LIFE N2K Programme - Latest News

LIFE N2K Programme - Latest News

Keep up to date on the progress of the project and find out about upcoming workshops and events

Artic Tern Assembly

Latest News

March 2016 - Natura 2000 Prioritised Action Framework

The updated Welsh chapter of the Natura 2000 Prioritised Action Framework was submitted to the European Commission at the beginning of March and has been published on the Welsh Government website.

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.

Natura 2000 Prioritised Action Framework

February 2016 – Welsh Government Natural Resources Bulletin

The Programme featured in the Welsh Governments February edition of their Natural Resources Bulletin.  The article features the publication of Prioritised Improvement Plans for every Natura 2000 site in Wales and also highlight the production of Thematic Action Plans to address the key challenges affecting Natura 2000 sites across Wales, and the After-LIFE plan.  The article also describes the Prioritised Improvement Plan for the Fenn’s Whixhall, Wem and Cadney Mosses Special Area of Conservation near Wrexham, north Wales.

Natural Resources Bulletin – February 2016

February 2016 – LIFE Natura 2000 Programme on JNCC website

The LIFE Natura Programme for Wales is featured on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) website.  The JNCC is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation.  The webpage outlines the outputs and achievements of the project.

JNCC

January 2016 - 6th newsletter published

The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme was completed in September 2015, but the challenge continues! Our final newsletter outlines the key outputs of the project, and contains news on how you can access our Thematic Action Plans, Prioritised Improvement Plans and other reports. It also contains information on the After-LIFE plan and the short films produced by the project. The newsletter can be downloaded using the link below.

LIFE Natura 2000 Newsletter 6 – January 2016

January 2016 - articles published

The Programme has published articles in “Natur Cymru”, “Biodiversity News”, and the “Living Waters for Wales” and “Cyfoeth” newsletters, outlining our key findings - including the cost of addressing the challenges on our 112 Natura sites, and the publication of Prioritised Improvement Plans for every Natura 2000 site in Wales. The articles also highlighted the production of Thematic Action Plans to address the key challenges affecting Natura 2000 sites across Wales, and the After-LIFE plan, which describes how the actions will be delivered.

Natur Cymru Article (pdf)

Twitter account

Did you know the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme has a Twitter account? You can follow the project on @LNatura2000, we also have a facebook page. Follow us for all the latest news on the Programme and Natura 2000 in Wales.

Natura 2000 in Wales – short films released

Some of the natural wealth of Wales can now be viewed with a click of a mouse. As part of the programme, we have produced a series of 11 films, each one concentrating on a different Natura 2000 species or habitat. Subjects include dynamic dunes, fascinating wetlands and spectacular uplands as well as the marsh fritillary butterfly, bats and great crested newts. Each film also highlights some of the other benefits that our natural environment provides such as recreation opportunities, income from the tourism industry, flood defences and pollution control.  They focus on the importance of the protected areas of Wales – the Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.

Natura 2000 films

Natura 2000 films (YouTube)

August 2015 - 5th newsletter published

Our fifth newsletter has been published and circulated to our stakeholders. The newsletter contains news on thematic action plans, new reports and August workshops. The newsletter can be downloaded below however if you would like to added to our mailing list, please contact life2000@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

LIFE N2K Programme Newsletter 5

August 2015 - Results Events

As we are now nearing the end of the project, we would like to share our draft findings with interested stakeholders for consideration and feedback.  

We would like to share and ask for your feedback on the following key project outputs:

  • The combined results of Prioritised Improvement Plans (PIPs) for all 112 sites
  • Strategic actions for each of 12 thematic issues and risks (see below)
  • Strategic actions for cross-cutting issues
  • Wales-wide priorities
  • The Prioritised Action Framework

The thematic issues and risks (ie those which have a major impact across the Natura 2000 network) are:

  • Impacts of access and recreation
  • Air pollution
  • Climate change
  • Diffuse water pollution
  • Flood and coastal erosion risk management
  • Grazing and livestock management
  • Invasive species and pathogens
  • Man-made changes to hydraulic conditions
  • Marine litter
  • Sea fisheries
  • Inappropriate or inadequate woodland management
  • Habitat fragmentation

We have organised two workshops:

  • 19th of August at the Maes y Ffynnon Natural Resources Wales offices in Bangor
  • 25th of August at the Garwnant Visitor Centre in Merthyr Tydfil

If you would like to attend either of these events please email life2000@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk indicating which workshop you would like to attend by the 31st of July. Please note that places are limited, therefore please discuss with your colleagues who is best placed from your organisation to attend. We will confirm your place in the week following the 31st of July.

For more information please go to our web pages http://naturalresources.wales/about-us/our-projects/life-n2k-wales or for regular project updates please see our facebook page: www.facebook.com/LIFEN2K.

