Reports and publications produced by the Programme are available on this page
Reports and publications
The Final Report of the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme as submitted to LIFE can be downloaded using the link below.
The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme for Wales Summary Report has now been published and can be downloaded in pdf format below. The report highlights and summarises the Programme’s key findings and results. We have hard copies available, if your organisation would like any copies, please email your request firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Prioritised Action Framework is a planning tool which sets out how Member States of the European Union propose to manage their Natura 2000 sites, and how these management activities are to be funded. It also lays out key priorities for action. The outputs of the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme for Wales have formed the basis of this revised version of the Welsh PAF.
The Wales chapter of the PAF will be an invaluable source document and evidence base to support the implementation of the Nature Recovery Plan for Wales. Wales is the first country within the United Kingdom to submit an update to the Framework, which replaces the earlier 2013 version.
The analysis undertaken during the lifetime of the LIFE N2K programme has been used to undertake a comprehensive revision of the Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) (link), a planning tool which sets out how member states of the European Union propose to manage their Natura 2000 sites and how these management activities are to be funded. The After-LIFE Conservation Plan sets out how the Prioritised Action Framework for Wales can be operationalised and delivered to restore these sites to favourable condition. It highlights collaborative working between Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, and other key partners.
The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme has created 11 Thematic Action Plans, each of which detail priority strategic actions to address major issues and risks which have been identified as having an adverse impact on Natura 2000 features across the network.
Please go the LIFE N2K Thematic Action Plans page for further information and to download the plans.
We have worked with partners and NRW Conservation Officers to better understand the challenges that Natura 2000 sites in Wales face and have produced Prioritised Improvement Plans (PIPs) for all Natura 2000 sites.
PIPs are prioritised, costed plans which summarise the proposed actions needed by 2020 to help improve the condition of the designated habitat and species features of the site. Actions address high and medium priority issues and risks which are preventing the features from reaching favourable condition. PIPs are live documents, populated by information drawn from the NRW Actions Database (which holds all identified actions). The database will continue to be updated by conservation officers as existing actions are completed or new ones are identified.
Accessing the PIPS requires a data licence, as they contain sensitive information. Registered users can also access the Actions Database via the NRW Extranet. If you would like to access the PIPs, or if you need to refresh your username and password for the database please email email@example.com.
Our sister project in England, IPENS (Improvement programme for England’s Natura 2000 sites) have published their Site Improvement Plans (SIPs) online. The SIPs outline the priority measures needed to achieve and maintain favourable condition within a site.
This report provides an overview of Natura 2000 in Wales and includes a set of statistics, including number and extent of the protected sites, location designated habitat and species and shows the context in which key management decisions need to be made.
This study aims to create an inventory of existing spatial data on the distribution of Natura 2000 features on SACs ad SPAs in Wales, which is available to Natural Resources Wales. The inventory will identify datasets and note their location, ownership, format, and appraise coverage and confidence in the data quality The results are summarised in this report.
During the time of the project, the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme identified a major evidence gap in the costing of issues and risk actions for marine Natura 2000 sites. In costing the actions for Marine sites, the programme found that no costs had been identified for marine investigation actions and this had the potential to lead to a significant underestimate in the overall funding requirements required for Marine Natura 2000 sites. Marine EcoSol was contracted to help address this evidence gap through the development of a costings matrix.
Calculating the economic value of the ecosystem services provided by Natura 2000 features and sites in Wales
The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme for Wales is interested in quantifying the benefits provided by Natura 2000 features and sites in Wales to demonstrate their value to the economy and society. This is to highlight the benefits of directing economic measures into maintaining and enhancing N2K features.
This short paper explores the feasibility of placing a monetary value on ecosystem services provided by Natura 2000 features in Wales, in the form of standard figures that allow comparisons between sites and with other ecosystem service valuation studies.
Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) for Natura 2000 features in Wales - conservation needs assessment
The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme instructed ADAS UK Ltd to carry out a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) of Natura 2000 features in Wales. Its purpose in this case is to establish, in the most objective and scientific way possible, which features have the greatest need and drivers for management and restoration. This will act as a valuable tool for practitioners and decision-makers to help identify where limited resources can be directed to best effect, and which areas of work should be addressed first.
A significant amount of work has been undertaken previously to develop a vulnerability assessment of Natura 2000 features and sites in Wales to climate change. However, this work did not include marine features so there remained a key evidence gap in this area. To resolve this evidence gap a workshop was convened to consider the inherent vulnerability of marine Natura 2000 features to climate change. This assessment will provide a board vulnerability score for the features on a Wales-wide level, and will allow the relative risk of climate change to key Natura 2000 features to be evaluated.
