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The Harnham Water Meadows Framework Management Plan - Contents

16. Agri-environment Schemes and the SSSI

16.1 The Conference advised the Trust to consider the transition to Higher Level Stewardship (HLS). The application was successful and effective from 1 st August 2008, following a break in the ESA agreement. HLS aims to ‘maintain and enhance landscape character’, embracing conservation in its widest sense and requires a ‘Farm Environmental Plan’ and consultants were appointed to this end. ANNEX XIV shows a way forward for prioritising drowning and recognising natural flooding. ANNEX XV shows hydrological ‘micromanagement’ options with boundaries that are obvious meadow boundaries, including certain sub-divisions that recognise the real situation.

16.2 Future management should encompass all possibilities, (watermeadows drowned and un-drowned, floodmeadows, haymeadows, created wet habitats) as appropriate for wildlife such as birds (including snipe) water voles and snails. The identification of ‘hotspots’ as where habitats, watering and archaeological considerations come together is shown in ANNEX XVI.

16.3 Nested within the present ESA/HLS registered area is the SSSI defined on plants but with invertebrate interest. Natural England have produced a Site Management Statement, presented in ANNEX XVII.

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