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appendix 2 wycombe district council home


									                                                              Thames and Chilterns Team
                                                                     Foxhold House
                                                                    Thornford Road
                                                                 Crookham Common
                                                                 Berkshire RG19 8EL
                                                                Tel: +44 (0)1635 268881
                                                               Fax: +44 (0)1635 268940


Conservation objectives for the European interest on the SSSI

The conservation objectives for the European interest on the SSSI are

      subject to natural change, to maintain*, in favourable condition, the internationally important beech woodland habitat
      (NVC type W12, W14).

      subject to natural change, to maintain*, in favourable condition, the internationally important dry grassland and
            scrubland habitat (NVC type CG2).

      * maintenance implies restoration if the feature is not currently in favourable condition.
The conservation objectives for the Chilterns Beechwoods candidate Special Area of Conservation are, in accordance with para C 10
of PPG 9, the reasons for which the cSAC was designated.


The Favourable Condition Table will be used by English Nature and other relevant authorities to determine if a site is in favourable
condition. It will form the basis for monitoring the condition of the site and its features, undertaken by English Nature in pursuance of
its duties under Regulation 3(2) of the Habitats Regulations 1994. Favourable condition is achieved when the targets given below are

The favourable condition table should inform the scope and nature of any ‘appropriate assessment’ under the Habitats Regulations, but
an appropriate assessment will also require consideration of issues specific to the individual plan or project. The favourable condition
table does not by itself provide a comprehensive basis on which to assess plans and projects as required under Regulations 20-21, 24, 48-
50 and 54 - 85. The scope and content of an appropriate assessment will depend upon the location, size and significance of the proposed
project. English Nature will advise on a case by case basis. Following appropriate assessment, competent authorities are required to
ascertain the effect on the integrity of the site. The integrity of the site is defined in para C10 of PPG9 as the coherence of its ecological
structure and function, across its whole area, that enables it to sustain the habitat, complex of habitats and/or the levels of populations of
the species for which it was classified.

 Operational    Criterion         Attributes   Measures             Targets                      Comments
 feature        feature
 Semi-natural   Asperulo-         1. Area      Extent/location of   * No loss of mature          * Stand loss due to natural processes may be acceptable.
 woodland       Fagetum                        stands               stands                       * Stand destruction may occur if understorey and ground flora
                beechwoods                                                                       are irretrievably damaged, even if canopy remains intact.
                (W12,                                               * At least current area of   * Loss = 0.5 ha or 0.5% of the stand area, whichever is smaller.
                including areas                                     recent semi-natural          * 20% canopy cover is conventionally taken as the lower limit
                of pure box,                                        stands maintained,           for an area to be considered as woodland.
                W14)                                                although their location      * Beech may not be abundant throughout the stand, particularly
                                                                    may alter.                   in regeneration patches; this does not count as stand loss.
                                                                                                 * Area/location of stands was mapped in 1997 by Jane
                                                                    *No reduction in area of     Barneveld.
                                                                    mature woodland
2. Natural       Age/size class         * At least the current         * Any changes leading to exceedance of these limits due to
processes and    variation within       level of structural            natural processes are likely to be acceptable.
structural       and between            diversity maintained.          * The understorey ranges from virtually non-existent to
development      stands; presence of    * Understorey (2-5m)           impenetrable box.
                 open space and old     present over 10-80% of
                 trees; dead wood       total stand area.
                 lying on the           * Ground flora present
                                                                       *Virtually no ground flora in box dominated areas.
                 ground; standing       over at least 10% of area
                 dead trees             or current extent in
                                        mature stands, whichever
                                        is greater.
                                        * Canopy cover present         *Wood is predominantly even-aged high forest. Objective is to
                                        over 30-90 % of stand          have predominantly high forest with mixed age structure, ie
                                        area.                          c.80% mature stands, 10% >150yrs, 10% open stands <30 yrs.
                                        * Age class structure
                                        appropriate to the site, its
                                        history and management.
                                        * A minimum of 3 fallen
                                        lying trees >20 cm             * Assess this attribute between mid April and early June.
                                        diameter per ha and 10
                                        trees per ha allowed to
                                        die standing.
3.Regeneration   Successful             * Signs of seedlings           * A proportion of gaps at any one time may develop into
potential        establishment of       growing through to             permanent open space; equally some current permanent open
                 young stems in         saplings to young trees at     space/glades may in time regenerate to closed canopy.
                 gaps or on the edge    sufficient density to          * Regeneration may often occur on the edge of woods rather
                 of a stand.            maintain canopy density        than in gaps within it.
                                        over a 10 yr period (or        * The minimum level of regeneration to be acceptable from a
                                        equivalent regrowth from       nature conservation viewpoint is likely to be much less than that
                                        coppice).                      needed where wood production is also an objective.
                                        * No re-stocking by            * Areas of pure box do not appear to require management for
                                        planting.                      maintenance of favourable condition, although small scale
                                                                       coppicing may be beneficial for Metzgeria fruticulosa in
                                                                       suitably humid locations.
                                                                       * Assess this attribute in spring/summer.
4. Composition   Cover of native        * At least 90% cover in        * Sycamore is a widespread component in parts of the Chilterns
                 versus non-native      any one layer of site-         Beechwoods at present but should not be permitted to take a
                 species (all layers)   native or acceptable           dominant role in the canopy and should be excluded from units
                                        naturalised spp.               where it is currently absent or rare.
                                          * Beech present in           * In several places box forms virtually 100% of stand area.
                                          mature canopy at at least    * Where cover in any one layer is less than 100% then the 90%
                    Death, destruction    30% cover for feature on     target applies to the area actually covered by that layer.
                    or replacement of     site as a whole.             * Factors leading to the death or replacement of woodland
                    native woodland       * Death, destruction or      species could include pollution, eutrophication from adjacent
                    species through       replacement of native        farmland, new diseases.
                    effects of non-       woodland species             * Damage to trees by squirrels that does not lead to their death
                    native fauna or       through effects of           or replacement by non-woodland species is not necessarily
                    external unnatural    introduced fauna or other    unacceptable in nature conservation terms.
                    factors               external unnatural factors   * Excessive browsing/grazing by even native ungulates may be
                                          not more than 10% by         considered an unnatural external factor where it leads to
                                          number or area in a five     undesirable shifts in the composition/structure of the stand,
                                          year period.                 although this may be picked up by attributes 2 or 5 anyway.
5. Species,         Ground flora type     * 80% of ground flora        * Changes leading to these targets not being met may be
habitats,                                 cover referable to W12.      acceptable where this is due to natural processes.
structures          Distinctive and
characteristic of   desirable elements    *Some areas of
the site.                                 transitional box scrub
                    Patches of            through to grassland
                    associated habitats   should be maintained.
                    and transitions
                                          *At least current extent
                                          of box dominated scrub
                                          maintained, although
                                          location may change.

