Community Briefing: Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group

Community Briefing: Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group

The Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group (previously known as Nottinghamshire Heathland Strategy Steering Group) comprises representatives of conservation groups, land-owners (and those working with land-owners), local authorities, Government agencies, and others with an interest in protecting and enhancing the ecology and landscape of Sherwood. The Group meets quarterly and also supports the annual Sherwood Habitat Forum Meeting. The Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group (SHSG) is currently represented on the Sherwood Forest Regional Park Board by the Group’s Chair Carl Cornish (of the RSPB).

In 1991, the Sherwood Habitat Forum produced Nottinghamshire’s Heathland Strategy (Parts 1 & 2) which set out policies, principles and targets for restoration, re-creation and appropriate management of Nottinghamshire’s heathlands. In 1998, Part 3 was published to provide some illustrated case studies. An update was published in 2004 with revised targets and details of progress made. These documents are also linked to Nottinghamshire’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan and to the work of Nottinghamshire Biodiversity Action Group (NottsBAG). In 2005, members of the SHSG set out their ‘Vision of the Future for Sherwood Forest’ outlining a “holistic approach to the management of habitats within the Sherwood
area over a 50-year period”. The Habitat Action Plan for Lowland Heathland was revised in March 2011 by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Janice Bradley, then Chair of the Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group.

The Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group’s current work plan (adopted 19th September 2013) focuses on:
· Biodiversity opportunity mapping (to be used to help set targets and inform monitoring);
· Producing a biannual “State of Sherwood” Report (with the first expected by April 2014);
· Embedding climate change considerations (based on Natural England’s Climate Change Study for the Sherwood*) to develop a set of practical actions that SHSG members can implement;
· Contributing to the development of the Landscape Partnership bid process for Sherwood;
· Providing biodiversity and landscape technical support for the Sherwood Forest Regional Park;
· Actively exploring the benefits than an ecosystem services approach may bring to Sherwood;
· Working with Natural England to progress the Sherwood Special Protection Area (SPA);
· Tackling invasive non-native species (INNS) within the Sherwood Forest area; and
· Considering Water Framework Directive issues in relation to SHSG’s vision for Sherwood and the role of the revised catchment planning bodies.

Regular attendees of Sherwood Habitats Strategy Group meetings include: the current Chair, Carl Cornish (RSPB); the current Vice-Chair, Nick Crouch (Nottinghamshire County Council); Janice Bradley (Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust); Chris Jackson (NottsBAG); Karyn Haw (Natural England); Ian Major (Sherwood Forest Trust); Adrian Southern (RSPB); John McMeeking (Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust); Charles Langtree (Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust); Malcolm Hackett (Greenwood Community Forest); Adrienne Bennett (Forestry Commission); Kira Besh (Mansfield District Council); Lesley Sharpe (Campaign for the Farmed Environment / Nottinghamshire Farming and Wildlife); Paul Tame (National Farmers Union); Shlomo Dowen (Community Involvement in Green Infrastructure); and, Dan Widdowson (Environment Agency).

* Natural England’s ‘Assessing the potential consequences of climate change for England’s landscapes: Sherwood’ is available to download from:
http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/4980532123271168

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