsEncourage management of habitatsfor water voles and ottersIdentify areas for new pond creationHelp landowners draw upmanagement plans for sites withconservation of habitat a priorityInclude policy in council plandocuments to encourage SustainableUrban Drainage Systems ondevelopment sites.Develop plan to improve waterefficiency within boroughWork in partnership to reduce numberof pollution events in borough overplan periodTIMESCALE20%increaseby 20142009-201420092009-2014POTENTIALPARTNERSCBGG,BVCPRBC &variouspartnersRBCRBC&variouspartners2009-2014 EA, RBC,BVCP &variouspartnersAsappropriateas plansareproduced2009-20142 sitesidentifiedby 20122009-2014Asappropriateas plansareproduced20102009-2014RBC, EARBC, EA,BVCP,landownersVariouspartnersRBC, EA,landownersRBC, EA,developersVariouspartnersVariouspartners

26Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in Rushmoor3.5.1 Lakes & PondsPonds can be all shapes and sizes and be man made or natural. A variety of ponds can be found inRushmoor from the gravel lakes along the Blackwater River, small garden ponds and larger ones e.g.Brickfields Park pond.In 2006 a category was added to the UK BAP priority habitats list to recognise the importance of pondsin maintaining biodiversity. Priority ponds are considered those that represent over two hectares ofeutrophic standing water, or if under this size they support internationally, nationally scarce species orhabitats listed under Annex 1 of the Habitats Directive.ACTION: Find out total number of ponds within borough and how many of these reach the UKBAPcriteria.With increasing temperatures there is concern that many smaller ponds may dry out, leading to a lossof many species of invertebrates and amphibians that rely on them for food and as spawning grounds.Ponds of all sizes are important and even garden and school ponds will be colonised by locally prominentspecies, as well as supporting dragonflies and damselflies.There are a number of old gravel lakes on the eastern border of Rushmoor that are excellent sites forbird watching, especially throughout winter months when they host wintering and migrating wildfowl.3.5.2 Basingstoke CanalThe canal is an SSSI and has an unusual change in pH along its length, which has lead to a variety ofdifferent habitats. It was designated because it supports one of the widest ranges of wetland and aquaticplants in Britain.ACTION: Support Basingstoke Canal Authority in projects to return canal habitats to favourablecondition.On the Basingstoke Canal, disused side waters provide additional habitats for increased biodiversity,examples of these are Eelmoor, Claycart and Rushmoor Flashes that are managed by the HIOW WildlifeTrust. The vegetation and species found in these areas are those adapted to occasional flooding.3.5.3 Blackwater RiverStarting in Rowhill Copse in the southeast of the borough the Blackwater River runs from south to northand is an important green corridor for species migration. The river and surrounding gravel lakes providefood and shelter for many bird species, throughout winter months visiting wading birds can be seenoverwintering on the lakes. A number of nationally and regionally scarce plant species are supportedalong the river and continued management for conservation will help maintain populations of thesespecies.

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 3273.5.4 Cove BrookThis is an interesting and important habitat that runs through a very urban area. The Cove Brookprovides residents with an excellent opportunity to interact with wildlife on their doorstep and it is importantto manage this area for wildlife as well as people.Southwood Meadow, a traditional area of water meadow, is an important area for invertebrates andamphibians, the meadow is located by Hazel Avenue in Cove. The brook and the surrounding openspaces is an area identified for priority conservation action to ensure the diversity of the grassland ismaintained and increased.

28Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in Rushmoor3.6 Urban EnvironmentsThe urban environment represents at best a mosaic of habitats thatprovide an important refuge for many species. Relics and smallpatches of the habitats discussed in the previous chapters can befound within Farnborough and Aldershot, linking these patches withthe wider countryside will help local wildlife populations.The urban environment is included in this plan because the range ofenvironments within the urban landscape helps support a wide varietyof species, making an important contribution to the overall biodiversityof the region, and provides the easiest opportunity for residents to access nature in their day to daylives.The urban environment is not a priority UK BAP habitat but some UK BAP species can be found in ourtowns. Stag beetles are now commonly found in urban areas despite being dependent upon dead woodfor larval development. Their adaptation appears to be helping the population of stag beetles in theSouth East flourish.Approximately 27% of urban land use is currently identified as used for gardens; in the highly developedareas of Rushmoor, gardens may provide an important resource for biodiversity. Urban gardens helpaid dispersal of biodiversity by acting as green corridors and as stepping-stones for species movingbetween larger green spaces. There are several green corridors identified within the LDF and thecouncil, for aesthetic and environmental reasons, encourages further landscaping within them. Streettrees not only protect our neighbourhoods from extremes of weather they are also important for urbanwildilfe, home to many insect and bird species.The verges alongside roads and railway embankments create wildlife corridors through urban areasand can support rare plant species. Three road verges are classified as SINCs in Rushmoor for thisreason and populations of the nationally rare Chamomile have been identified on road verges throughoutthe borough. Larger green spaces within the urban environment are often represented by parks, playingfields, cemeteries and allotments and provide the most accessible areas for local residents to accessand appreciate wildlife and nature.Priority species associated with the urban environment:Stag beetlesBats (serotine, brown long eared & pipistrelle)House sparrowsChamomileHedgehogCommon toad

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Biodiversity in Rushmoor 329Table 3 Table 2.3.1 Main threats and actionsTHREATLoss of biodiversity throughdevelopment of brownfield sitesand gardensLack of awareness of natureconservation issuesRELATED ACTIONEnsure biodiversity of brownfield sites istaken into consideration in all developmentplansEnsure new developments retain existingwildlife habitats and create newopportunities where possibleEnsure appropriate surveys are carried outand submitted with all planning applicationsProduce green space strategy for boroughReview information on council website onnature conservationProduce at least four press articles a yearmentioning biodiversity actionInitiate an annual resident survey onwildlife in the boroughIncrease membership of Rushmoor UrbanWildlife GroupProvide annual biodiversity action eventfor residentsTIMESCALEAsappropriateas plans areproduced2009-20142009-2014200920092009-20142009-20142009-20142009-2014PARTNERSRBCRBC,developersRBC,developersRBCRBCRBC &variouspartnersRBC &variouspartnersRBCRBC,RUWG,variouspartners

30Biodiversity Action Plan 20083 Biodiversity in RushmoorMap 8 Map showing urban green spaces in Rushmoor

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008What can you do to help? 431Everyone can help achieve the aims of this action plan, either in your own garden, by joining a localconservation group or as a business and organisation.If you want to take a more active role in helping to conserve the biodiversity of Rushmoor you can joinand support one of the following groups (contact details can be found at the back of this plan):Rushmoor Urban Wildlife GroupCove Brook Greenway GroupRowhill Nature Conservation GroupBlackwater Valley VolunteersFriends of Brickfields ParkFriends of Manor ParkHampshire Wildlife TrustFurther details about these groups and what activities you can get involved in can be found on thecouncil website.Another way to find out more about local wildlife is to join one of the county species groups. There areseveral groups taking specific interest in different species, working to record where the species are andto learn more about their ecology. For further details on how to contact all species recording groups inHampshire you can look on the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre website changes in your own garden can help provide important resources for local species and increaseyour encounters with different birds, mammals and insects. A few ideas you could try are:Creating a pond or other area for wildlifePutting out food for birds throughout the yearPlanting native trees and wild flowersPlanting species that will provide a food source for wildlifeA wildlife gardening leaflet is available from the council if you would like more information and advice.If you would like a copy of the leaflet to learn how to create a wildlife meadow or pond please call 01252398731.Making improvements to your garden for wildlife can be done in many different ways, you can pick yourfavourite species and provide for their specific requirements or take a more general approach. If youprovide a varied structure of vegetation, with areas that provide shelter, plants that will provide food insome way, e.g. berry bearing trees and shrubs or nectar rich plants and a source of water this will helpsupport local wildlife.You can help biodiversity by thinking about your actions and reducing any negative impacts you haveon the environment e.g. do not dump garden waste anywhere other than your compost heap and donot fly tip or drop litter.Businesses and organisations within Rushmoor can also get involved to take action against further lossof biodiversity in the borough, you can:

