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Putting networks into practice

For habitat networks to be effective, they need to be implemented and managed.  The way in which each of us can be involved in this process is likely to vary depending on our profession.  The links below contain information on how you can implement habitat networks within your area of expertise.  However, there are some basic principles of implementation that apply to everyone:

  • Habitat networks need good core areas, so there's no point creating networks if we then neglect the core areas.  Core areas are often protected sites such as nature reserves, so our first priority should be to ensure that those areas are well protected. 
  • Tailor the management to the species / habitat you're trying to benefit. Some faster moving species can take advantage of functional connectivity, whereas others may need physical connections of high quality habitat.
  • Don't throw out the baby with the bath water!  It's important to check what you already have, before deciding to create elements of a habitat network.  For example, there's no benefit from planting a strip of woodland to connect two areas of habitat if it's planted on top of an area of outstanding grassland habitat.
  • Resource implications - as with any land management, the short, medium and longer term resourcing of the work and how it will be maintained should be considered right from the start. You should also consider the longer term security of land tenure; how you can measure whether the network has been a success; the time frame you're working to; and any external risks.

The links below provide further information on putting networks into practice for:

These pages also contain a further section on the networks in policy and legislation, which provides information on how networks can help deliver many of the targets set by European and national governments.  These may be relevant to your area of expertise and you may need to take them into account when planning a network.

Last updated on Wednesday 4th February 2015 at 16:02 PM. Click here to comment on this page