Restore – Nature

With an ever-increasing pressure to restore nature, alongside other pressures on land use how can protected landscapes achieve landscape restoration

Online event

20th June 2022 - 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Restoring Nature in Protecetd Landscapes

With an ever-increasing pressure to restore nature, alongside other pressures on land use how can protected landscapes achieve landscape restoration
• What can we learn from 70 years of National Nature reserves?
• How do we find new ways of funding restoration?
• How do we restore outside of specific designated areas
• How do we replicate Nature on a landscape scale and who do we work with?
We will here from 3 speakers who will take a strategic view on use of Natural Capital, practical implimentation from manging a project and using net Carbon funding to restore nature

Site Visits

Dynamic Dunescapes

27th May 2022

From the tip of Grune Point, full of historic remnants, to the colourful pockets of dune waxcap grassland and healthland tucked away at North Walney, this project has chosen 11 different sites on the Cumbrian coast that will benefit from practical habitat management and conservation works. Many of which face very similar challenges. We now know that sand dunes need to be dynamic to support healthy wildlife populations, but, in most of these systems, bare sand can only be found at the frontal dunes, where the winds of winter storms keep some of it mobile amongst the marram grass.

Site visit location

Mawbray Banks, Solway Coast AONB. Mawbray Banks is a site of special scientific interest and contains a large amount of dune heath, a habitat becoming very rare in Cumbria. It is also home to some rare and interesting species such as Isle of Man cabbage and natterjack toads.


Provide an overview of the work carried out to improve dune habitat and increase natterjack toad populations. Work has included pond installation, invasive species removal and the introduction of grazing – herd of Belted Galloways. We are currently training the cattle to graze in certain areas using No Fence collars.

Visit overview

AM: Walk and talk by Richard Storton, Cumbria Project Officer – Dynamic Dunescapes DuneLIFE Project, Natural England, introducing the project and what work has been carried out and why.

PM: Field activity – transects and species ID by Eve Mulholland Cumbria Wildlife Trust Dynamic Dunescapes Engagement Officer.

Avalon Marshes super NNR

8th June 2022

The Somerset lowlands, have big open skies, expanses of waterways, fields of pasture, wet woodlands, reedbeds, vibrant birdlife, and be-jewelled dragonflies on the wing. The Somerset Levels & Moors are the largest remaining wetland in England, and are protected by a plethora of environmental designations, from being a ‘Ramsar’ site of international importance for wetland birds and invertebrates, a Special Protection Area (SPA) for migratory birds, a network of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) cited for the richness of its flora and fauna and with many National Nature Reserves – the ‘jewels in the crown’ of England’s wildlife-rich places. It remains of outstanding importance for wintering wildfowl and is one of the last strongholds in southern England for breeding waders and sits between two AONB’s.

But as a landscape they are on the frontline of climate change and also face huge challenges. Water quality is poor due to high phosphate levels. With sea levels predicted to rise and extreme weather events to become more common, we need to work with nature to find solutions, such as ways of storing carbon, holding and moving water to the right places in the landscape, and buffering our coastlines with habitats that absorb the seas power. Working in this way we also improve our landscape greatly for wildlife and all the joy that brings us.

The partnership of conservation organisations in Somerset intend to rise to the scale of this challenge.

Our nature reserves are clearly strongholds where we can start this work and begin to recover nature on a bigger scale. Natural England, working with partners the Somerset Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, the Environment Agency, the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust, National Trust and Hawk & Owl Trust intend to bring together all our existing nature reserves, as well as a number of connecting waterways in the Somerset lowlands, into one larger ‘super’ Somerset Wetlands NNR.

The visit will cover coastal issues at steart, peat restoration at shapwick and visitor engagement & education at both.

