Ecological networks

Developing a long-term vision in Cheshire, United Kingdom

Project

Scenario development of an ecological network in Cheshire

Assignment

To develop a long-term vision for a sustainable ecological network in the county of Cheshire, United Kingdom

Explanation

Cheshire County Council requested a vision that guaranteed the long-term ecological sustainability of the county’s most important ecosystems (heath, river, woodland, grass, raised bog and fen peat landscapes). With the help of a recent inventory and the ecoprofiles matrices, two realistic ambition levels were formulated. LARCH was used to diagnose the current situation. Representative animal species were selected from the Ecoprofiles matrix. A 1-day workshop was held, during which different solutions were generated per landscape type, using the rules and bearing in mind the abiotic suitability, future developments in mining, urbanisation and road building, and the opinions of representatives of farming organisations. Then, using the rules, the optimal future scenario for Cheshire was chosen from all the remaining solutions.

Added value for the customer

The result enabled the customer to take steps to attain the desired goal. It served as a focus for the expenditure of funds and other resources. The sound reasons for making the choices proved useful when seeking to acquire funding. The final result was deployed in publicity to drum up broader support.

Report

Networks for LIFE. Scenario development of an ecological network in Cheshire County. S.A.M. van Rooij, E.G. Steingröver, P.F.M. Opdam, 2003, Alterra Report nr. 699.

ClusteClustering of potential habitat patches in networks in the current situation, based on the spatial norms for the Dormouse ecoprofile. The arrows indicate different strategies for attaining the desired situation.
ClusteClustering of potential habitat patches in networks in the current situation, based on the spatial norms for the Dormouse ecoprofile. The arrows indicate different strategies for attaining the desired situation.
The desired scenario for developing an ecological network in Cheshire.
The desired scenario for developing an ecological network in Cheshire.

The most environmentally friendly variant in the Gelderse Vallei – East Utrecht reconstruction area

Project

Planning interactively with ecological networks. Opportunities for sustainable networks in the Gelderse Vallei – East Utrecht reconstruction area.

Assignment

Which parts of the area offer the greatest opportunities for the sustainable development of new nature areas, taking as a starting point the existing wildlife, but bearing in mind the impacts of ammonia emission and surface water pollution?

Explanation

In several workshops attended by stakeholders (provincial ecologists and water managers), an analysis was done of the most important ecosystems in the area: impoverished, seepage-dependent areas; heaths; brooks and brook valleys; and damp woodland. The current situation was assessed and then an ambition level was set for each ecosystem type. Two scenarios were developed:

  • A National Ecological Network (NEN) scenario in which it was permitted to locate the hectares within the NEN
  • A broad scenario, with the hectares outside the NEN

Animal species representative for the ambition level were selected from the Ecoprofiles matrix. Different solutions were generated per landscape type, using the rules and taking account of linking up with existing nature and other ecosystem types, the abiotic suitability, and the environmental assignment in relation to surface water and ammonia emission. Then, the remaining solutions were integrated.  

Added value for the customer

The result forms a framework for old and new initiatives. It has been extremely useful in the negotiation process, particularly when the ecological basis has been used. The method has generated new ideas on how to obtain huge gains for nature for relatively little effort.

Report

Interactief plannen met ecologische netwerken. Kansen voor duurzame ecologische netwerken in het reconstructiegebied Gelderse Vallei / Utrecht-Oost: Eveliene Steingröver, Sabine van Rooij en Paul Opdam, 2003, Alterra Report nr. 850
Snapshot during the design workshop
Snapshot during the design workshop
Integration map of Gelderse Vallei – East Utrecht showing four ecosystem types in relation to the planned Robust Corridor
Integration map of Gelderse Vallei – East Utrecht showing four ecosystem types in relation to the planned Robust Corridor