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Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010) Land Management Report To inform the management of internationally designated and other accessible natural greenspaces around the town

Main cover image:

Client:

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

Report No.:

UE-0085 Land Mgt_10_180711NP-SJ

Status:

Final

Date:

July 2011

Author:

NEJP/SJ

Checked:

NEJP

Approved:

NJD

Access to the Hanger’s Way, Noar Hill


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HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan: Land Management Report

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Contents Executive Summary

1

2

3

4

i

E1

Introduction

i

E2

Greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon

i

E3

Findings

ii

E4

Recommendations

ii

Introduction

1

1.1

Background

1

1.2

The Habitats Regulations Assessment Process to Date

2

1.3

Purpose and Structure of this Document

3

1.4

Methods

4

Accessible Natural Greenspace around Whitehill Bordon

5

2.1

Introduction

5

2.2

Analysing the Network of Internationally Designated Sites

9

2.3

Analysing the Network of Other Accessible Natural Greenspaces

10

2.4

Current Accessibility to Sites

10

2.5

Integrated Access Information

16

2.6

On-site Information

17

2.7

Equality Considerations

17

Issues associated with Access to Greenspace

19

3.1

Introduction

19

3.2

Access Management: integration and opportunities for walkers with dogs

26

3.3

Understanding Access Needs and Priorities

27

3.4

Management, rather than Restriction

27

3.5

Practical application of Behavioural Psychology

30

3.6

Legal Considerations

33

3.7

Targeting the need for Restrictions or Management

36

3.8

Established Dog-walker Behaviour

36

Alternative Greenspaces

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5

6

7

8

4.1

Introduction

37

4.2

Proximity and Accessibility of SANG

37

4.3

SANG Assessment Framework

40

4.4

Commentary on Proposed SANGs

48

4.5

Conclusion

55

Management Aims for SANG

57

5.1

Introduction

57

5.2

Dog Owner Needs

58

5.3

Influence of Management of International Sites on SANG Usage

59

5.4

Grazing of SANG

59

5.5

Engagement with Dog Owners

60

5.6

Interpretation and Promotion

60

5.7

SANG Management Plans

61

5.8

Rangers/Wardens

63

5.9

Management of Fouling

65

5.10

SANG Safety

66

5.11

Multi-user Routes

68

5.12

Supplementary Design Features

68

Additional Recommendations

71

6.1

Summary

71

6.2

Recommendations: managing access for walkers with dogs

71

6.3

Access Management for Internationally Designated Sites

72

6.4

Other Access Management Issues and Recommendations

73

6.5

Other Recommendations

77

Monitoring

79

7.1

Monitoring Dog Owner Behaviour

79

7.2

Monitoring the Effects of Eco-town Development

80

Conclusion 8.1

Summary

References and Bibliography Appendix I: Summary of Focus Group Findings

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List of Tables and Figures

Table 2.1: European and international wildlife sites within the scope of the assessment Table 2.2: Internationally designated sites around Whitehill Bordon Table 2.3: Number and type of access points to priority patches plus Hogmoor Inclosure; identified by landholders, OS data, local knowledge and site visits Table 3.1:

Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near

Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011 Table 3.2: Using TPB to identify reasons for non-compliance with „on lead‟ request Table 4.1: Assessment of proposed SANGs Table 7.1: HRA Monitoring Framework

Figure 2.1: Internationally designated sites around Whitehill Bordon Figure 2.2: SANGs and other greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon, together with draft masterplan residential allocations Figure 2.3:

Location of access points to priority patches identified by landholders, OS data, local

knowledge and site visits Figure 2.4: Location of all access points identified by landholders, OS data, local knowledge and site visits Figure 2.5: Access Land around Whitehill Bordon Figure 3.1: Type and incidence of impacts identified by landholders Figure 3.2a: Spatial extent of impacts identified by landholders – all impacts Figure 3.2b: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – fire Figure 3.2c: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – recreation Figure 3.2d: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – pollution & fly-tipping Figure 3.2e: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – off-road vehicles UE Associates Ltd © 2011


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Figure 3.3: Most important single influence on walk selection for dog owners – top 10 factors ordered by percentage of owner selection (Source: SIRC, 2008) Figure 4.1: SANG provision as proposed by the draft masterplan Figure 4.2: Distances travelled by Whitehill Bordon residents to sites around the town (2009) Figure 4.3: Proportion of Whitehill Bordon residents travelling by motor vehicle (2009) Figure 4.4a: Draft outline design for Bordon Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 Figure 4.4b: Draft outline design for Hogmoor Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 Figure 4.4c: Draft outline design for Standford Grange Farm received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011

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HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan: Land Management Report UE-0085 Land Mgt_10_180711NP-SJ

Abbreviations BOSC

Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club

CRoW

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

DCLG

Department for Communities and Local Government

DCO

Dog Control Order

EHDC

East Hampshire District Council

HCC

Hampshire County Council

HRA

Habitats Regulations Assessment

MoD

Ministry of Defence

OS

Ordnance Survey

SAC

Special Area of Conservation

SANG

Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace

SINC

Site of Importance to Nature Conservation

SIRC

Sport Industry Research Centre

SPA

Special Protection Area

SSSI

Site of Special Scientific Interest

TPB

Theory of Planned Behaviour

TRO

Traffic Regulation Orders

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Acknowledgements ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The consultancy team (JPC Strategic Planning and Leisure, Jonathan Cox Associates and Stephen Jenkinson Access and Countryside Management, led by UE Associates) would like to express its gratitude to the following organisations and individuals:  Deadwater Valley Trust (Bill Wain and Jami.e. Cummins)

 National Trust (Chris Webb, Mike Stubbs and Matt Cusack)

 Defence Training Estates (Lt Col Bishop, Col Owen and Claire Dalton)

 Natural England (Marc Turner and James Giles)

 East Hampshire District Council Healey and Amanda Dunn)

 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Carri.e. Temple & James Dawkins)

(Martin

 Environment Agency (Ruth Hanniffy)  Hampshire County Council (Susanne Frost, Andy Parfitt, Jo Hale and Judy Halpin)  Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (Pauline Holmes and Alex Cruikshank)  Local recorder Stephen Miles

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 South Downs National Park Authority (Nick Heasman)  Town Mayor and Local Councillors (Adam Carew, Chris Wain and Bill Wain)  Waverley Borough Council (Steve Webster)  Whitehill Bordon Eco-town (Bruce Collinson and Wendy Shillam)


HRA for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan: Land Management Report

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UE-0085 Land Mgt_10_180711NP-SJ Executive Summary

Executive Summary E1

Introduction

E1.1

This Land Management Report is part of the continuing process of Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. It is one of a trio of reports which together provide assessments and recommendations for the Draft Framework Masterplan (AECOM, June 2010); the others are:  Atmospheric Pollution Dispersion Modelling Report (Air Quality Consultants, 2011); and  Habitats Regulations Assessment Report (Cox and Pincombe, 2011).

E1.2

The report presents the findings of a series of focus group workshops held to inform the process and findings of HRA, and attended by site managers and landowners of protected wildlife sites and other greenspaces around the town. The workshops were also attended by Natural England, nature conservation groups and other interested parties.

E2

Greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon

E2.1

One of the central concerns of the HRA for the eco-town draft masterplan is to establish the likely increase in visitor pressure at internationally designated nature conservation sites and its impacts on protected habitats and species, notably heathland birds (Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark):  East Hampshire Hangers Special Area of Conservation;  Shortheath Common Special Area of Conservation;  Thursley, Ash, Pirbright and Chobham Special Area of Conservation;  Woolmer Forest Special Area of Conservation;  Thursley and Ockley Bogs Ramsar site; and  Wealden Heaths Special Protection Area.

E2.2

Increasing recreational pressure is thought to increase the exposure of Annex 1 birds to disturbance, while increased damage to habitats may occur through trampling, soil compaction, erosion and nutrient enrichment.

Other human induced impacts frequently

associated with sites at or close to the urban edge, the frequency of which may also increase through urbanisation as a result of the draft masterplan, include fly-tipping, wildfire and arson, invasive species, use of off-road vehicles and cat predation.

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E2.3

The focus group workshops and Land Management Report sought to collect views and data on the incidence of this range of impacts, and how they relate to current accessibility at the designated sites. This is discussed in Chapters 2 and 3. Ideas on how the sites could be made more robust were also invited.

E2.4

A key method within the draft masterplan for helping to limit the increase in pressure at designated sites is by enhancing and/or increasing the available area of other accessible natural greenspaces.

The draft masterplan identifies the location of three areas to be

designated as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at Hogmoor Inclosure (also a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation; SINC), Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange Farm (which includes Eveley Wood SINC). These sites, as well as other greenspaces around the town, are being addressed through the Whitehill Bordon Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow, 2011). E2.5

A framework for assessing the potential of Hogmoor Inclosure, Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange Farm to act as SANGs was explored with the focus group. This is discussed in Chapter 4, which also presents a qualitative assessment of the SANGs against the framework.

E3

Findings

E3.1

The qualitative assessment finds that the three SANGs vary in their quality and ability to perform well as SANG, and all have significant prospects for improvement.

Hogmoor

Inclosure offers the best potential due to its size, character and location, but its nature conservation interests and current visitor use need to be taken into account.

Bordon

Inclosure, as currently proposed in the draft masterplan, is quite a linear site and could be improved by expanding the area to be used as SANG. This site is also highly used already which suggests it may have limited ability to absorb additional visitors. Standford Grange Farm has significant scope for use as SANG, however, its location in relation to proposed development areas means that it is more likely to be successful in attracting existing residents than the new population. Additionally, its possible future agricultural use is to be welcomed and SANG uses should be planned around ongoing grazing.

E4

Recommendations

E4.1

Chapters 5 and 6 present an extensive suite of recommendations, focusing in the first instance on the management aims for SANG and how the needs of dog owners in particular can be met. Creation of an Integrated Access Management Group is recommended as a means for proactively managing the likely and unexpected consequences of proposed housing development. The Group should operate across both designated wildlife sites as well as proposed SANGs to ensure consistent and coherent information on desired behaviours is available at the right times and in the best places to encourage responsible access. This is supplemented with high level recommendations for access management at the designated sites and further recommendations for other specific user groups.