32Biodiversity Action Plan 20084 What can you do to help?Consider impacts on biodiversity of your actionsSupport local conservation groupsCreate wildlife areas in landscaped areasUse local conservation work as a team building exerciseEncourage staff to take action for biodiversityTo learn more about what you can do to help biodiversity in Rushmoor and across Hampshire visit theHampshire Biodiversity Partnership website at

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Action Plan 533This section sets out actions needed to achieve the seven broad aims set out at the start of the document.These actions are mainly cross cutting actions not set out already in the habitat sections. Where theseactions can be achieved through particular processes e.g. through the forward planning process thishas been identified.AimProtect and conserve habitats and species present within RushmoorTable 4 Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan: Aim 1ACTIONTIMESCALEPOTENTIALPARTNERSForward PlanningInclude policies in council plan documents to protect existingbiodiversity at all development sitesAll development briefs to include information on biodversity of sitesEnsure designated sites are listed and given appropriate protectionin all council documents and plansWork with developers to include creation of new habitat indevelopment proposalsDevelopment ControlProvide advice to developers and planning officers before and duringthe planning application process to ensure wildlife value of all sites,including brownfield sites, is taken into considerationEnsure planning applications are supported by high quality ecologicalsurveysRespond to planning applications to ensure biodiversity is aconsiderationProduce GIS layer of areas of biodiversity importance for use inconsultations on planning applications and management plansAs appropriate asplans areproducedAs appropriate asbriefs areproducedAs appropriate asplans areproducedAs appropriate asdevelopmentscome forward2009-20142009-20142009-20142009RBC &variouspartnersRBC &variouspartnersRBC &variouspartnersRBC,developersRBC, NE,EA, variouspartnersRBCRBC &variouspartnersRBC

34Biodiversity Action Plan 20085 Action PlanACTIONTIMESCALEPOTENTIALPARTNERSOther areasEncourage use of green/brown roofs in borough by installation of ademonstration in the boroughWrite green infrastructure strategy for RushmoorIncrease awareness of issues on the Thames Basin Heaths amongresidents with information on website201320102010variouspartnersRBC &variouspartnersRBC &variouspartnersAimCreate new areas for wildlifeTable 5 Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan: Aim 2ACTIONDraw up annual survey scheme to identify key sites for priority habitatsand speciesDesignate one Local Nature ReserveProvide guidance for anyone seeking to create new wildlife areasDevelop a funding database for habitat creation projectsTIMESCALE2009-201420142009-20142010POTENTIALPARTNERSRBC, HBIC,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartnersvariouspartnersRBC,variouspartners

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Action Plan 535AimRaise awareness of biodiversity within the community and encourage all members of thecommunity to take an active role in biodiversity projects and initiativesTable 6 Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan: Aims 3 & 4ACTIONTIMESCALEPOTENTIALPARTNERSProvide an annual conservation training event to enable residentsto learn new skillsOrganise annual borough wildlife survey for residentsProvide information on biodiversity in Rushmoor on websiteConsult with members of the public on site management plansProduce six media articles a year about biodiversity in the boroughProduce four seasonal park posters a yearPromote use of nature areas as an educational resource throughRushmoor School PlusProvide at least two sessions a year for schools on natureconservation issues2009-20142009-20142009As appropriate asplans are produced2009-20142009-20142009-20142009-2014RBC,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartnersRBCRBC,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartnersRBCRBC,variouspartnersRBC,schools,variouspartners

