Summary of Results
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.
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
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
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
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.