April 2015 - Wetlands Thematic Workshop

On the 22nd of April we held a wetlands thematic workshop led by our freshwater and wetlands coordinator Theresa Kudelska, and programme manager Kathryn Hewitt. The aim of the LIFE N2K Programme thematic workshop was to identify existing and new strategic actions for SAC wetland features across Wales and to discuss ideas for potential projects. It is hoped that this information will help to inform decisions making in relation to future projects and initiatives

March 2015 - Woodlands thematic workshop

The LIFE Natura 2000 programme held a workshop in Aberystwyth looking at both current and future strategic actions, required to address the key issues affecting not only our woodland SAC sites but also other Natura 2000 sites affected by forestry activities and our woodland resources as a whole in Wales.

The outputs from the thematic workshop will inform the thematic action plan which will:-

  1. Focus on strategic actions relating to woodland management issues for the Natura 2000 series in Wales
  2. Include a range of actions, including practical actions on the ground in the form of potential projects, development of new mechanisms, proposed changes to policy and legislation, proposed changes to grant schemes, marketing initiatives, etc
  3. Address, where appropriate, wider issues and longer term actions eg up to 2050
  4. Incorporate and integrate, where appropriate, other relevant existing actions and proposals from other plans, policies and strategies
  5. Wherever possible, consider maximising ecosystem services, socio-economic and other benefits alongside N2K feature improvement

February 2015 - Rivers thematic workshop

In February 2015, the LIFE Natura 2000 programme held a rivers thematic action plan workshop in Aberystwyth. The aim of the workshop was to identify and confirm priorities for issues, risks actions and strategic actions for SAC rivers across Wales. It is hoped that this information will help to inform decisions making in relation to future projects and initiatives.

The main aims of the workshop were to:

  • Review/identify the main issues/risks affecting each SAC river
  • Review NRW’s priorities and actions for each SAC river
  • Determine strategic actions to be included in the LIFE N2K programme thematic plans

The outputs of the workshop will help to inform the thematic action plans which are a major output of the LIFE N2K programme and will look at how to tackle the strategic issues/risks across Wales. They will draw on information gathered across sites and will try to identify any gaps and make recommendations in relation to management tools available to address strategic issues.

February 2015 – New team members

We have recently welcomed 2 new members to the LIFE Natura 2000 Team. Jan Verbeek joined us as a Data Officer in December and Helen Bloomfield has replaced Jennifer Kelly as marine coordinator in February 2015.

December 2014 – Fourth newsletter published

Our fourth newsletter has been published and circulated to our stakeholders. The newsletter contains news on the extension to our project, consultation processes and forthcoming thematic action plan workshops. The newsletter can be downloaded below however if you would like to added to our mailing list, please contact life2000@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk

LIFE N2K Programme Newsletter 4 - December 2014

December 2014 - Facebook page launched

The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme now has a facebook page. Our new facebook page will enable us to keep all of our stakeholders up to date on project news and events and will also help to inform the wider public about the importance of the Natura 2000 network. Please find the link to our facebook page below.

www.facebook.com/LIFEN2K

November 2014 – Project extension

The European Commissions’ LIFE Unit has confirmed that the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme will be extended until September 2015. Originally due to finish in December 2014, the extension will allow the Programme to complete all the required outputs, carry out a comprehensive engagement process and update the Prioritised Action Framework before the finish date.

November 2014 – Prioritised Action Framework

The PAF is a planning tool, required by the Habitats Directive, which sets out how member states of the EU propose to manage their Natura 2000 sites to bring the features into favourable condition.

The first version of the UK PAF was produced in 2013. The LIFE unit asked for the Welsh element of the next version of the PAF to be completed as part of the outputs of the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme.  A revised version was produced in 2016 and is available on the Welsh Government website.

Prioritised Action Framework for Natura 2000 sites

September 2014 – LIFE Visit

On a beautifully sunny day in September, we welcomed the technical and financial desk officers from the European Commission's LIFE Unit. An in-depth discussion of the progress of the project was followed by a site visit to Aber falls, which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation. Senior reserves manager, Hywel Roberts gave us an interesting tour and explained the various conservation issues faced by the site and the work which needs to be done to address them.

September 2014 - Farming Wales article

In the September edition of “Farming Wales”, the National Farmers Unions quarterly magazine, the LIFE Natura 2000 programme published an article entitled “Valuing the Natural Wealth of Wales”. The article focused on Eryri, a Special Area of Conservation which has a highly diverse habitat. The article highlighted the importance of working with farmers to help manage our upland habitats. The article can be downloaded below.

Farming Wales article

August 2014 – New team members

We have recently welcomed 2 new members to the LIFE Natura 2000 Team. Suzanne Hearn has been recruited as Data Officer and Andrew Jeffery has joined as Programme Coordinator.

July 2014 – Royal Welsh show

The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme hosted an event at the Royal Welsh show entitled “Planning a vibrant future for our sites of European Importance”. The event was introduced by Emyr Roberts, Natural Resources Wales’s Chief Executive and included presentations from Kathryn Hewitt, Programme Manager and Dewi Jones from Cadwyn Cymru.