36Biodiversity Action Plan 20085 Action PlanAimRaise awareness of biodiversity among council staff and membersTable 7 Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan: Aim 5ACTIONTIMESCALEPOTENTIALPARTNERSOrganise member training event on biodiversity issuesEnsure biodiversity incorporated into council plans and strategiesProduce guidance note for council departments to considerbiodiversity in their actionsReview management of council owned land and implement additionalmeasures for nature conservationUp date staff on biodiversity in borough through internalcommunication methodsWrite management plans for council owned SINC sites2012As appropriate asthese are produced201320122009-20142 a year2009-2013RBCRBC,variouspartnersRBCRBCRBCRBC, HBIC,variouspartners

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Action Plan 537AimIncrease partnership working between the council, local businesses, landowners,environmental and community groups to improve local biodiversity.Table 8 Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan: Aim 6ACTIONTIMESCALEPOTENTIALPARTNERSMake information easily available to businesses and landowners onhow they can assist biodiversity conservationEncourage sponsorship of local biodiversity projectsDevelop database to link conservation action needed with groupswilling to undertake workSet up Rushmoor Biodiversity Forum to take this action plan forward2010-20142009-201420112009RBC,HBP,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartners

38Biodiversity Action Plan 20085 Action PlanAimMonitor and review local biodiversity and this planTable 9 Rushmoor Biodiversity Action Plan: Aim 7ACTIONTIMESCALEPOTENTIALPARTNERSDevelop a survey strategy for the boroughMaintain support and funding for Hampshire Biodiversity InformationCentreDevelop a set of indicators to assess urban biodiversityProduce annual newsletter to up date community on work completedon action planReview strategy in 201420092009-201420112009-20142014RBC,HBIC,variouspartnersRBC,HBIC,variouspartnersRBC,variouspartnersRBCRBC,variouspartners

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Useful Contacts A39This section includes a list of useful contacts for further information about wildlife conservation actionin Rushmoor. For organisations identified as potential partners in actions in this plan the abbreviationused has been placed after their name.Bat Conservation TrustUseful ContactContact Information15 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London, SW84BG020 7627 Valley Countryside Partnership (BVCP)Ash Lock Cottage, Government Road, Aldershot, GU11 2PS01252 Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV)Southern Central Office, Rooms 3, 2 Venture Road, ChilworthScience Park, Chilworth, Southampton, SO16 7NP023 8076 ConservationManor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP01929 Brook Greenway Group (CBGG)Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs(DEFRA) Contact Unit, Eastbury House, 30-34 AlbertEmbankment, London, SE1 7TL08459 33 55 Agency (EA)Swift House, Frimley Business Park, Camberley Surrey,GU16 7SQ08708 506 of Brickfields Park01252

40Biodiversity Action Plan 2008A Useful ContactsUseful ContactHampshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (HARG)Contact InformationHampshire Wildlife Trust, Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane,Curdridge, SO32 2DP01489 774406 Bat groupHampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC) House, 84-98 Southampton Road, Eastleigh,SO50 5PA023 8038 Flora GroupHampshire Wildlife Trust, Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane,Curdridge, SO32 2DP01489 774406 Fungus Group16 Gordon Avenue, Winchester, SO23 0QQ01962 869725email: graham.mattock@talk21.comHampshire Mammal GroupHampshire Wildlife Trust, Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane,Curdridge, SO32 2DP01489 774406 Network for Invertebrate ConservationHampshire Wildlife Trust, Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane,Curdridge, SO32 2DP01489 774406 Ornithological SocietyThe Membership Secretary, 11 Waterloo Avenue,Winklebury, Basingstoke, RG23 & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HWT)Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust - North Office, TheOld Cartshed, Herriard Park, Basingstoke, RG25 2PL