Chapter 7 sets out a

monitoring framework for the draft masterplan in relation to the HRA. UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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1

Introduction

1.1

Background

1.1.1

In 2003, in response to an announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the proposed closure of Bordon Garrison under the Defence Training Review, the Whitehill Bordon Opportunity was established. Led by East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), the aim was to produce a masterplan for the future of the area which would bring about regeneration of the town, making best use of surplus MoD land following the departure of the military. In 2006 EHDC adopted the Green Town Vision for the Whitehill and Bordon area which put environmental considerations at the heart of the masterplanning process.

1.1.2

In July 2007 EHDC began to prepare a bid to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for eco-town status for Whitehill Bordon, as the parameters set out in the Eco-towns Prospectus (DCLG, 2007) were closely aligned with the Green Town Vision. In April 2008 DCLG announced that Whitehill Bordon had been included on its long list of possible locations for eco-towns. By July 2009, DCLG was satisfied that the Whitehill Bordon opportunity offered sufficient potential to meet the sustainability and deliverability requirements for a successful eco-town to warrant inclusion on its shortlist of four initial ecotown locations (DCLG, 2009).

1.1.3

In June 2010, following an earlier community and stakeholder engagement programme, the Council published its Draft Framework Masterplan Report (AECOM, 2010) for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. This was supported by a targeted survey of visitor activity on accessible natural greenspaces around the town (UE Associates, 2009a) which itself informed interim work on a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the draft masterplan (UE Associates, 2009b). Further consultation revealed concern that the magnitude and quality of alternative greenspace proposed by the draft masterplan could not be relied upon to offset the effects of increasing visitor pressure at internationally important nature conservation sites around the town. Further work on the HRA has been carried out to investigate this issue, among others, in more detail.

1.1.4

The draft masterplan envisages the development of a total area of 310 hectares of land within the town. This comprises around 230 hectares of land to be vacated by the MoD together with a further 60 hectares owned principally by Hampshire County Council (HCC) and East Hampshire District Council. The EHDC bid to DCLG in September 2008 identified four areas in which Whitehill Bordon would seek to excel: biodiversity, water neutrality, carbon neutrality and transportation.

The draft masterplan carries this forward and provides an innovative

framework for Whitehill Bordon to become an international exemplar of sustainable community development for the 21st century.

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1.2

The Habitats Regulations Assessment Process to Date

1.2.1

The 2009 interim HRA sought to assess a May 2009 draft version of the masterplan in relation to three likely significant effects identified during a screening exercise carried out in spring 2009 (UE Associates, 2009c), namely:  Atmospheric pollution from road traffic and energy generation;  The effects of visitor activity (recreation, and dog walking in particular); and  Loss or degradation of supporting habitats.

1.2.2

The screening assessment also considered the risk of other urban edge effects, and changes in water levels or quality as a result of the draft masterplan. The latter were excluded from the assessment on the basis of an Outline Water Cycle Study (Halcrow, 2009, updated by a full study in 2011 by Peter Brett Associates) which found that sufficient water supply and sewerage capacity was available to support the eco-town.

1.2.3

In relation to urban edge effects, the screening assessment explored secondary data and practice elsewhere regarding the possible impacts of cat predation, fire and fly-tipping. It concluded that the draft masterplan’s proposal to exclude residential development from within a 400m buffer to all European sites was sufficient to protect the sites from this group of impacts. However, consultation in late 2009 suggested that urban edge effects could be more widespread than initially thought around Whitehill Bordon, and perhaps particularly in relation to off-site features (i.e. protected species outside of designated sites). In response to this concern, consideration of urban edge effects has been brought back into the current HRA, and additional data on their incidence collected through focus group workshops from site managers, the MoD and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

1.2.4

The findings of the 2009 HRA regarding atmospheric pollution were inconclusive because there was insufficient data available to fully investigate the effects, pending the outcome of a traffic assessment and energy feasibility studies.

Atmospheric pollution is not considered

further in this report, but is fully explored through the accompanying HRA Report. 1.2.5

In relation to effects from increasing recreational pressure, the 2009 HRA Report concluded that: “It is clear that the draft masterplan will lead to adverse effects on the ecological integrity of the Wealden Heaths SPA in particular, and also Shortheath Common SAC, if allowed to proceed unchecked. Avoidance and/or mitigation measures are required to remove or reduce the effects to the point of insignificance.” UE Associates, 2009b, p.25

1.2.6

It went on to set out an avoidance strategy centred on the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANG), supported by additional mitigation measures including access management within European sites and a monitoring regime. In its statement on the HRA, the Council made the following observations: “East Hampshire District Council, as Competent Authority, is committed to the delivery of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) as an integral part of the masterplan,

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which is crucial to the avoidance and mitigation strategy required under the Habitats Regulations. Based on the studies it has carried out to date, EHDC is confident that there is clear and significant potential for the development of SANG to substantially improve both the carrying capacity and accessibility of land allocated for this use. Future work on the masterplan and its implementation strategy will set out detailed terms of reference for the quality, design and long-term management of SANG, and to secure arrangements for funding and ownership.” 1.2.7

The 2009 HRA highlighted that the measures were as yet untested and pointed to the need for SANG design guidance and assessment of proposed SANG under the guidance. The current HRA further analyses the nature, scale and distribution of visitor pressure expected to result from the draft masterplan, and explores the provision, quality, design, accessibility and carrying capacity of proposed SANGs in greater detail, drawing on the Green Infrastructure Strategy for the town (Halcrow, 2011).

The latter addresses funding and ownership

arrangements. 1.2.8

Finally, based on data available at the time, the 2009 HRA concluded that no adverse effect was likely to occur due to loss or degradation of supporting habitats (off-site areas). However, since that time further breeding bird surveys of off-site areas has been undertaken (Cox and Combridge, 2010a,b,c,d) and the issue is re-examined in the current HRA.

1.3

Purpose and Structure of this Document

1.3.1

Three separate but interrelated reports have been prepared to further develop and inform the Habitats Regulations Assessment:  Atmospheric Pollution Dispersion Modelling Report (Air Quality Consultants, 2011);  Land Management Report; and  Habitats Regulations Assessment Report (Cox and Pincombe, 2011).

1.3.2

This Land Management Report seeks to bring together the specialist knowledge of those managing accessible natural greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon, in order to inform the draft masterplan and its supporting HRA and Green Infrastructure Strategy. It describes the extent and incidence of urban edge effects and impacts associated with recreation, assesses the quality, design and accessibility of alternative greenspaces proposed by the draft masterplan, and provides a coherent package of management measures tailored to suit the intended use of relevant patches of land around the town. Hence, the report addresses the following items:  Chapter Two: presents an overview of internationally important nature conservation sites and other relevant accessible natural greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon, and characterises their current accessibility;  Chapter Three:

introduces the issues associated with access, and illustrates their

extent on sites around the town;

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 Chapter Four:

describes the objectives of providing suitable alternative natural

greenspaces (SANG), and assesses those proposed by the draft masterplan; and  Chapter Five:

presents a series of further considerations for site managers when

making choices about how best to manage their sites.

1.4

Methods

1.4.1

The project was carried out with the benefit of extensive liaison with many of the relevant site managers and other stakeholder interests through a series of Focus Groups. The information gathered during the consultation exercise (in particular, current access arrangements, incidence of impacts and management objectives) is presented throughout this report, and a summary of the Focus Groups themselves is given at Appendix I.

1.4.2

To complement Focus Groups, access maps and other spatial datasets with qualitative assessments, the team’s access specialist undertook site visits to the following areas: Hogmoor, Longmoor and Bordon Inclosures; Shortheath, Broxhead, Kingsley and Ludshott Commons; Woolmer Forest; Headley and Weavers Downs; Conford Moor; and Bramshott Common and Chase. Standford Grange Farm was only visually assessed from the cemetery and roadside, due to the lack of formal access provision. Visits were completed over 3 days in February 2011 and primarily assessed provision, usage and information at access points.

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2

Accessible Natural Whitehill Bordon

Greenspace

around

2.1

Introduction

2.1.1

One of the central concerns of the HRA for the eco-town draft masterplan is to establish the likely increase in visitor pressure at internationally designated nature conservation sites and its impacts on protected habitats and species, notably heathland birds (Dartford warbler Sylvia undata, nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and woodlark Lullua arborea).

Such sites are

designated under European Union Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive – Special Areas of Conservation or SAC), European Union Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (the Birds Directive – Special Protection Areas or SPA) or the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (UNESCO, 1971 – Ramsar sites). The following sites fall within the scope of the assessment (see Table 2.1, Table 2.2 and Figure 2.1). Table 2.1: European and international wildlife sites within the scope of the assessment Site name

Approximate location

Designation

East Hampshire Hangers

2.2 km to the west

SAC

Shortheath Common

0.5 km to west

SAC

5.5 km to the north east

SAC

Woolmer Forest

0.6 km to the south

SAC

Thursley and Ockley Bogs

12 km to north east

Ramsar site

Wealden Heaths (Phase 1 & 2)

Between 0.5 km to the north, 0.6 km to south and extending up to over 15 km to the north east (includes Thursley SAC & Ramsar listed above).

SPA

Thursley, Ash, Chobham

2.1.2

Pirbright

&

Increasing recreational pressure is thought to increase the exposure of Annex 1 birds to disturbance, cause them to leave the nest and leading to chilling or predation of eggs, while increased damage to habitats may occur through trampling, soil compaction, erosion and nutrient enrichment. Other human induced impacts frequently associated with sites at or close to the urban edge, the frequency of which may also increase through urbanisation as a result of the draft masterplan, include fly-tipping, wildfire and arson, invasive species, use of off-road vehicles and cat predation. Increased atmospheric pollution, and traffic emissions in particular, are also addressed by the HRA Report.

