Ami Walker – Conservation Land Manager Adviser
The objectives of the Linking Landscapes (Habitat Connectivity) Project are to ensure that the best bits of habitat in the National Park are as good as they can be, and to extend these areas and join them up to create corridors for wildlife to move safely around the countryside.
Although Linking Landscapes is still in its infancy a lot of work has already gone on and one element has been the setting up of Land Management Agreements on important species rich grassland sites. These five year Agreements instigate positive management such as appropriate grazing and cutting regimes and ensure that there is time to consolidate this management and make sure it will be effective into the future.
Botanical surveys and monitoring are essential to show if the management is working effectively and will help to target our grant programme to where it can deliver the most benefit.
The botanical surveys are being carried out by a newly established group – the ‘Linking Landscapes – Grassland Volunteers’. Everyone is very enthusiastic and keen to utilise their botanical expertise for the good of the North York Moors.
Each Volunteer has adopted a site and will carry out an annual survey. The results will be shared with me and appropriate tweaks made to site management if the results suggest they are necessary. Our ultimate aim is to see an increase in the number of plant species at each site, year on year.
A recent training event gave us the opportunity to get together and practice the survey methodology. We chose a magnificent spot to do our training – the Triangle Field at Sutton Bank National Park Centre in the south west of the Park.
I’d like to say a big thank you to the Linking Landscape – Grassland Volunteers. Their involvement in this project is invaluable in helping the National Park create and enhance great grassland across the North York Moors landscape.
If you want to watch Ami and the Grassland Volunteers in action on the training day, you can – just click on the image below.