Vattenfall Windfarm and Peatland Restoration

16th June 2022

Vattenfall Wind Farm and Pealtland restoration in Partnershipwith Natural Resources Wales

Vattenfall’s Pen y Cymoedd wind farm has a large scale forest to bog habitat restoration programme currently taking place. The habitat management area covers over 1400 ha of NRW forest estate around the wind farm, with the restoration being implemented by NRW on behalf of Vattenfall. The site visit will take us to some of the HMP management units at various stages of restoration (from over two years ago to work carried out last winter) and describe the various restoration techniques being used including ground smoothing and stump flipping. Key challenges to forest to bog restoration will be discussed as well plans for monitoring and anticipated wider benefits to the local area.

Event Chair

Tim Dunkmanton

Strategy and Environment Team Leader
Lake District National Park

Tim is the Team Leader for Strategy and Environment at the Lake District National Park Authority. His portfolio of policy, strategy, programme development and project delivery includes the historic environment, farming, landscape, water, nature recovery and climate action. He is the lead officer for climate action in Lake District National Park Partnership Plan and nature recovery for the LDNPA. As well as a steering group member for Back On Our Map (an innovative University of Cumbria community engagement species recovery programme) and Cumbria Community Coastal Forest and board member of Cumbria Woodlands.

His career has previously focussed on roles in The Wildlife Trusts and Broads National Park, engaging people through volunteering and learning about nature. Tim is currently Chair of Europarc Atlantic Isles.

Event Panel

Ruth Lovell

Landscape Wales

Ruth is the Coordinator for Tirweddau Cymru Landscapes Wales, the partnership of the five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)and the three National Park Authorities in Wales. She also works with the Welsh Government Designated Landscape and Countryside Access team, the National Association of AONBs and NRW who are also represented on the partnership. Ruth has worked in the field of environmental policy and communications for over twenty years, including positions with Cardiff University, RSPB Cymru and the National Trust. She has worked in practical conservation roles, setting up community environmental projects in Wales, and international conservation projects in Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania and Greenland. Away from the office Ruth loves exploring the Wales Coast Path, running, swimming and yoga, and is a Voluntary Director of a Community Energy group in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Richard Storton

Cumbria Project Officer - Dynamic Dunescapes DuneLIFE Project
Natural England

Richard has been working as the Cumbrian Dynamic Dunescapes Project Officer since January 2020. Prior to that I was a lead advisor for NE working on new and existing agri-environment schemes. The Dynamic Dunescapes Project is a LIFE and Heritage Lottery Funded project working to restore 9 areas of sand dunes in England and Wales. The Cumbria area has 11 sites where work is being carried outThe Project is a partnership of organisations led by NE and including the Wildlife Trusts, NT, Plantlife and Natural Resources Wales. We are working with a range of different landowners which includes the partners but also private landowners, AONB’s, MOD, and BAE Systems. The Dynamic Dunescapes project is big and ambitious - targeting some of the most important sand dune systems across England and Wales. We will work with schools and local groups, volunteers and visitors of all ages and abilities to help rejuvenate our dunes and allow the threatened wildlife to flourish.

Andrew Lee

Director of Countryside Policy and Management
South Downs National Park

Andrew Lee is the Director of Countryside Policy and Management at the South Downs National Park Authority. After graduating from the University College of Wales Aberystwyth, Andrew obtained a 2:1 BSc Joint Honours in an Environmental Biology. The first ten years of Andrew’s career were spent at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the last five as its Chief Executive. He then joined the World Wildlife Fund where for 10 years he undertook a number of Senior Management roles related to its UK Policy & Campaigning work and its Devolved operations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2005 he became the Chief Executive of the Government watchdog and policy advisor for the Sustainable Development Commission, a role which he held until it was wound up by Ministers in 2010/11. On the 1st April 2011 Andrew took up the post of Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the South Downs National Park Authority, and is now Director of Countryside Policy & Management following a restructure in 2016. Andrew is particularly interested in restoration of biodiversity at a landscape scale and all aspects of sustainable development. He was a Trustee of charity Global Action Plan (GAP) which works with business and communities to reduce carbon emissions and encourage more sustainable behaviour, and is now a Trustee of the Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust.

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