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008Useful Contacts A41Useful ContactContact Information01256 & Eversley Heritage Area Project (LEHA)Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust - North Office, TheOld Cartshed, Herriard Park, Basingstoke, RG25 2PL01256 381186 England (NE)Hampshire & Isle of Wight Office, 1 Southampton Road,Lyndhurst, SO43 7BU023 8028 Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)South East Regional Office, 2nd floor, 42 Frederick Place,Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4EA01273 Nature Reserve Volunteers (RNRV)01252 Borough Council (RBC)Biodiversity Officer, Council Offices, Farnborough Road,GU14 7JU01252 Urban Wildlife Group (RUWG)Les Murrell, Council Offices, Farnborough Road,Farnborough, GU14 7JU01252 398538 (Wildlife Information Service)Beechcroft House, Vicarage Lane, Curdridge, SO32 2DP01489

42Biodiversity Action Plan 2008B List of Nature Conservation DesignationsDesignationSPASSSISSSISSSISSSISSSISINCSINCName of SiteThames BasinHeathsBasingstoke CanalBourley & LongValleyCastle Bottom toYateley & HawleyCommonsEelmoor MarshFoxlease & Ancell’sMeadowRowhill CopseBrickfields ParkReason for designationInternationally important populations of Nightjar,Woodlark and Dartford warbler.The Canal, along with associated 'flashes' andheathland, is nationally important for aquatic plantsand invertebrates. The Basingstoke Canal isbotanically the most species-rich aquatic systemin England.The site comprises a diverse mosaic of heathland,woodland, mire, scrub and grassland habitats.Such habitat diversity supports a rich flora andfauna including nationally scarce plants, nationallyrare insects and three bird species listed in Annex1 of the EC Directive on the Conservation of WildBirds.This site is notified for its heathland and youngconifer plantation which supports an internationallyimportant population of Dartford warbler andpopulations of two other internationally importantspecies, woodlark and nightjar. Thescrub/heathland interface supports a particularlyrich invertebrate fauna including a number ofnationally scarce species. It also supports anoutstanding dragonfly assemblage.This site comprises a range of habitat typesincluding deep peat, raised bog, networks ofditches, species-rich grass, heath and areas ofScots pine and birch. The variety of habitatssupport a diverse invertebrate fauna. Theexceptionally rich acid bog flora also has largepopulations of insectivorous plants.This site comprises a wide range of acid grassland,wet heath and mire plant communities. The sitesupports a diverse floral assemblage includingmany nationally scarce species. The diversehabitat and ponds and ditches found on site supportpopulations of nationally rare invertebrates.The site comprises ancient semi-natural woodlandand provides important access to nature for thelocal community.The site supports notable species* and providesimportant access to nature for the local community.Level ofdesignationEUUKUKUKUKUKCountyCounty

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008List of Nature Conservation Designations B43DesignationSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCName of SiteAldershot Park Wood(Heron Wood)Southwood ComplexPavilion HillClaycartBottom/Rushmoor HillSkirmishing Hill(Eastern edge)South of Ively RoadPuckridge Hill HeathRoyal Pavilion(QARANC)Claycart Hill OpenSpaceFarnborough AirfieldThe ‘First’ GrassHeathClaycart Hill Wood(south)AldershotSportsgroundReason for designationThe site comprises ancient semi-natural woodlandand provides important access to nature for thelocal community.The site supports relic unimproved grassland andheathland and woodland vegetation, includingnotable species*.The site supports areas of heathland vegetation.The site supports areas of heathland that areafforested or have succeeded to woodland but forman integral part of an open area of heathland.The site supports areas of heathland that areafforested or have succeeded to woodland but forman integral part of an open area of heathland.The site supports one or more notable species*.The site supports areas of heathland vegetation;including matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland,valley mires and scrub.The site supports areas of heathland that areafforested or have succeeded to woodland but forman integral part of an open area of heathland. Oneor more notable species* is present.The site supports relic unimproved grassland andareas of heathland vegetation; including matricesof dwarf shrub, acid grassland, valley mires andscrub. One or more notable species* are present.A wide variety of habitats are present includingunimproved and semi-improved grassland, areasof diverse heathland vegetation, afforestedheathland patches and wetter areas that supporta flora and fauna characteristic of unimproved andwaterlogged conditions. One or more notablespecies* are present.The site supports unimproved grasslands and areasof heathland vegetation; including matrices of dwarfshrub, acid grassland, valley mires and scrub.The site supports county rare semi-naturalwoodland and one or more notable species*.The site supports one or more notable species*.Level ofdesignationCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCounty

