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HEATH - Heathland: Environment, Agriculture, Tourism and Heritage
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Description

Lowland heathland is one of NW Europe’s quintessential historic landscape types, protected under the EU Habitats Directive. But the area covered by heathland has shrunk over the past 200 years, a decline which is continuing due to lack of management and dislocation between the landscape and the communities that live there. However, reform of Europe’s farming support mechanisms is leading to a renewed appreciation of heathland’s economic and social value. The objective of the th [...]
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 HEATH - Heathland: Environment, Agriculture, Tourism and Heritage

Lead Partner:
English Nature
Rural Workshops, Unit 2A, PL26 8DW St Dennis
UK
Tel (0)1726 828180
Fax (0)1726 828198

Contact:
Ian Davies
Project Manager
ian.davies@english-nature.org.uk

Measure: 4.1

Start date: 2003/09/01
End date: 2007/09/01

ERDF Grant: € 2 358 569
Total eligible cost: € 4.9 M€


Partners involved:

UK - English Nature (EN)

FR - Bretagne Vivante (BV)

FR - Conservatoire de l’Espace Littoral et des Rivages Lacustres (CEL)

FR - Parc Naturel Régional d’Armorique (PNRA)

FR - Syndicat mixte Espaces Littoraux de la Manche et du Conservatoire du Littoral (SyMEL)

UK - National Trust (NT)

NL - Alterra

NL - Het Nationale Park de Hoge Velowe (NPHV)

UK - Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT)

UK - Cornwall County Council (CCC)

UK - Eden Project (EP)

UK - Penwith District Council (PDC)

UK - Countryside Council for Wales (CCW)


Project type: Action


Summary
Lowland heathland is one of NW Europe’s quintessential historic landscape types, protected under the EU Habitats Directive. But the area covered by heathland has shrunk over the past 200 years, a decline which is continuing due to lack of management and dislocation between the landscape and the communities that live there. However, reform of Europe’s farming support mechanisms is leading to a renewed appreciation of heathland’s economic and social value. The objective of the three year, 4.9 euro HEATH project is to create a sustainable development model for lowland heathland areas. The project’s trans-national partners will use best practice demonstration examples from across the region to inform the development of a ‘tool kit’. This will aid practitioners, communities, decision–makers, stakeholders in efforts to develop lowland heathland in ways that also involve local communities and promote economic growth through for example tourism and agriculture. Target outcomes include better grazing access to 6000 ha of NW European heathland, the consolidation of fragmented and abandoned sites under community ownership and the sustainable management and control of invasive plant species across 372 ha.

Objectives
The key objective of the HEATH project is to develop and test a broadly applicable model and associated guidelines that will establish good practice through a suite of demonstration sites and landscape design protocols applicable across the NWE heathland landscape.

Activities

Expected Outcomes

  • A generic lowland heathland sustainable development demonstration model underpinned by guidelines and good practice examples across the NWE region.
  • Site-based good practice demonstration examples of heathland management on a range of sites across the NWE region.
  • Guidelines and practical examples of sustainable economic interaction, primarily through links to agriculture, other niche markets and tourism. This will be especially relevant where it will result in additional resources to under sustainable heathland management.
  • Guidelines and practical examples of social inclusion and community involvement.
  • Guidelines for, and practical examples of, Landscape Design Protocols defining the spatial planning relationship between the heathland landscape and the wider countryside.
  • Monitoring protocols and guidelines to measure success in environmental, economic and cultural objectives.
  • The maintenance of a trans-national approach to the solving of problems and challenges that face the NWE heathland landscape.
  • A communication plan that will permit key stakeholders ready access to the HEATH project model, guidelines and demonstration sites. This will enable significant leverage beyond the project’s lifetime.

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