Networks – the nuts and bolts (or branches)
Connecting with care
Networks are powerful. You shouldn’t make links without careful thought and expert advice. The many people who are helping with Core Sites and considering ways to expand and connect them are switched-on about both the positive benefits and the occasional risk. Hooking up woods currently used by grey squirrels with ones where only reds live at the moment wouldn’t, for example, be a great idea if we want to conserve the native reds.
How will we get connected?
There is no single ‘right’ way to create a Forest Habitat Network. Upland, lowland, rural, urban – all of these areas and more will have their own circumstances that need to be considered when planning and discussing woodland change.
Identifying and working in the Core Sites is a vital step in the process of FHN construction. To look wider and visualise the bigger network picture, different tools are being used.
Getting the GISt
One important aid is the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). These computer-based systems are helping researchers, planners and foresters to use many different sources of information about past, present and future woodlands to produce maps. The maps can then be used as a basis for discussion, or to get ideas about the opportunities for different species in a network.
The powerful computer-based model called ‘BEETLE’ is helping to fine-tune plans for woodland change. BEETLE stands for ‘Biological and Environmental Evaluation Tools for Landscape Ecology’.
It uses layers of information, including data on particular species and on land use, to help foresters and planners assess what the effect of new forest networks may be on different plants, birds and animals and how a network will sit within a range of other land uses.
Desktop Pictures >>
Help yourself to a refreshing and beautiful desktop picture, from Core Forest Sites. Download>>