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New Forest LIFE 2  project - Securing Natura 2000 Objectives in the New Forest
Introduction to LIFE 2 project
Organisations in the New Forest LIFE 2 partnership
Background to the LIFE 2 project
Conservation issues
LIFE 2 objectives
Summary of actions in the LIFE 2 project
Summary of results  from the LIFE 2 project
Project Assessment
Final Technical Report
New Forest Special Area of Conservation Management Plan 2001

New Forest LIFE 3 Project - Sustainable Wetland Restoration in the New Forest
Natura 2000

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Summary of Results

The massive conservation work programmes undertaken under the New Forest LIFE II Project have successfully achieved all the objectives set out. EC funding and the sharing of resources and expertise between the ten New Forest LIFE II Project partner organisations has allowed an estimated twenty years worth of restoration work to be completed in only four years. This impressive achievement clearly demonstrates the benefits of working in a partnership.

Practical conservation work has been the largest element of the Project. The acquisition of land, equipment and technical expertise has also played an essential role in delivering long-term, tangible, conservation benefits. Equally, the commissioning of research, surveys and monitoring work has been vitally important, allowing decisions about the management of the New Forest cSAC to be based on the most detailed and up to date scientific information available.

Intensive work programmes made possible by LIFE funding, allowed Project partners to trial and develop many innovative, environmentally sound and cost-effective techniques for habitat restoration. These techniques are appropriate for use, not only in the New Forest, but also in many other areas of the UK and Europe.

The new cSAC-wide Management Plan has been an immense achievement, and will continue the process of improving the quality of New Forest cSAC habitats and protecting them for future generations. The Management Plan has been the focus in bringing together the land-owning Project partners to agree and begin implementing the cSAC-wide Management Plan for their individual cSAC land holdings. New plans were created for 90% of the New Forest cSAC where no formal, long-term conservation planning was in place.

The ‘Condition Assessment Monitoring’ technique, developed as part of the Management Plan process, identified a set of indicators to be used in the long term monitoring of the New Forest cSAC. This, combined with a new methodology to measure the condition of the important European habitats, will allow the effectiveness and appropriateness of the New Forest cSAC’s management to be easily evaluated. It also provides an inexpensive method for undertaking habitat quality assessments on very large-scale sites.

The New Forest LIFE II Project partners’ extensive education campaign has greatly improved the public’s understanding of the conservation importance of the New Forest cSAC and the issues surrounding its management. This has benefited the New Forest cSAC’s conservation by increasing the public’s sympathy with many of the initially controversial practical works.

The local community has been encouraged to take an active role in protecting the European importance of the New Forest cSAC by attending public consultation meetings and conservation volunteer events. This level of involvement has become so well established that many local people actively seek to play a role in informed debate about the New Forest cSAC’s management.

While more work still remains to be undertaken, the New Forest LIFE II Project has made a huge contribution to the future of the New Forest cSAC. The acquisition of land, the development of the cSAC Management Plan, the forging of closer communication links and the application of new conservation techniques have secured long-term conservation and management benefits for the New Forest cSAC.

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