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Table 2.2: Internationally designated sites around Whitehill Bordon Site

Component Site of Special Scientific Interest

European Site Interest Features

East Hampshire Hangers SAC

 Wealden Edge Hangers

 Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes, screes and ravines,

 Noar Hill

 Asperulo-Fagetum beech forests,

 Selborne Common

 Taxus baccata woods of the British Isles * (Priority feature)

 Coombe Wood and the Lythe

 Semi-natural dry grasslands of scrubland facies on calcareous grasslands (FestucoBrometailia),

 Upper Greensand Hangers, (Empshott to Hawkley)

Shortheath Common SAC

 Upper Greensand Hangers, (Wyck to Wheatley)

 Semi-natural dry grasslands of scrubland facies on calcareous grasslands (FestucoBrometailia) (important orchid sites) * (Priority feature)

 Wick Wood and Worldham Hangers

 Early gentian Gentianella anglica

 Shortheath Common

 Transition mires and quaking bogs  European dry heaths  Bog woodland * (Priority feature)

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC

 Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix

 Ash to Brookwood Heaths

 European dry heaths

 Colony Bog & Bagshot Heath

 Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion

 Chobham Common Woolmer Forest SAC

 Woolmer Forest

 Natural dystrophic lakes and ponds  European dry heaths  Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion  Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix  Transition mires and quaking bogs

Thursley Ockley Ramsar

and Bogs

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 Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

 Ramsar criterion 2 Supports a community of rare wetland invertebrate species including notable numbers of breeding dragonflies. 6


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 Ramsar criterion 3 It is one of few sites in Britain to support all six native reptile species. The site also supports nationally important breeding populations of European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus and woodlark Lullula arborea. Wealden Heaths SPA (Phase 1 & 2)

 Devil's Punch Bowl  Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons  Broxhead & Kingsley Commons  Bramshott & Ludshott Commons  Woolmer Forest

Qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive: During the breeding season;  Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata, 123 pairs representing at least 7.7% of the breeding population in Great Britain  Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, 103 pairs representing at least 3.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain  Woodlark Lullula arborea, 105 pairs representing at least 7.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain

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Figure 2.1: Internationally designated sites around Whitehill Bordon

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2.1.3

Accessibility, site management and the management of visiting activity can influence the extent and severity of these impacts, and are the main focus of this report. It has been noted that (see for example Langston et al., 2007), with particular regard to disturbance to birds, walkers with dogs have the greatest potential for impacts, with birds flushing (flying away) more readily, more frequently, at greater distances and for longer durations, than when disturbed by visitors without dogs. For these reasons, and because 58.4% of all visitor groups interview during the 2009 survey were visiting expressly to walk their dog, this group of visitors will receive particular consideration throughout this report so that their specific needs can be catered for in the most appropriate ways, alongside the needs of other users.

2.2

Analysing the Network of Internationally Designated Sites

2.2.1

Site managers and other interested parties were invited to a series of Focus Groups in order to discuss and examine the issues in depth:  Focus Group 1: Access management for European sites (4 March 2011);  Focus Group 2: Design and management for suitable alternative natural greenspaces (23 March 2011); and  Focus Group 3: Masterplan monitoring framework in relation to HRA (15 April 2011).

2.2.2

The objective of Focus Group 1 was to help establish a better understanding of the current access management plans of landholders (owners or managers) with an interest in European sites around the town, and discuss additional/amended plans that landholders would be willing to adopt, the implementation of which could be funded through eco-town development. To enable more focused conversation, composite European designations were disaggregated into functional ‘patches’ to enable landholders to talk specifically about their sites.

A breakdown of all individual patches encompassed by the suite of European

designations is given in Appendix I, together with landholders where known (Annex I to Appendix I). Patches that were visited by residents of Whitehill Bordon (people living in five digit post code areas GU350 and GU359) during the 2009 visitor survey are listed below. For the purposes of this study, these areas have been termed ‘priority patches’ because they are the locations most likely to receive additional visits as a result of draft masterplan proposals.  Shortheath Common;  Kingsley Common;  Broxhead Common (west and east);  Woolmer Forest, including Passfield Common, Conford Moor and Blackmoor;  Longmoor Inclosure, including Holly Hills;  Ludshott Common and Waggoners Wells; and  Bramshott Common and Bramshott Chase.

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2.3

Analysing the Network of Other Accessible Natural Greenspaces

2.3.1

A key method within the draft masterplan for helping to limit the increase in pressure at internationally designated sites is by enhancing and/or increasing the available area of other accessible natural greenspaces. The draft masterplan identifies the location of three areas to be designated as Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at Hogmoor Inclosure (also a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation; SINC), Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange Farm (which includes Eveley Wood SINC); see Figure 2.2.

The concept of SANG was

developed through the passage of the South East Plan (Regional Spatial Strategy; GOSE, 2009) to provide offsetting measures at a strategic level for housing development around the Thames Basin Heaths SPA. 2.3.2

Proposed SANGs were thus also the topic of wide-ranging discussions, particularity at Focus Group 2, along with other sites not explicitly addressed by the draft masterplan such as the Slab and the Warren (SINCs and MoD training areas with notable heathland habitats, birds and other species), Roundhill (an accessible but undesignated area adjacent to the north of Woolmer Forest), Deadwater Valley (Local Nature Reserve), the River Wey corridor (an important link in the greenspace network around the town), ‘south Broxhead Common’ (an accessible SINC adjacent to the south of Broxhead Common), and Oxney Farm and Meadows (SINC and MoD training area with current de facto accessibility).

2.3.3

Clearly other semi/natural or formal greenspaces in and around the town exist, and the use of these is being examined via the town’s Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow, 2011).

2.4

Current Accessibility to Sites

2.4.1

During the first workshop, landholders were presented with a series of printed 1:25,000 maps and asked to identify points of access to their sites, together with the location and extent of associated impacts (see Chapter Three for more on this). Several hundred spatially specific records of access points and impact hotspots were identified, with substantial additional data being provided after the meeting. The data were digitised and two databases created, one for access points, the other for impacts; these should be used as a starting point for future access audits and continuous monitoring of impacts through the eco-town project. The access point data was cross-referenced to Ordnance Survey (OS) data and thoroughly checked for duplicate records in light of local knowledge and site visits. In total, 132 access points were identified for priority patches (see Table 2.3 and Figure 2.3), together with seven to Hogmoor Inclosure, and several more for the remaining suite of internationally designated sites (Figure 2.4).

2.4.2

The following sections describe accessibility to greenspace around the town in more qualitative terms.

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Associates Ltd and Š 2011 FigureUE 2.2: SANGs other greenspaces around Whitehill Bordon, together with draft masterplan residential allocations

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Table 2.3: Number and type of access points to priority patches plus Hogmoor Inclosure; identified by landholders, OS data, local knowledge and site visits BRID

BRD/ PED

CP

CP/ BRID

LB

LB/ BRID

PED

PED/ CP

VEH

Total

Bramshott Common

5

-

1

2

-

-

5

1

-

14

Broxhead Common

5

-

-

1

1

1

7

-

3

18

Hogmoor Inclosure

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

-

2

7

Kingsley Common

-

-

1

-

-

-

4

1

3

9

Longmoor Inclosure

10

-

-

-

-

-

5

1

3

19

Ludshott Common

13

1

3

1

-

-

6

-

-

24

Shortheath Common

1

-

-

-

-

-

10

3

2

16

Woolmer Forest

5

-

2

-

-

-

15

1

9

32

Total

39

1

7

4

1

1

57

7

22

139

Patch

BRID: Bridleway

BRD/PED: Bridleway/footpath

CP: Car park

LB: Lay-by

LB/BRID: Lay-by/bridleway

PED: Footpath (informal and formal)

PED/CP: Footpath/car park

CP/BRID: Car park/bridleway

VEH: Vehicular access

Public rights of way 2.4.3

The public footpaths, bridleways and byways visited were found in most cases to meet the minimum legal requirements for being signposted, maintained and unobstructed by the landowners or County Council as appropriate. Several public footpaths across private land were subject to stiles that will cause difficulties for people with mobility impairments that restrict their ability to get over steps. These are probably longstanding and legal limitations of use, although replacing them with gates or gaps would be beneficial to increase accessibility.

2.4.4

Because of the large amount of access provided by Access Land (see Figure 2.5), permissive access, MoD land and de facto access, public rights of way are not the primary means of accessing greenspace and the countryside in and around Whitehill Bordon. However, they still play an essential role in making permanent, legally-protected connections between these areas over private land. Access and Common Land

2.4.5

There is a significant amount of legally protected area access around Whitehill Bordon, due to Part 1 of the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 giving a conditional right of access on foot across registered Common Land (Figure 2.5); in this case primarily Shortheath, Kingsley, Broxhead, Ludshott and Bramshott Commons. While access was doubtless taken across these areas before the implementation of the Act, before then there was generally only a right of access to around a third of Common Land (see also section 6.3).

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Figure 2.3:

Location of access points to

priority patches identified by landholders, OS data, local knowledge and site visits UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 2.4:

Location of all access points

identified by landholders, OS data, local UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 2.5: Access Land around Whitehill Bordon

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2.4.6

This access was found to be open and available for public use with few obstructions, most probably due to how the nature of common ownership, shared rights, and legal restrictions on erecting fencing, mean they are generally kept unenclosed or compartmentalised. They were generally not signposted or otherwise explicitly indicated as Access Land, although the high level of traditional usage and availability of parking would lead most people to have confidence that these were places they could go to take access. MoD land

2.4.7

While extensive use is made of access across MoD owned land, this appears to largely occur due to tradition and people seeing what other people do and where they go. This access taking is likely to be a mixture of de facto access, unopposed trespass and access which, while not specifically offered, exists by default because it is not prohibited at certain times and places in military bylaws.