                                          * At least some areas of
                                          box scrub should be
                                          maintained in suitable
                                          condition to support
                                          Metzgeria fruticulosa.

                                          *At least current extent
                                          of box understorey

                                          * At least current extent
                                          of open glades
                                          maintained, and where
                                                                 possible, extended.
Unimproved   CG2   *Extent              Total area (27ha).      No reduction in area and     Recoverable reduction = unfavourable; non-recoverable
calcareous                              Area mapped in          any consequent               reduction = partially destroyed. Excludes bare ground associated
grassland                               1994 by G. Steven       fragmentation without        with rabbit warrens (see below).
                                                                prior consent
Unimproved         *Sward               Frequency of            At least four species/taxa   Choice of species related to NVC type and restriction to
calcareous         composition:         positive indicator      frequent plus at least       unimproved grassland, considered satisfactory when inside
grassland          positive indicator   species in May-         three species/taxa           target. Among possible species that could be used, choice
                   species              July.                   occasional throughout the    further restricted by ease of identification, visibility in recording
                                        Anthyllis vulneraria,   sward.                       period.
                                        Asperula cynanchica,
                                        glomerata, Cirsium
                                        acaule, Filipendula
                                        vulgaris, Gentianella
                                        spp., Helianthemum
                                        Hippocrepis comosa,
                                        Leontodon hispidus,
                                        vulgare, Linum
                                        catharticum, Lotus
                                        Hieracium pilosella,
                                        Plantago media,
                                        Polygala spp.,
                                        Primula veris,
                                        Sanguisorba minor,
                                        Scabiosa columbaria,
                                        Succisa pratensis,
                                        Thymus spp.
Unimproved         *Sward               Proportion of non-      40-90%                       Low proportion outside target indicates eutrophication, usually
calcareous         composition:         Graminae (“herbs”),                                  from fertilisers, or insufficient removal of biomass, leading to
grassland          grass/herb ratio     in period May -July.                                 dominance by grasses.
Unimproved         *Sward               % cover of              Neither species at more      Outside target indicates insufficient removal of biomass eg
calcareous         composition:         Brachypodium            than 10% cover               under-grazing.
grassland          negative             pinnatum and
                   indicator species    Bromopsis erecta,
                                        in May-July.
Unimproved         *Sward               Frequency and           Nonemore than                Invasive species chosen to indicate problems of eutrophication
calcareous         composition:         cover of negative       occasional throughout or     and disturbance from various sources when outside target eg
grassland    negative            indicator species in    singly or together more     poaching, stock feeding.
             indicator species   May-July.               than 5% cover
                                 Cirsium arvense,
                                 Cirsium vulgare,
                                 Rumex crispus,
                                 Rumex obtusifolius,
                                 Senecio jacobaea,
                                 Urtica dioica.
Unimproved   *Sward              Frequency and           No more than 5% cover.      Invasive species outside target shows that habitat is not being
calcareous   composition:        cover of all tree and                               managed sufficiently eg under-grazed.
grassland    negative            shrubs considered
             indicator species   together, in May-
                                 July. NB If
                                 scrub/tree species
                                 are more than
                                 throughout but less
                                 than 5% cover, they
                                 are soon likely to
                                 become a problem
                                 if grazing levels
                                 not sufficient or if
                                 scrub control not
                                 being carried out.
Unimproved   Sward structure:    Sward height in         Between 2-10 cms.           Outside target indicates insufficient grazing or over-grazing.
calcareous   average height      May-July.
Unimproved   Sward structure:    Cover of litter         Total extent no more than   Outside target indicates biomass removal is insufficient eg
calcareous   litter              where in more or        25% of the sward            under-grazed.
grassland                        less continuous
                                 layer, distributed in
                                 patches or one
                                 larger area, in May-
Unimproved   Sward structure:    Extent of bare          No more than 10%.           Outside target indicates management problems eg over-grazing.
calcareous   bare ground         ground distributed
grassland                        through sward,
                                 visible without
                                disturbing the
                                vegetation, in May-
Unimproved   Sward structure:   Extent of localised   No more than 0.05 ha ie   Outside target indicates rabbit grazing and disturbance levels are
calcareous   localized bare     bare ground around    approximately 20x20       too high.
grassland    ground             rabbit warrens.       metres

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