The aims of this unit are to:
* enable learners to identify a range of selected UK habitats of national and regional importance and associated flora and fauna and designations.
* provide opportunities for relevant site visits, appraisals and assessments.
* enable learners to be conversant with techniques for ongoing management, conservation and restoration projects.
* enable learners to be aware of the framework of regional and national standards for natural heritage areas.
At the end of this unit students will be able to:
* demonstrate the ability to identify, assess and monitor a range of habitats and their associated assemblages of flora and fauna.
* understand ecological and edaphic factors affecting habitats.identify habitat creation and restoration opportunities within the framework of regional and national standards.
* apply knowledge of the criteria within national and regional standards to habitat management projects.
* assess the cultural and economic value of selected habitats including the influence of farming and forestry.
* undertake sustainable management of habitats.
During the unit students will gain the following skills:
* gathering and processing technical information (A).
* formulating outcomes (A).
* making and defending decisions (A).
* written and verbal presentation skills (A).
* representing the interests of a relevant organisation (A).
* facilitating and negotiating (A).
* identification skills (T).
* creation and restoration techniques (T,).
* calculating specifications and costs (A).
* writing detailed reports (A).
* communicating findings to a variety of parties (A).
This unit concentrates on:
* developing identification skills for specific habitats, e.g. grassland, wetlands and coastal habitats, woodland, heathland and upland habitats and associated flora and fauna.
* key abiotic (edaphic) and biotic (ecological) factors affecting UK habitats, e.g. soil, hydrology, climate, topography; micro and macro flora and fauna.
* identification of habitat creation and restoration opportunities and the application of the framework of regional and national standards that apply, e.g. the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, Natura 2000, UK Forestry Standard and Regional Strategies.
* assessments of the cultural and economic value to communities of selected habitats, e.g. heritage value for ancient woodlands, veteran trees and chalk downland, sporting value of grouse moors, upland deer forests, woodlands, river and stillwater fisheries.
* the local/regional importance of agriculture, forestry as major land use activities and their influence on selected habitats.
* sustainable management of habitats, e.g. management of water and vegetation wetlands, grazing regimes of grassland, heathland, moorlands and woodlands, cutting and burning and reseeding regimes, strategic woodland management, coastal defence and managed retreat, sand dune foreshore management; the assessment of possible impacts of, and relationships/conflicts between, selected birds, animals and people, e.g. deer and woodland, grouse and hen harriers, local inhabitants and tourist pressures.