June 2014 – Third newsletter published

Our third newsletter has published and circulated to our stakeholders. The newsletter contains updates on our progress on our Prioritised Improvement Plans (PIPs) and our Themed Action Plans. The newsletter can be downloaded below however if you would like to added to our mailing list, please contact life2000@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk.

LIFE Newsletter 3 - June 2014

May 2014 – Natura 2000 day

Staff at the Maes y Ffynnon office of Natural Resources Wales showed their support for Natura 2000 day by "waving their butterfly wings" on the 21st of May. Basically, linking their thumbs together and wiggling their fingers!

The 21st of May is the anniversary of the Habitats Directive. This Directive and the Birds Directive are the foundation of the Natura 2000 Network.

Despite its 20 year history and its ecological, social and economic importance, the Natura 2000 network is not well known. The aim of Natura 2000 day is to spread awareness of the importance of Natura 2000 habitats and species.

The aim is for every person, organisation or institution to make a gesture of social awareness in favour of preserving the natural ecosystem and the birds that inhabit it. Every year, the gestures will contribute to the conservation of a particular Natura 2000 site in Europe.

Autumn 2013 - Natur Cymru article

In September 2013, an article on the LIFE Natura 2000 programme was published in the Natur Cymru (Natura of Wales) quarterly magazine. The article entitled “Giving nature a hand : Natura 2000 species and habitats” focused on the progress the team had made towards identifying current issues and risks faced by Natura 2000 species and habitats and gave readers an overview of the work planned on developing the Prioritised Improvement Plans.

The article can be downloaded below or visit the Natur Cymru website for more biodiversity news in Wales.

Natur Cymru article - Autumn 2013

September 2013 – Second newsletter published

Our second newsletter has been published and has been emailed out to all our stakeholders. If you have not received our newsletter and would like to keep up to date on all the latest news on the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme, please contact Hayley MacDonald-Jones to be added to the mailing list life2000@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk. The newsletter can also be downloaded using the link below.

LIFE N2K Newsletter 2 - September 2013

September 2013 - Europe’s special Places conference

On the 26th and the 27th of September, the “Strengthening the uptake of EU Funds for Natura 2000” Project, run by WWF Germany will be running a two day conference on “Financing Natura 2000” in Cardiff. The LIFE Natura 2000 Programme team will be present at this event and will be running a workshop on new and novel funding mechanisms for Natura 2000 sites.

European Commission - Financing Natura 2000

September 2013 – WBP Conference

Come and meet the team at the Wales biodiversity partnership conference in Bangor University on the 18th and 19th of September. Kathryn Hewitt, our programme manager will be delivering a talk and we will also be running a workshop looking at new approaches to managing Natura 2000 sites.

Wales biodiversity partnership conference

July 2013 - Biodiversity news

In the summer edition of Biodiversity News, the LIFE N2K Programme published a short piece highlighting the workshops undertaken in June 2013, to identity current issues and risks affecting Natura 2000 sites and species. 'Biodiversity News' is published four times a year by Defra. It contains news, updates, features, and local and regional articles of relevance to biodiversity and the UK Biodiversity Framework, as well as details of relevant publications and forth-coming events.

The summer issue of Biodiversity news can be viewed below, further issues can be accessed on the JNCC website.

Biodiversity News - Issue 61

June 2013 - Technical workshop

“Issues and risks to Natura sites and features in Wales and the management mechanisms used to address them”

A series of workshops were held in June 2013 at four locations throughout Wales which were attended by 77 attendees from various stakeholder groups. Attendees discussed which issues and risks were most prominent and discussed the suitability of management mechanisms. Attendees were also asked to put forward evidence gaps which could be addressed by the project.

To download the reports - please see the LIFE Natura 2000 programme - Reports and publications page.

May 2013 - First project newsletter published

Our first newsletter has been published and has been emailed out to all our stakeholders. If you have not received our newsletter and would like to keep up to date on all the latest news on the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme, please contact Hayley MacDonald-Jones to be added to the mailing list - Life2000@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk.

LIFE Newsletter 1 - May 2013

April 2013 - Change to Natural Resources Wales

As of 1 April 2013, the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales became Natural Resources Wales. This change will not have any significant impact on the operation of the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme, however, it will allow closer working between colleagues from the legacy bodies involved in the management of Natura 2000.

February 2013 - Project launch

Two inception events were held in February 2013 in Bangor and near Merthyr Tydfil to introduce stakeholders to the LIFE Natura 2000 Programme and to encourage them to become involved. The event was attended by a total of 87 representatives from a wide range of stakeholders and organisations. The events gave participants an overview of the aims and benefits of the programme and outlined activities and events which would be held over the coming months. Participant also contributed their valuable knowledge on workshops on:

  • Priorities for Natura 2000 in Wales
  • Funding Natura 2000 in Wales

Supported by LIFE, a financial instrument of the European Community : N2K Wales , LIFE 11 NAT/UK/385

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