Local Plan Appendix 10

peak district landscape

Appendix 10 - Meaning of Terms Used in Policy LC19

For information only

The scientific criteria explained below relate primarily to the current or potential intrinsic value of the site or feature for wildlife or for geological/geomorphological conservation. The community criteria relate primarily to its current or potential social importance. Both sets are inter-related (e.g. a site's naturalness may contribute to its visual appeal, amenity importance, educational and cultural value). They are of particular use when assessing the relative importance of sites or features of a similar type (for example, limestone grasslands).

Scientific criteria

These are based substantially on the 10 criteria identified in 'A Nature Conservation Review' (Ratcliffe D A, 1977) widely recognised as the basis for assessing the nature conservation value of sites in Great Britain.

Size - sites or species' populations which are large.

Diversity/Richness - sites which are diverse in types of habitat, plant/animal communities and individual species

Rarity - habitats, habitat mosaics, plant/animal communities or species which are rare or scarce internationally/nationally/within the National Park. Reference will be made to local Red Data Book lists in assessing species' rarity.

Fragility - sites/species/features which are easily damaged or under threat, particularly habitats/species which are declining or have declined.

Irreplaceability - features which are impossible or difficult to replace within a reasonable timescale. Most semi-natural habitats of importance will be considered irreplaceable, as will sites which are relatively isolated from similar features (thus preventing natural recolonisation). Translocation or habitat creation will not be regarded as adequate mitigation unless it can clearly be demonstrated that these measures will take full account of all important features of the site, including scientific and community criteria.

Naturalness - sites where the complement of habitats/communities/species present has not been excessively influenced by the activities of people. Sites with a good complement of 'habitat indicator species', compared to 'disturbance-indicative species' or species which are not locally native, will be regarded as important in this context.

Position in Ecological/Geographical Unit - sites which are considered important 'stepping stones' or situated in 'wildlife corridors', important for dispersal/migration/colonisation by species (examples of important features include river corridors, pond clusters, limestone dales, cloughs and hedgerow/woodland networks). Sites of importance in maintaining the national or Park-wide range of a habitat/species.

Potential value - sites/features which could be of particular nature conservation importance with limited enhancement, and where it is likely that this will be implemented within a reasonable timescale; sites which have supported important features in the past, and where the reinstatement of those features is both feasible and of particular importance to the conservation of that habitat/species within the National Park.

Typicalness/representativeness - features which contribute significantly to the 'local distinctiveness' of the National Park, or areas within the National Park, by being typical, characteristic or representative of the Peak District or particular areas of the Peak District.

Historical continuity - 'Ancient' or long-established habitats (such as ancient woodland, unimproved species-rich grassland). Such features will be regarded as irreplaceable. The presence of species regarded locally as "indicators" of ancient habitats will be considered in assessing this criterion.

Geological/Geomorphological importance - sites identified as Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS), or considered to be of equivalent importance.

Community criteria

These are based substantially on criteria widely adopted in other Nature Conservation Strategies and Development Plans in Britain. To qualify under any of these community criteria, the wildlife/geological/geomorphological features of a site must be an important element in its community value.

Landscape importance and visual appeal - sites which include characteristic, distinctive or prominent landscape features, or where features of the site are of high intrinsic appeal.

Recreational/amenity importance - sites of particular recreation or amenity value, including provision of a range of distinctive 'wildlife experiences' throughout the National Park. Sites which are of particular value to local people or to visitors.

Educational value - sites which are of particular educational value.

Cultural value - sites which include or contribute to an important historical landscape element. These may include 'relic' habitats which were once widespread locally but are now rare (e.g. limestone heath); habitats dependent on past or declining human management (e.g. flower-rich haymeadows); 'ancient' or long-established habitats; or sites where wildlife features are an important element of local customs, lores or traditional place-names (e.g. "Ravenstor", "Hollin", relic moorland vegetation on areas such as Harthill Moor).

Recorded History - sites subject to long-term studies.

Potential value - sites/features which could be of particular community importance with limited enhancement, and where it is likely that this will be implemented within a reasonable timescale.

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