The aims of this unit are to:
* demonstrate an understanding of factors that have contributed to the evolution of the 'urban transition zones' in the human environment.
* introduce identification, classification and terminologies thatparticularly relate to transitional or interface habitats.
* introduce the issues and challenges of engaging urban communities with their 'green doorstep/green space/urbanside' environment.
At the end of this unit students will be able to:
* identify, assess and monitor selected transitional and urban habitats.
* understand ecological factors affecting interface and urban habitats.
* identify habitat creation and restoration opportunities.
* demonstrate good practice in management and restoration projects.
* facilitate partnership-led objectives.
* write, contribute to and comment on habitat management proposals.
During the unit students will gain the following skills:
* gathering and processing technical information (A).
* formulating outcomes (T,A).
* making and defending decisions (T,A).
* written and verbal presentation skills (A).
* representing the interests of an organisation (T).
* facilitating and negotiating skills (T).
* identification skills (T,A).
* creation and restoration techniques (T).
* calculating specifications and costs (A).
* writing reports (A).
* communicating findings to a variety of parties (A).
This unit concentrates on:
* the concept of urban environment and urban fringe, their importance and factors influencing their development.
* key terrestrial and wetland habitats and ecosystems found in the 'urban' envelope. These will include: amenity areas of inner city developments that incorporate rural aspects, including street trees, parkland, utility and community woodlands, wetland sites (rivers, estuaries, reservoirs, canals, docklands, flooded gravel pits, ponds and lakes).
* ecological influences including biotic, abiotic and edaphic factors e.g. the development of microclimates that influence plant and
* animal communities and phenotypes.
* field assessments of pH and nutrient, pollution and contamination levels in air, water, soil and other substrates and liaison with laboratories/agencies.
* identification of flora and fauna associated with urban environments.
* the acquisition of wildlife auditing skills in green space projects.
* interaction with stakeholder groups, including local residents, wildlife trusts, community organisations, voluntary groups, schools and colleges.
* forging and developing links with and making proposals to key local government staff involved in formulating policies, planning and delivering environmental projects.
* how to contribute to an urban habitat management project or initiative involving local communities.
* how to assess local and national case studies relating habitat creation and restoration in the urban context.