2.4.8

Positive information about what access can be legitimately taken across MoD land is largely absent, with reliance placed on bylaws and safety signs that tell people what they cannot do, without clarifying what access they can take. While some generic information is available on the MoD's website indicating that public access can be taken across its land at certain times and places, this would need to be backed up by local knowledge to make good use of it. De facto access

2.4.9

As with most other areas in England, de facto access contributes significantly to the local access network. De facto access is defined as both linear and area access which has no formal grant or designation, but which exists simply because people at some time started to use it and continue to do so.

2.4.10

The taking of de facto access, irrespective of what legal status it does, or does not, have is in itself an illustration of an access need. As it is not comprehensively recorded in any available datasets, it should be identified, acknowledged, assessed and accommodated if appropriate, as more detailed site-specific access management proposals emerge, in order to avoid inadvertently preventing de facto access and leading to a loss of provision and displacement of activity to other locations. Aerial photography can usefully highlight well-used de facto linear routes; it is far less useful in woodland and for identifying areas where people wander without sticking to specific routes.

2.5

Integrated Access Information

2.5.1

Access provision and management around Whitehill Bordon reflects many of the findings of the Wider Access Network Rights of Way Improvement Plan Exemplar Project of 2003 (Jenkinson and McCloy).

This Countryside Agency funded project looked at the overall

availability of public access in all its forms in and around York, including MoD land. As at Whitehill Bordon, a substantially greater network of access existed than was apparent from any single information source, be it a website, OS map or local signposting.

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2.5.2

In that study, information from eleven different public bodies or Council departments, plus private landowners, was needed to ascertain the full extent of legal and permitted access rights. While not studied in the same detail, the situation at Whitehill Bordon is likely to present issues and challenges of the same magnitude. Critically, if access users do not know the status of the access they are using, they will also not know what is expected of them in terms of responsible or lawful usage at a local level, such as riding a horse or walking a dog off-lead. While local people and visitors may over time learn of this wider network, the lack of readily available information about its true extent undoubtedly limits its accessibility.

2.5.3

An attempt has been made to rectify this, in the leaflets Exploring Whitehill and Exploring Kingsley published recently (undated) by Hampshire County Council in partnership with Whitehill Town Council and Kingsley Parish Council respectively. While both these leaflets helpfully promote usable circular routes linking a variety of access rights and permissions, the map key depicts some land as ‘Areas believed to offer public access’. This is not a criticism of the leaflets themselves, but an illustration of how even the parish/town councils have difficulty in being precise about what access exists. In addition, the Whitehill leaflet depicts a route at Oxney Farm as ‘Open access route controlled by MoD byelaws’.

While again this is

undoubtedly an improvement over the more limited information on OS Explorer maps, it further reinforces the difficulties in giving accurate information to allow access to be used with confidence, especially for people new to the area. 2.5.4

Thus it is recommended that information about the extent of all existing access provision is made more accessible, as this will improve the opportunities for people to make an informed and responsible choice about where to go for a given activity or experience, and promote the attractiveness of the eco-town.

2.6

On-site Information

2.6.1

There is a general lack of information at most access points to help users know where different behaviours are limited (e.g. dog control, horse riding) even though there was an expectation expressed during Focus Group sessions by several land and access managers that visitors should be compliant with any such requirements. For example, for most access users there is no apparent difference in requirements with regard to lead use between 1 March and 31 July when entering most SPA/SAC sites, compared to those not so designated.

2.6.2

Thus while a lack of compliance with, for example, lead use requirements on access land, can illustrate irresponsibility on the part of dog owners, it must also be recognised that this can equally reflect weaknesses in current and past site management and communication, and in developing the overall network of access to meet the needs of local communities.

2.7

Equality Considerations At some sites the survey highlighted practices that may not be wholly compliant with responsibilities on organisations, and especially public bodies in relation to Equality Act 2010, and in particular regarding people with disabilities, for whom statutory rights have been incrementally imposed since the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

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Plate 1: Current on-site information mostly relies on negative, generic, and restrictive signage, as opposed to describing the experiences and access on offer, and the requested behaviours for responsible enjoyment at a given site (Kingsley Common). 2.7.1

While there is no suggestion that any of the land managers have intentionally sought to discriminate, this can be an unintended consequence when, for example, access control structures are installed and maintained, and during information provision.

2.7.2

Improvements can be made by, for example:  Establishing dialogue between the Integrated Access Management Group (see section 6.2 where this is recommended) and the local accessibility/disability organisation(s) and/or using other methods of engaging with people with disabilities;  Reviewing the need and design of new and existing access control structures (e.g. barriers, stiles, gates) to ensure the least restrictive approach is used; and  Providing the option of information and interpretation in more accessible alternative formats.

2.7.3

It is also important to remember that accessibility can be improved at modest cost by quite small changes in management policy and practice; there is a danger that land and access managers overlook minor, yet significantly helpful, changes by focusing more on expensive new infrastructure like ramps. Moreover, some improvements can also reduce maintenance costs, for example removing gates and stiles when not needed, and simply leaving a gap.

2.7.4

Existing national good practice, audit methods and action plans summarised in By All Reasonable Means (CA215, Countryside Agency, 2005) should be reflected, with particular reference to the BT Countryside for All: Accessibility standards (BT/Fieldfare Trust, 2005) for physical path standards and auditing. Reference should also be made to any local standards and requirements of Hampshire County Council’s access and countryside teams and the statutory Countryside Access Plan.

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3

Issues associated with Access to Greenspace

3.1

Introduction

3.1.1

As stated in Chapter Two, landholders were asked to identify on OS maps the extent and incidence of impacts occurring on their sites. Additionally, during Focus Group 1, landholders were given a short questionnaire to complete which sought to answer the following key questions (answers to which are fully summarised in Appendix I). Several chose to take the survey away with them and reply following the meeting, which gave the opportunity to provide extensive additional information.  What are the management plan objectives or key activities relating to the site?  What are the main constraints you currently face that limit the success of these objectives/activities?  How could proposed eco-town development affect the site or its management?  What deliverable measures are there that could offset current/future impacts to the site, or generally increase the robustness of the site, which could be explored if resources were available?

3.1.2

Over 300 incidences of impacts were captured through map annotations and questionnaire submissions; these were digitised where possible and a database for future monitoring created. Impacts covered a wide range of activity, as illustrated by Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1. The data provided are a snapshot of the extent of impacts, supplied by landholders, rather than representing a comprehensively monitored baseline of impacts. They were supplied in several different formats, over a variety of timeframes. MoD supplied data, for instance, is that collected by its managing agent Landmarc for the periods June 2010 and February 2011, while data provided by Hampshire Fire and Rescue on the number of incidents attended in semi-natural areas by Bordon Fire Station covers a five year period (and includes several records in the urban area). The spatial extent of these impacts is shown on Figures 3.2.

3.1.3

As can be seen, there is a strong correlation between the extent of impacts and proximity to urban areas, Whitehill Bordon in particular. But it is also important to state that such proximity is not the only causal factor. Although all landholders (already very busy managing their land during a spell of mainly warm, dry weather) were invited to meetings, those with responsibility for sites further afield were less inclined to attend, possibly because they felt the likelihood of impacts to their sites increasing as a result of the eco-town was less than for sites nearby. As a consequence, there is simply less data recorded for these sites.

3.1.4

Additionally, it is interesting to note that several impact incidences fall outside of internationally designated site boundaries. This is not in itself surprising but illustrates that all greenspaces are subject to a range of urban edge effects, and require appropriate management regimes in relation to their sensitivity to such impacts.

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3.1.5

The remainder of this chapter discusses the kinds of access issues identified through consultation with landholders in greater detail, and introduces some theory with regard to approaches to access management, while paying particular reference to walkers with dogs. Table 3.1: Urban and recreational pressures on heathlands and other (non-European) sites near Whitehill Bordon, from focus group workshops held in March 2011

Impact type

Incidence

Camping

9

Disturbance

28

Dog fouling

21

Fly-tipping

72

Impact caused by animal (e.g. dogs/horses)

10

Invasive Plants

10

Litter

5

Livestock issue

5

Mixed impacts

11

Off-road vehicles

32

Pollution

10

Rat-running

4

Theft or poaching

11

Unlawful digging / building

2

Vandalism

1

Wildfire or arson

83

Total

314

Figure 3.1: Type and incidence of impacts identified by landholders UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 3.2a: Spatial extent of impacts identified by landholders – all impacts


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Figure 3.2b: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – fire

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Figure 3.2c: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – recreation

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Figure 3.2d: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – pollution & fly-tipping

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Figure 3.2e: Spatial extent of impacts close to Whitehill Bordon – off-road vehicles

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3.2

Access Management: integration and opportunities for walkers with dogs

3.2.1

Based on site visits and assessment of access management at a sample of sites in and around Whitehill Bordon, a key challenge and opportunity for improving access management is to better integrate management and information across all sites. While site and access managers share similar challenges and management aims, the current approach - certainly when viewed from an access-user perspective - does not work across the physical boundaries of specific sites, landownership or administration. For example, there is usually no information for dog owners to direct them, with explanations, to a more appropriate location for their desired activity (e.g. a dog off-lead in May).

3.2.2

In addition, in some cases management within the same land ownership appears to consider a narrower range of responsibilities and objectives than required to meet the needs of access management and the conservation of designated sites. For example, in one case a car park was closed on land not internationally designated, displacing visitors to a car park 250 metres away within an SPA. While this was doubtless done for genuine local management reasons, its apparent narrowness in policy terms does suggest a need for a more integrated and holistic approach. In addition, the approach on a number of sites suggested a reliance on reactive, restrictive and inward-looking approaches to managing unwanted behaviours, which may also be indicative of a lack of resources to be more proactive.

3.2.3

While the latter situations are far from unique to this area, they do need addressing to improve how access and conservation interests are managed to reduce any negative impacts from current dog owners and new residents of the proposed housing. Irrespective of the management needs of sites for nature conservation purposes, there is a significant, year-round demand for taking public access across these sites by walkers and those with dogs. Existing and new dog-owning residents of Whitehill Bordon will always be looking for places to exercise their pets on a daily basis.

3.2.4

It is clear from the focus groups sessions held, and the extent of impacts described by site managers, that challenges associated with access already exist.

