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The Latest Edition

Branston Lake

Why produce a new version?

The 1st National Forest BAP was published in May 1998, containing actions and targets for 17 habitats and 7 species. By the Spring of 2004, many of these targets had been exceeded so, to tie in with the launch of a new National Forest Strategy, the 2nd edition of the BAP was produced. The targets set out in the 2nd edition covered the period from 2004 to 2010. Therefore, in the summer of 2010 work began on a 3rd edition.

What's changed?

Working with partner organisations, the National Forest Company revisited each of the habitat and species actions plans. Some plans were merged, while others changed their names. For the first time, the biodiversity value of scrub and rough grassland has been recognised. A new species, lesser spotted woodpecker, was added to replace the redstart, which is no longer believed to be present in the Forest. All of the targets were reviewed to ensure that they were realistic and that they could be meaningfully reported against.

Since the last edition of the BAP, the National Forest Company has embraced the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the recording and modelling of how natural habitats interact across the Forest to create ecological networks. This enhanced mapping ability has led to a more spatial approach to Actions Plans, so that targets can be considered not only in terms of "what" and "how", but of "where" too.

So, in addition to Habitat Action Plans, there are also Landscape Action Plans for each of the six landscape areas within The National Forest. These identify the priority habitats for each landscape area and draw together the relevant actions. Targets have also been split between the landscape areas to provide an indicator of the scale of expected creation.

Swarbourne Meadow


With each edition, the National Forest BAP has become more streamlined and dynamic. The intention with the 3rd edition is to make it largely web-based. This allows it to be freely and widely available at the same time as being easily updated to include the latest information and to quickly reflect any changes in priority. To minimise the resources used in its production, we will not be printing large quantities of the National Forest BAP.

To keep download times down, the BAP has been split into five sections, each of which can be downloaded separately. In addition, each of the six Landscape Action Plans can be downloaded as a simple 2-sided information sheet that can be used by landowners, managers and others to guide them as to the biodiversity priorities in different parts of the Forest.