A set of detailed prioritised actions has been developed for all Natura 2000 sites in Wales and as far as possible, estimated costs have been identified for individual actions. This is the first time that actions for Natura 2000 sites have been costed in a systematic way across the series. this paper outlines the approach taken to establish costings in the terrestrial environment.
During the course of the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme for Wales, gaps in evidence in relation to the management of Natura 2000 sites were identified. Suggestions were gathered at the project inception events, during workshops with stakeholders and during interviews with NRW Conservation Officers and species and habitat specialists. All proposals were appraised and those gaps which could be addressed as part of the work of the project or which could be incorporated as a part of Prioritised Improvement Plans or Thematic Action Plans or the After-LIFE Conservation Plan were identified. Remaining evidence gaps are shown in this document. The list has been submitted to the Welsh Biodiversity Partnership Evidence Gap Project.
As part of the development of a strategic approach to the management and restoration of Natura 2000 sites in Wales the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme is required to established a procedure for prioritising actions.
Prioritisation ensures that limited resources are used to best effect where they are needed most. It allows actions to be targeted at those issues and risks which are having major adverse effects on favourable condition. It also prevents resources being spread so thinly and disparately that they achieve little.
Actions which are identified as priorities will receive resources at an earlier stage, than those which are not. The prioritising can therefore, be seen as an expression of ‘urgency’.
This document sets out the approach which the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme has taken to developing a prioritisation framework for Natura 2000 in Wales.
All species and habitats rely on water to some extent. However, a number of Natura 2000 species and habitats are entirely aquatic in nature; while others can be considered as wetlands (or dependent upon wetlands) as they are associated with high ground water levels and/or surface waters. The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme has developed a list of these features with the advice and consultation with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) species and habitat specialists.
The aim of this work is to assist in developing an approach to address the impact of nitrogen deposition on Natura 2000 sites in Wales, an issue highlighted by the project.
The Natura 2000 Ecosystem Services Inventory is a tool to help practitioners identify ecosystem services provided by specific Natura 2000 species and habitat features and provide the basis for developing this information for sites. It is intended to provide baseline information that can be updated in the future when more data becomes available. This report describes the approach taken to developing the Ecosystems Inventory and includes a brief summary of results.
This report explores the existing and potential funding options for Natura 2000 in Wales. It acts as a form of ‘funding map’ and a resource through which to understand the potential of different funding types to address the anticipated management actions required, and the mechanisms which may be used to implement such actions. As such it seeks to provide options for diversifying funding sources in order to address the anticipated Wales Natura 2000 funding gap. It is an important step in enabling a broad ranging appraisal of funding options as part of the PAF development, once the conservation and management needs of Natura 2000 in Wales have been drawn together and finalised.
In order to begin the process of exploring and introducing new approaches and solution to better address the challenges facing Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas in Wales, the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme carried out a study to identify and appraise a range of potential new mechanisms. The study methods included a literature review and technical workshops to involve a range of stakeholders and draw on their knowledge and experience. The findings are laid out in this report and the accompanying "Inventory of new mechanisms and approaches".
In 2013, the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme undertook a study of the management mechanisms currently used to address the pressures facing Natura 2000 species and habitats. The study was supported by a number of consultation events at which stakeholders were asked to comment on the suitability of the mechanisms and identify additional ones. The findings are laid out in this report and the accompanying “Inventory of Existing Management Mechanisms”.
In 2013, the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme for Wales undertook research to identify the issues and risks currently affecting Natura 2000 species and habitat features. The research was followed by a series of stakeholder events which took place across Wales. At these events, the method and findings of the analysis on issues and risks were presented and delegates were asked to contribute information, expertise and opinion. The findings are laid out in this report.
In February 2013, two Inception Events were held to introduce stakeholders and partner organisations to the aims and objective of the LIFE Natura 2000 programme. In addition to learning about the programme, attendees took part in workshops on funding and priorities for Natura 2000 in Wales and also contributed towards identifying evidence gaps.
What is Natura 2000? Why is it important? What is the LIFE N2K 2000 Programme and what are our aims? Find the answers to these questions and more in the document below.
The communication and advocacy strategy provides an overarching framework and rationale to guide the implementation of all project actions which relate to engagement and two-way communication with stakeholders. It also provides details of each required action and how they will be implemented.
A public awareness and dissemination strategy is a required output of the LIFE N2K Programme and all LIFE+ nature projects. This strategy provides a framework and rationale for all the publicity and communication work which will be carried out by the project team, as well as providing details of specific actions and how they will be implemented.