Indeed, should the MoD

release land too quickly or without arrangements for proper management, it is likely that such challenges will continue and worsen regardless of progress with the eco-town. An important opportunity thus exists for landholders to work in partnership to promote coherent, integrated management activities both now and in the future. 3.2.5

An approach to this reality that has been successfully applied elsewhere in Hampshire, and increasingly in other areas, is to actively recognise, accept and manage the access needs of walkers with dogs, using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) to analyse why unwanted behaviours (such as dogs on leads at sensitive times and places for ground nesting birds) is not achieved.

The reasoning behind this approach is explained in the following

sections.

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3.3

Understanding Access Needs and Priorities

3.3.1

Perhaps understandably, when a land or access manager becomes aware of an access user behaving in a manner which they regard as ‘irresponsible’, a natural reaction can be to judge the person concerned to be, for example, ‘ignorant’, ‘stupid’ or ‘selfish’.

However,

behavioural psychology tells us that, unless there is some mental illness, there is a reason why a person acts in a particular way. This is particularly relevant in the case of walkers with dogs, as research shows that behaviours regarded as ‘irresponsible’ are almost always the result of a person’s positive beliefs and motivations, rather than a malicious intention to cause problems. 3.3.2

Dog owners have a different set of motivations and priorities compared to other types of access user; until relatively recently these had not been studied in a structured, scientific way. Two complementary studies based in Hampshire (Edwards and Knight, 2006; Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC), 2008) were commissioned to provide quantitative and qualitative data from on-site interviews, focus groups and anonymous online questionnaires.

3.3.3

The greatest priority for walkers with dogs was found to be the health and enjoyment of the dog itself. This is not surprising as owning a dog is a very definite choice, from which a strong bond between owner and pet develops; the latter also explains the often passionate defence of their dog and strong reactions to any criticism of it. From a management perspective, arguably the most important findings of the latter research, especially in relation to ground nesting birds, are the factors that influence dog walkers’ behaviours: Figure 3.3.

3.3.4

The very high importance of off-lead access is reflected in the visitor survey for sites around Whitehill Bordon; across all sites survey in 2009, 78.9% of groups allowed their dog off the lead for the majority of their walk, whereas only 8.4% kept their dog on the lead for the entire walk. It is also validated by other survey and focus groups with dog owners, e.g. Jenkinson and McCloy (2008).

3.4

Management, rather than Restriction

3.4.1

The very high priority dog owners place on their dog having a safe and happy life, combined with the daily priorities of most for off-lead access, away from traffic and close to home, is pivotal to developing effective management approaches. These priorities also help to explain the generic failings of past approaches across the UK, as they have traditionally exclusively focused on trying to tell dog owners what not to do, justified by the impact on, for example, wildlife, livestock, and other people.

3.4.2

The weaknesses of such restrictive approaches are thus:  Increased awareness about ground nesting birds, for example, will have a limited effect on a dog owner’s behaviour unless it becomes more important than the primary, dogrelated, reasons they have come to a specific site;  Asking for dogs to be kept on a lead for many months at a time is a big ‘ask’, especially if off-lead access taking on the site is long-established;

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 Education and awareness about impacts are very unlikely to become more important than the dog owner’s practical and emotional relationship with their dog and their mutual well-being;  They do not help dog owners obtain the primary experiences they seek, in places where they will cause less disturbance to other interests;  Enforcement is difficult in both legal and practical aspects; and  Government has specifically chosen not to prohibit off-lead access in principle; it instead seeks to restrict this where it is irresponsible to not use a lead.

Figure 3.3: Most important single influence on walk selection for dog owners – top 10 factors ordered by percentage of owner selection (Source: SIRC, 2008) 3.4.3

A study of dog walker behaviour in Winchester (op. cit.) identified four possible outcomes for dog owners faced with a new restriction at a particular site:  Keep visiting the site if their needs are still met with the restriction in place;  Go somewhere else that seems to better accommodate their needs;  Practically and/or politically challenge the restriction; or  Ignore the restriction given a low likelihood of being caught/fined.

3.4.4

Given the above, unless the restriction is not incompatible with the experience they were seeking, the result will either be a lack of compliance, increased conflict, or displacement to somewhere else that may be more sensitive. Consequently, rather than just saying ‘no’ to an unwanted activity, helping dog owners do the right thing by using pre-visit and onsite information to say where such activity can occur in less sensitive locations reduces the potential for conflict and increases long term compliance.

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3.4.5

Projects such as the zoning system at Hampshire County Council’s Danebury Hillfort near Andover, in Malvern Hills, and the www.dorsetdogs.org.uk website, are good examples of why approaches that accept, manage and accommodate behaviour that can cause problems at the wrong place or time, are now seen as a more effective way forward.

Case Study: Pre-visit information 1 In the Malvern Hills, near Worcester, ‘Stock Watch’ information on the Conservator's website, in the weekly paper, and sent out on request by email, identifies which compartments are being used to graze sheep, giving dog owners an informed choice about where to exercise their dogs, and avoid conflict with livestock.

Case Study: Pre-visit information 2 In

Dorset,

the

Urban

Heaths

Partnership developed a website in 2010 to bring together information from a variety of land and access managers, to identify where dogs could

be

exercised

off-lead

at

different times of the year, again to help owners make an informed choice

about

where

to

go,

especially during the bird nesting season. In both cases, site staff report that the

information

reduce conflict.

has

helped

to

In addition, the

process of engaging with other land managers and dog owners has been constructive in itself.

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Case Study: Zoning At Danebury Hillfort, near Andover, Hampshire County Council introduced a traffic light system that was regularly updated to indicate the best off-lead areas (green = off lead; amber = on lead; red = no dogs) depending on where sheep were being grazed. The system worked well and with no further attacks on livestock after it was www.hants.gov.uk/dogs

introduced.

See

A similar zoning system with greater clarity about expected behaviours in different areas was introduced at Greenham Common in 2010, to reduce disturbance to ground nesting birds. Follow-up surveys showed that 80% of dog owners accepted the need for seasonal restrictions on access and valued off-lead areas being explicitly identified. Rangers report the system has also increased their consistency and effectiveness when dealing with the public.

3.5

Practical application of Behavioural Psychology

3.5.1

The practical application of behavioural psychology is now routinely used to influence behaviours such as compliance with speed limits, increasing recycling, health promotion and commercial advertising. While there is a breadth of research and models relating to why people behave as they do, the successful application of Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB; 1991) has led to its increasing use for walkers with dogs in the UK over the 6 years, with much of this use being piloted in Hampshire.

3.5.2

TPB already had an established role in the countryside management field in North America through the work of Professor Sam Ham and others (Ham et al, 2009). However its application to the behaviour of walkers with dogs is a relatively recent development in the United Kingdom, arising from a conference in the New Forest in 2005 addressed by Professor Ham.

3.5.3

In essence, Ajzen’s theory states that the likelihood of a person doing a particular behaviour, such as complying with a ‘birds nesting – keep dogs on a lead’ sign depends on three distinct areas of belief and attitude for that individual, namely:  Personal beliefs: how the person feels about doing a particular behaviour;  Societal Beliefs:

how the person feels they will be judged by others for doing a

particular behaviour, often referred to as ‘peer pressure’; and  Control beliefs: their knowledge and ability to do the behaviour, if they wanted to.

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3.5.4

Thus, even if a dog walker believes a certain behaviour is the right thing to do, and that they will be seen favourably by others in doing it, they will still not be able to do it if they do not have the ability or knowledge to do so. To most reliably influence behaviour, therefore, all three belief areas need to be addressed, with control beliefs being pivotal because, without them, peer pressure or trying only to educate someone about the impacts of their behaviour will not be effective. The most successful new approaches have addressed all three and hence ensured that the underlying reasons for non-compliance, rather than just the symptoms, are addressed. Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour

3.5.5

Table 3.2 illustrates how TPB can be used to identify and explain the reasons for noncompliance (in this example, a dog being off lead, contrary to a local sign about ground nesting birds), and the available management interventions to increase compliance. Summary

3.5.6

In practical terms, TPB shows us that:  The most effective solutions will come from seeing this as a people management issue, rather than a dog management issue;  The key to influencing dog owner behaviour rests in understanding and addressing their needs, even though the motivation to influence their behaviour may come from the needs of land managers and nature conservation;  An approach that relies on just ‘educating’ dog owners about responsible behaviour will not be effective on its own;  Changing established behaviours on a given site involves changing many personal and group beliefs, and so will be much harder than establishing wanted behaviours when access is first provided to a new site;  The beliefs influencing dog owner behaviour at a given place and time will be highly dependent on a number of local factors, which will often be unique to that particular situation. Thus it is extremely difficult for national messages (such as lead use on access land) to effectively deal with behaviours that vary in their acceptability at a local level – for example when to use a lead; and  Dog owners’ overriding priority for their dogs’ health and well-being is a common and powerful hook for developing dialogue and ultimately influencing their behaviour.

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Table 3.2: Using TPB to identify reasons for non-compliance with „on lead‟ request

Beliefs Personal

Reasons for non-compliance  my dog wants to be off-lead and have a good time

 appearing to be pro-responsibility rather than anti-dog

 I've never seen the birds

 providing signage that varies throughout the season

 I've always let my dog run offlead here  the sign is: out of date / not true / left up all year / because the ranger hates dogs / for visitors not locals  I’ll look like a bad owner if my dog doesn’t run about  it looks like I can’t control my dog if it’s on a lead  no-one else has their dog on a lead  no-one else is asked to keep their dog on a lead  other people without dogs don't behave well  birdwatchers don't like dog owners, so why should we help them in return? Control

Increase credibility, empathy and accessibility of messages by:

 the birds are still nesting here anyway  there are bigger problems for birds than dogs

Societal

Management interventions to increase compliance

 clarify that dog owners are being asked to do their bit, rather than the only problem  suggest/provide alternative accessible places for off-lead exercise  target information, events, guided walks at dog owners  brand information with canine partners to increase credibility Engage with the local community of dog owners to:  identify advocates within the community  develop a greater sense of community towards access taking  involve dog owners in reporting problems, checking on livestock  facilitate greater rapport between them: events, online forums / Facebook  involve local vets and other canine service providers  engage with other access takers to foster greater mutual tolerance and understanding

 my dog will cause problems if he doesn't get tired out

 ensure there is off-lead access somewhere else in the locality all year round

 my dog pulls on a lead

 provide an off-lead area on site in a less sensitive area

 I’m not sure where the sensitive areas finish  I don't know where else to go

 clearly identify where off-lead access is permitted on site

 the suggested place for off-lead is too far away

 work with local dog trainers to run training sessions on site

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3.6

Legal Considerations

3.6.1

There are often a number of misunderstandings about the law in relation to walkers with dogs that can encourage ineffective and reactive management approaches, which in turn can distract site managers from more effective approaches that seek to manage existing demand, for off-lead access for instance, rather than just constrain or prohibit it.