44Biodiversity Action Plan 2008B List of Nature Conservation DesignationsDesignationSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCName of SiteWatt’s CommonAlison'sRoad/FarnboroughRoad JunctionRV:NS104 ShoeLane, FarnboroughArmy Golf Course –EastAlison’s Road vergesPrinces’s AvenueWoodAldershot Manor ParkPeaked HillRedan RoadCemeteryMilitary CemeteryHilland LakeSpring LakesHollybush HillRamillies Park/NorthCamp LakesThe GoldSt. John’sChurchyardReason for designationThe site supports unimproved grassland, areas ofdiverse heathland vegetation and wooded heath.One or more notable species* are present.The site supports one or more notable species*.The site supports one or more notable species*.The site retains relic unimproved grassland habitat.The site supports one or more notable species*.The site contains county rare semi-naturalwoodland.The site supports one or more notable species*.The site has areas of wooded heathland and retainsimportant heathland vegetation.The site supports semi-improved grasslands withelements of unimproved grassland.The site retains relic unimproved grassland habitatwith one or more notable species* present.The site includes areas of open freshwater whichsupports assemblages of aquatic flora and fauna,including one or more notable species*.The site supports one or more notable species*.The site is unimproved grasslands and supportsone or more notable species*.The site includes areas of open freshwater whichsupports assemblages of aquatic flora and fauna,including one or more notable species*.The site includes areas of open freshwater whichsupports assemblages of aquatic flora and fauna,including one or more notable species*.The site supports unimproved grasslands and areasof heathland vegetation; including matrices of dwarfshrub, acid grassland, valley mires and scrub. Oneor more notable species* are present.Level ofdesignationCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCountyCounty

Biodiversity Action Plan 2008List of Nature Conservation Designations B45DesignationSINCSINCSINCSINCSINCName of SiteCove Valley,Southern GrasslandMeadow north of M3Junction 4Farnborough TownCemeteryShip Lane CemeteryBlackwater Valley,Frimley BridgeReason for designationThe site supports relic unimproved grasslands andone or more notable species*.The site supports semi-improved grasslands withareas of unimproved grassland. One or morenotable species* are present.The site supports areas of unimproved andsemi-improved grasslands. One or more notablespecies* are present.The site supports semi-improved grasslands withareas of unimproved grassland.The site supports areas of heathland vegetation;including matrices of dwarf shrub, acid grassland,valley mires, scrub and areas of open freshwaterthat supports assemblages of aquatic flora andfauna.Level ofdesignationCountyCountyCountyCountyCounty* Notable species include Red Data Book species, Nationally Scarce species, species covered underSchedules 1, 5 and 8 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, Annex 1 of the EC Bird Directive 79/409and Annex II & IV of the EC Directive 92/43/EEC ‘The Habitats Directive, and those covered by theBern, Bonn and Ramsar Conventions. Notable species will also include species which are considered‘County Rare’ or ‘County Scarce’. County Rare = those species recorded in 1% or less tetrads inHampshire or either of the two vice-counties (11&12) separately. County Scarce = 4% or less tetrads.

Council Offices, Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hants, GU14 7JUTel: 01252 398 398 ■ email: ■© Rushmoor Borough Council ■ Produced January 2009

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