Whilst a ‘zero

tolerance’ legally-based approach may be needed (and is possibly the only option) for a few ‘hard core’ intentionally irresponsible dog owners a given site, it can be very resource intensive, and will only ever stop the unwanted behaviours of a few people.

Indeed, an

approach simply based on enforcement will often only displace unwanted activity to other sites that may actually be more sensitive and less well managed. The proactive management approaches recommended below have more potential to improve matters, by promoting the wanted behaviours by the majority, and will complement the provision of SANG. 3.6.2

It is therefore helpful to summarise what reliance on a legal approach can, and cannot, do in relation to dogs and access to the countryside. Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

3.6.3

This gave a right of access to walk on designated Access Land, which in this context generally means registered commons, such as Shortheath, Kingsley, Broxhead and Passfield.

For

walkers with dogs, this entitlement to access on foot is conditional on their pets being on a fixed lead of no more than 2 metres (6 feet) long at all times near livestock, and from 1 March to 31 July. 3.6.4

If a dog owner does not comply with this requirement, the Act does not make this an offence in itself. Instead, the dog walker loses this particular entitlement to access, and if no other access rights or permissions exist (such as being on a public right of way or if the landowner does not oppose such off-lead access), they become a trespasser. Contrary to popular belief, dog owners cannot be prosecuted for such trespass; it is merely a civil wrong. The landowner does have the right to ask them to leave and can use reasonable force to facilitate this if they refuse. A notable exception where trespass can attract fines or criminal prosecution is when it occurs on MoD land, where bylaws and other specific legislation relating to military activities and state security can make it a criminal offence.

3.6.5

Similarly, whilst the CRoW Act did not give rights of access for many other recreational activities such as horse riding, cycling and so on, it equally did not make such activities illegal on Access Land. Thus, in general the carrying out of such activities on Access Land without any other right or permission being in place, would again only be a trespass, unless other bylaws applied, or due to specific statutes such as the Law of Property Act 1925 which makes it illegal to drive or ride any vehicle (including a bicycle) on Common Land without lawful excuse.

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3.6.6

Furthermore, the legislation does not compel the landowner to enforce such requirements. For example, if a land owner or manager is happy for dogs to be off-lead on some or all land between March and July, or for horses to ride a particular track, Access Land designation does not prevent them from permitting this. So, for example, the Forestry Commission’s general starting point of allowing dogs to be off-lead year-round (as long as they are under control) is quite lawful; it is simply the landowner exercising the right to allow additional, less restrictive access if they so wish.

3.6.7

The CRoW Act requirements may also not apply to Access Land, if such land had pre-existing public access management arrangements (so-called ‘Section 15 land’). This can often be the case on long established Commons; this has not been investigated on Common Land in and around the eco-town area. It is worth further noting Natural England guidance (2007, section 1.1.14), which states that „CRoW restrictions do not affect other access rights, permissions or traditions‟, thus recognising that it was not the Act’s intention to de-legitimise activities that had taken place for some time without challenge. Dogs on public rights of way

3.6.8

There is no general requirement for how a dog should be controlled on public rights of way. The term ‘close control’ is often used, but in a legal sense this only applies in enclosures containing sheep. The term is also of very limited use in practice, due to uncertainty about what it actually means.

3.6.9

As the CRoW Act added to existing access rights, rather than superseding them, if a dog and its owner are on a public right of way, such as a public footpath crossing Access Land, they do not lose this right of access due to not complying with CRoW requirements (e.g. lead use from March – July) on Access Land. Rights of way legislation operates independently of Access Land requirements, and hence can complicate and undermine enforcement based approaches for lead use on Access Land areas that also have public rights of way running across them (e.g. Broxhead, Shortheath and Kingsley Commons). Plate 2: The term „close control‟ is

frequently

used

in

communication with dog owners, but with very limited legal or practical meaning. practice

to

It is good

describe

the

behaviours required and relate this to the dog‟s and owner‟s interests, e.g. „keep dogs on the path for their own safety‟, and also to erect signage to show where ended,

the as

danger well

area as

has

started

(Ludshott Common).

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Dog Control Orders 3.6.10

If a Dog Control Order (DCO) was made by a District Council or Parish Council, then this could provide offences and financial penalties if dog owners did not have their pets on a lead in designated areas. DCOs can also regulate the maximum number of dogs a person can have with them, and impose fines for not removing dog faeces. DCOs cannot ban dogs completely from public rights of way, nor other routes to which the public has access by permission of the landowner.

3.6.11

Defra guidance (undated) states that DCOs should: „balance the interests of those in charge of dogs against the interests of those affected by the activities of dogs, bearing in mind the need for people, in particular children, to have access to dog-free areas and areas where dogs are kept under strict control, and the need for those in charge of dogs to have access to areas where they can exercise their dogs without undue restrictions.‟

3.6.12

The provision of SANG could be argued to help demonstrate that balance.

3.6.13

In principle, DCOs could be imposed on most land in and around the eco-town area (including MoD land), although their effectiveness would ultimately be determined by the resources available for enforcement and their acceptance as workable and reasonable by the local dogowning community. DCOs can be a helpful management tool, but they are not a panacea for all dog-owner related problems, and they may even displace issues to other, potentially more sensitive areas – an integrated approach is required.

3.6.14

DCOs cannot be made on Forestry Commission land; they have their own bylaw making provisions, although their practical effectiveness and desirability is influenced by the same factors as for DCOs above. Other legislation making certain acts by dogs/owners illegal

3.6.15

There are various statutes that do provide for formal legal sanctions, including prosecution of the owner in certain circumstances, if a dog for example: attacks livestock; injures other people; is dangerously out of control; is of a certain breed; damages property; intentionally or recklessly destroys or damages features of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI); or kills, injures or takes any wild bird or its nest.

The details of the many disparate pieces of

legislation are beyond the scope of this report. 3.6.16

The principle here is that if actual damage is caused by pet dogs, then this may be illegal; however, this will not fall under Part 1 of the CRoW Act that deals with Access Land. Specialist advice should be taken when gathering evidence if considering such action as the legal tests involved can be challenging and complex, with the outcomes not as certain in court as the legislation would appear to suggest.

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3.7

Targeting the need for Restrictions or Management

3.7.1

As commonly occurs in other contexts, the issues relating to dogs and sites designated for nature conservation are often discussed in general and negative terms, without reference to a site’s individual sensitivities and the specific reasons for its designation. In order to direct resources most effectively to where the behaviour of walkers with dogs does need to be changed, whilst also avoiding undue restrictions and potential conflict, management decisions and discussions need to focus on the specific interactions of concern and their relevance to a specific site.

3.7.2

For example, a site designated as a SSSI could have significant or no potential for damage from walkers with dogs.

If designated for its geological features then management

interventions may not be needed, whereas if the designation was in relation to Annex 1 ground nesting birds that are particularly sensitive to disturbance by dogs, management interventions - for example, enforcement of on-lead requirements at sensitive times - may well be appropriate.

3.8

Established Dog-walker Behaviour

3.8.1

New residents to the area offer a far greater opportunity for their behaviour to be influenced in terms of exercising their dogs in the least sensitive places, and in particular by using SANG. However once behaviours have been established, particularly if they have been repeated for many years, they can be much harder to change, especially if there is no apparent negative consequence of this behaviour, and if it has been unchallenged for a significant period of time. This reality is particularly relevant to internationally designated sites where established patterns of use - and in particular off-lead access - have occurred for decades, for example on Shortheath, Broxhead and Kingsley Commons.

3.8.2

As we know that the demand for off-lead access is high and enduring, this presents particular challenges.

Whilst the behaviour of people currently driving to SPA/SAC sites could be

influenced by SANG provision, for those residents who walk to these sites, unless off-lead access can be accommodated somewhere within a similarly convenient walking distance, the only option open to them is to either continue taking such access in the area, or to drive somewhere else. Given the eco-town’s aims, and the wider policy context regarding reducing the use of private motorcars, this presents a particular challenge and may well require a degree of pragmatism to balance what may be the optimal management for nature conservation on a given site, with the realities and politics of what can be achieved with local people. 3.8.3

Management interventions must be considered on a site-by-site basis, and if off-lead access can be accommodated somewhere within each site, this may be the best, or least worst, approach. Again, it must be noted that the fact that access rights under the CRoW Act are conditional on the use of a short lead between March and July this does not, in itself, preclude the landowner from allowing off-lead access on some or all of their site if that was felt to be the best management approach.

Such zoned approaches can work when developed to

equally recognise the needs of both walkers with dogs and nature conservation, although some sites are better suited to this than others. UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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4

Alternative Greenspaces

4.1

Introduction

4.1.1

Proposals for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces as a means of offsetting potential increased visitor pressure at designated sites are included in the draft masterplan (version June 2010). The principle of SANG provision, originally established to protect the Thames Basin Heaths SPA and coupled with changed management practices within the SPA, is not directly transferrable to Whitehill Bordon. In the Thames Basin, the measures were devised to nullify the strategic effects of infill developments across a wide area.

Redevelopment at

Whitehill Bordon seeks to deliver strategic development (up to a maximum of 5,300 dwellings) in a specific locality in very close proximity to SPA/SAC sites. 4.1.2

Hence there is a need for a bespoke solution based on current and future community needs, as determined through analysis of locally specific data, to directly inform the extent, location and design of SANGs. It is important to recognise that SANGs will exist as nodal points within a spectrum of accessible greenspace, and the wider countryside, that will also have their own management objectives.

The wider green infrastructure network, and the contribution it

makes to a variety of functions for the town, is explored through the Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow, 2011). Three sites are currently proposed by the draft masterplan; see Figure 4.1:  Hogmoor Inclosure: 55.86hai;  Bordon Inclosure: 17.88ha; and  Standford Grange Farm: 49.76ha. 4.1.3

The extent of SANG proposed by the draft masterplan is examined in detail through the HRA process; this chapter focuses on SANG location and design. It does this through the use of a systematic assessment framework and by reporting the qualitative findings of site visits, but first discusses importance of proximity and accessibility.

4.2

Proximity and Accessibility of SANG Proximity

4.2.1

For SANGs to be as effective as they can be in attracting off-lead dog walking activity and other visitor activity away from international sites, they need to be more attractive than the SPA/SAC sites, not just as good as. Apart from good management and design features within the SANGs themselves, their accessibility, and especially their proximity to where dog owners live is of paramount importance.

i

The SANG at Hogmoor Inclosure includes the ‘wildlife corridor’ indicated on the draft masterplan, as subsequent discussions with

stakeholders have suggested that this should be part of the SANG rather than separately distinguished. UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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4.2.2

In particular, they will be most effective when they are within walking distance of the dog owners’ homes, to avoid the need to drive to a site, and thus creating far more potential to visit SPA/SAC sites. Quite apart from supporting eco-town principles, given fuel costs and road congestion at peak times, this proximity can be a major attractor for well-placed SANG that people can walk to.

Figure 4.1: SANG provision as proposed by the draft masterplan 4.2.3

The 2009 visitor survey data were re-analysed to inform the present phase of the HRA, to establish more specifically the visiting patterns of Whitehill Bordon residents (those living within five digit post code areas GU350 and GU359). Visitors from these post code areas only visited the ‘priority patches’ (see section 2.2), and the average distances travelled to these sites is given in Figure 4.2. Note that Hogmoor Inclosure is a proposed SANG not a priority patch.

4.2.4

Figure 4.3 illustrates the proportion of people travelling to these areas by motorised transport. Generally speaking, the further away a site is the higher the proportion of people travelling by car. The exceptions are Kingsley and Broxhead Commons which, despite being relatively close to the town (1.96km and 1.23km respectively) have higher numbers travelling by motor vehicle than might be expected (51.43% and 72.97%), and Shortheath Common which is slightly further away at 2.11km but recorded far few visitors by car (7.69%). This further highlights the need to provide high quality SANGs within walking distance in order to attract existing residents driving to relatively nearby sites.

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4.2.5

Overall, the survey also found that 88.4% of groups with dogs visited the sites surveyed on a daily basis; this accords with research commissioned from Sheffield Hallam University in 2008 (SIRC) by HCC, which showed that at least 37% of dog owners walk their dogs twice or more per day, 34% between once and twice a day, and 17% once a day. Around Winchester, 41% of dog owners walked up to 10 minutes to get to their usual dog walking area (Jenkinson and McCloy, 2008).

Figure 4.2: Distances travelled by Whitehill Bordon residents to sites around the town (2009)

Figure 4.3: Proportion of Whitehill Bordon residents travelling by motor vehicle (2009) Accessibility 4.2.6

Apart from linear proximity (i.e. the physical distance travelled to get to a SANG), accessibility is equally important.

Accessibility is a more holistic and qualitative assessment of how

attractive it is to walk to a SANG by a given route, which will vary according to individual preferences. For example, while a SANG may be a 300 metre walk from a person’s home, and thus of sufficient proximity, the following example factors affecting accessibility will also influence whether that a person will walk to the SANG: UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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 How safe the route feels to use;  How peaceful and enjoyable it is to walk;  Perceived conflicts with other users, such as cyclists;  The need to cross busy roads or other sources of severance;  How well lit it is at night;  Awareness of where the route goes; and  Path furniture along the route (e.g. gates, stiles and seats). Dog owner demographics 4.2.7

The most influential predictor of dog ownership in a household is the presence of children (Mintel, 2004), with a strong bias towards ownership in ABC1 households (professional, managerial and skilled non-manual occupations). In south-east England there is at least one dog in 20% of households (PFMA, 2011), with at least one dog being taken on 48% of all countryside visits (TNS, 2010).

4.2.8

These statistics in themselves illustrate that accommodating dog owner needs is a relevant consideration for one in five purchasers, with that proportion far higher in the larger family sized homes with greater income levels. Thus SANGs particularly, but far from exclusively, need to be readily accessible from the larger family homes, especially as higher household incomes are directly correlated with higher levels of car ownership (Commission for Integrated Transport, 2006), and so residents of these homes are more able to use a car to drive somewhere else if the SANG does not meet their needs. Consequently, SANGs need to be particularly accessible to the larger family homes such as the lower density dwellings proposed around Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club (BOSC) and Louisburg Barracks.

4.3

SANG Assessment Framework

4.3.1

The design and layout of proposed SANGs should be informed by existing information from the 2009 survey, additional visitor survey carried out in future years, the views of the community and key stakeholders, and SANG guidelines from Natural England (2008). Some pertinent findings from these sources are summarised below: 

By far the majority of people using internationally designated sites were those walking with dogs;

Sites are used all year round;

Around 70% of people arrive at the sites by car;

The average dog-walker will travel around 2.7km while onsite, but they will only venture a mean 784m from their access point. Conversely, walkers will travel an average 2.9km and penetrate 920m onto the site;

The most common attraction of sites in the Whitehill Bordon area was the ‘natural beauty’ of the site, followed by ‘remoteness (lack of people)’. ‘Birds / wildlife’ and ‘openness’ were also important features;

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For walkers without dogs, the most common reason given for not finding alternative sites attractive was ‘busy-ness’. This was the second most important reason among walkers with dogs, among whom the most important reason was not being able to let the dog off the lead.

Three quarters of people accessing the sites travelled ‘mostly on the tracks’ during their activities, and there was no significant difference between dog-walkers and nondog-walkers in this respect;

Nearly 80% of dog walkers let their dogs off the lead;

Other factors that would put people off visiting other sites were the introduction of or increased ‘parking charges’, ‘more housing’ and ‘poor access / reduced car parking’;

About 75% of users also use alternative sites on a regular basis; and

Natural greenspace was identified as the second most used type of open space in the District.

4.3.2

The purpose of the second Focus Group held during the HRA study was to establish a framework of criteria for assessing proposed SANGs. A draft framework was presented to the group and ‘mock’ assessments worked up to explore how well it functioned. Several helpful comments were taken and the framework was subsequently amended. Outline proposals for the SANGs were prepared by Halcrow through the work on the Green Infrastructure Strategy, and draft plans were supplied to the team (pers. comm., 2011). Having tested and amended the assessment framework, these designs were subsequently assessed by the consultancy team.

4.3.3

In the main, two scenarios for each SANG were assessed; firstly their current potential to fulfil requirements assuming they were opened up for access today, and second their future potential based on the designs supplied by Halcrow. (It will be necessary to carry out further assessments to inform detailed designs for the sites taken forward.) For Standford Grange Farm, however, a two future scenarios were explored because there is uncertainty about whether this site should be treated as a ‘pure’ SANG, or whether parts of it should remain in agricultural use while improving accessibility and rotationally managing the land as SANG.

4.3.4

For each criterion, the current or future site was allocated a score of zero or one to indicate whether or not it does or could fulfil the criterion. No weighting or ranking was applied to the criteria but, as illustrated above in relation to proximity and accessibility, clearly some are more important than others. An example relates to criteria 21, 22 and 23 which, although they may be desirable under certain circumstances to increase the attraction of a site (if sensitively designed so as to not detract from a semi-natural landscape), they are not essential components for any SANG.

4.3.5

The completed assessment framework is presented in Table 4.1, while the draft outline designs follow in Figures 4.4. A commentary for each SANG, informed by site visits, follows in the next section and describes the consultancy team’s thinking while assessing the sites under the assessment framework.

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Table 4.1: Assessment of proposed SANGs No.

Criteria (*criteria from Natural England 'must have' requirements)

Bordon Inclosure Existing

Potential

Hogmoor Inclosure Existing

Potential

Standford Grange Farm Existing

SANG

Farm/SANG

Natural England ‘must haves’ with occasional locally-specific adjustments (see for example criterion 2) For all sites larger than 4ha there must be adequate parking for visitors, unless the site is intended for local use, i.e. within easy walking distance (400m) of 1

the developments linked to it. The amount of car parking space should be

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

determined by the anticipated use of the site and reflect the visitor catchment of both the SANG and the SPA. 2

3

4

5

6

It should be possible to complete a circular walk of 2.7 – 2.9km around the SANG. The accessibility of the site must include access points appropriate for the particular visitor use the SANG is intended to cater for. Car parks must be easily and safely accessible by car and should be clearly sign posted. All SANGs with car parks must have a circular walk which starts and finishes at the car park. SANGs must be designed so that they are perceived to be safe by users; they must not have tree and scrub cover along parts of the walking routes. SANGs must be perceived as semi-natural spaces with little intrusion of

7

artificial structures, except in the immediate vicinity of car parks. Visuallysensitive way-markers and some benches are acceptable.

8

The SANG must have a safe route of access on foot from the nearest car park and/or footpath(s).

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No.

9

10

11

12

13

Criteria (*criteria from Natural England 'must have' requirements) Paths must be easily used and well maintained but most should remain unsurfaced to avoid the site becoming too urban in feel. All SANGs larger than 12 ha must aim to provide a variety of habitats for users to experience. Access within the SANG must be largely unrestricted with plenty of space provided where it is possible for dogs to exercise freely and safely off lead. SANGs must be free from unpleasant intrusions (e.g. sewage treatment works smells etc). Leaflets and/or website advertising their location to potential users (distributed to homes and made available at entrance points and car parks)

Bordon Inclosure Existing

Potential

Hogmoor Inclosure Existing

Potential

Standford Grange Farm Existing

SANG

Farm/SANG

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Other locally-specific items from visitor surveys, community and stakeholder consultations 14

15

Sufficient space to allow visitors to experience nature, wander and explore away from guided routes and paths to provide a feeling of remoteness. Proximity, connectivity and easily accessible foot and bicycle routes to the SANG from the surrounding neighbourhoods. An attractive, undulating landscape people will choose to visit, to include

16

open landscapes with views or other focal point, as well as more wooded areas.

17

18

To be sufficiently large to absorb recreational pressure without creating a busy crowded or over used area of countryside. Should link to other natural green-spaces within context of wider green infrastructure network.

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No.

Criteria (*criteria from Natural England 'must have' requirements)

Bordon Inclosure Existing

Potential

Hogmoor Inclosure Existing

Potential

Standford Grange Farm Existing

SANG

Farm/SANG

Natural features (e.g. open water) which create value for biodiversity and 19

provide a sense of nature for visitors, with sympathetic use of natural materials

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

7

16

11

21

11

21

18

to enhance biodiversity through design or management. Provision of information and signage to and within the site, indicating location 20

and layout, with educational information and interpretation provided at key accesses and other focal points.

21 22

23 -

Careful/limited provision of natural play space for a range of age groups. Careful/limited provision of visitor centre and/or cafĂŠ with toilets (e.g. at key access points). Careful/limited provision of additional visitor facilities (e.g. outdoor class rooms, nature trails, pond dipping platforms). TOTAL

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Figure 4.4a: Draft outline design for Bordon Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 4.4b: Draft outline design for Hogmoor Inclosure received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Figure 4.4c: Draft outline design for Standford Grange Farm received from Halcrow on 9 May 2011 UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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4.4

Commentary on Proposed SANGs Bordon Inclosure Commentary on assessment framework scoring

4.4.1

Criterion 1: We recommend no car park is provided for Bordon Inclosure SANG due to the risk of increasing accessibility to nearby Broxhead Common. If one must be provided, it should be located at the southern end of the site, not the northern end as currently proposed. Broxhead Common (SPA), which is already popular with walkers with dogs and falls within a 2.7km walk from home (the mean walking distance of visitors with dogs recorded during the 2009 survey), is also a only short car drive away from new housing.

4.4.2

Criterion 2: The current and future scores are marked as zero because, under the current draft masterplan, the site is very linear which prevents it from offering a circular walk in any sense; to do so would require the visitor to walk the perimeter of the site, bringing close proximity with existing homes (noise, built environment) and the sewage works (noise and possible odours) therefore not fulfilling criterion 12. Furthermore, it is not possible to achieve a circular route of the required length, although Natural England has indicated that not every SANG needs to meet all the criteria as long as they are all represented through the suite of SANGs. Improvements towards SANG quality and provision should be made by extending the site to the south into Alexandra Park, and east along the River Wey corridor, as indicated on the outline design but not permitted by the area of land currently designated in the draft masterplan.

4.4.3

Criterion 3: The appropriateness of access points depends on who the site is most aiming to attract; new residents will be living further afield, and hence more likely to be driving, than existing residents who may be living adjacent. Clearly, the behaviour of new residents will be easier to influence. The current enclosed and at times intimidating feel could be improved in the future by sensitive felling, more open sightlines, path provision, greater public use and the reduction or removal of urban infrastructure. Plate 3: Current access into Bordon Inclosure can be unattractive and give rise to personal safety concerns due to poor sight lines, high fencing and urban infrastructure

4.4.4

Criterion 6: We assume the site will be given an improved feeling of safety in the future by improving the quality of access points and thinning out the tree cover.

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4.4.5

Criterion 7: As stated with regard to criterion 2, it will be difficult to achieve the perception of semi-natural space without intrusion by artificial structures either now or in the future because of the site’s size and shape, and it being surrounded by existing houses. The sewage works adds to this difficulty, although it may be possible to improve its design to reduce this effect.

4.4.6

Criterion 10: The site offers woodland, riverine and heathland remnant habitats, however, this could all (and should all) be improved in the future to enhance its semi-natural character.

4.4.7

Criterion 11: Legally, access is currently unrestricted, but constrained by dense understorey and conifer plantation; these will require attention. But at the northern edge of the site, near Lindford Road, vegetation cover should remain dense to screen views of the road from within the site and to maintain a safe walking environment for dogs (the latter could also be achieved with fencing). The site is surrounded on three sides by existing residential development, and has unconstrained access in contrast to the managed access at Hogmoor Inclosure. A summer 2011 survey of visitor activity at the site (which included Alexandra Park, rather than focusing on the smaller area of SANG proposed by the draft masterplan) revealed that the site is already highly used. Across the 27.18ha of SANG + Alexandra Park, 48,487 visits per year are estimated, giving it a current rate of 1,784 visits/ha/yr. This limits its capacity to operate as SANG. For this reason, it is recommended that dog friendly infrastructure such as an activity trail and enclosed training area are provided here in particular.

Plate 4: Current character of Bordon Inclosure 4.4.8

Criterion 12: It is possible that the sewage treatment works’ odour contours do not extend into the SANG, or only partially affect the site, but it nonetheless represents an unpleasant intrusion. The issue also related to criterion 7 and, with the structures of the old works still present, hence the zero score. It would be possible to discount an area of the SANG close to the current works to account for this, or perhaps its future design can be improved.

4.4.9

Criterion 15: as with criterion 3, this depends on who the SANG is aimed at; it is much easier to achieve good proximity, accessibility and connectivity to existing residents than new at Bordon Inclosure. Its distance from proposed housing relative to nearby international sites, while not as problematic as for Standford Grange Farm, is nonetheless challenging.

For

instance, proposed residential areas at Louisburg Barracks are approximately 400m away from Bordon Inclosure, 550m from Broxhead Common, 1.1km from Kingsley Common, and 1.2km from Shortheath Common.

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4.4.10

Walking routes to the latter three areas, all of which are popular and attractive accessible natural greenspaces, pass largely through rural or semi-natural landscapes rather than through the urban environment. Bordon Inclosure will suffer severance from adjacent areas of new housing by the A325, although this could be reduced by the proposed traffic management measures and green walking routes.

4.4.11

Criterion 16: Zero-scored because, despite the presence of some characterful old pollard oaks, the landscape is neither attractive and open, nor particularly undulating. There is scope for enhancement, but not to a quality comparable with the international sites.

4.4.12

Criterion 17: Zero-scored for the same reasons as criterion 2; its linear nature makes it likely that others would be encountered during a visit.

4.4.13

Criterion 18: Bordon Inclosure’s best feature is the connectivity it offers between other places on the greenspace network, and its ability to offer a ‘green route’ while travelling between other locations. Summary

4.4.14

With a future potential score of 16, Bordon Inclosure both now and as currently proposed in the draft masterplan is not of a sufficient size or quality to fully meet the objectives of a SANG, with the presence of urban infrastructure and proximity to Broxhead Common particular constraints. This site is also highly used already which suggests it may have limited ability to absorb additional visitors. A revised masterplan will need to address these issues, and explore opportunities to enlarge the site to the south and east to improve its overall performance as a valuable part of the wider greenspace network. The provision of dog-friendly infrastructure (an activity trail and/or enclosed training area) would help to increase the attractiveness of the site to walkers with dogs. Hogmoor Inclosure Commentary on assessment framework scoring

4.4.15

Criterion 1: The view from stakeholders given during Focus Group sessions was that car parks were not appropriate for Hogmoor Inclosure; the site should be designed for local use. However, a car park could be accommodated in the future if necessary, and Natural England is likely to require the site to have one.

4.4.16

Criterion 2: The mean distance travelled (2.7km) by walkers with dogs during the 2009 survey (and also the penetration distances (784m) for the most part) can just be accommodated; its wooded yet open nature also helps to absorb people and give a greater sense of naturalness per unit area than a fully open landscape. It has been suggested that the SANG could be extended to the north to encompass The Croft, and this would add further space to accommodate the required distances while also offering links to nearby greenspaces.

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4.4.17

Criterion 4:

We recommend that a car park should be provided to make the site more

effective in offsetting visits to international sites from other sources. For example, due to Hogmoor’s character and potential for improvement, it could play a useful role in diverting existing visits from Shortheath and Kingsley Commons. If a car park is provided, locating it on Hogmoor Road would create the greatest effect in this respect. 4.4.18

Criterion 7: Although we recommend extensive conifer harvesting to thin out the tree cover on parts of Hogmoor Inclosure (see below), a curtain of dense vegetation (ideally evergreen) should be maintained on the perimeter to screen views of the surrounding built environment from within the site.

4.4.19

Criterion 10: The variety of habitats could be improved through tree-felling. We recommend increasing the open ground to woodland ratio to approximately 60:40 in the long term, as opposed to the c.40:60 illustrated on the outline design. With appropriate management, this would allow for extensive heathland restoration, improving both the attractiveness of the site and its nature conservation value. However, to perform well as a SANG nature conservation will need to be subsidiary to the primary aim of attracting visitors.

Plate 5: Current character of Hogmoor Inclosure 4.4.20

It should be acknowledged that returning Annex 1 heathland birds, which may be more likely as a result of restoration if the site is not extensively used for recreation, would complicate use of Hogmoor Inclosure as SANG in the future. It is therefore suggested that conversion of the site aims for 40% open ground and 60% woodland in the first instance.

The site’s

management plan could then aim for further progressive tree-felling, moving towards a 50:50 ratio, and ultimately the 60:40 recommended above, but supported by monitoring the rate of housing delivery and visitor numbers. 4.4.21

Criterion 12: Zero-scored on current value due to tank manoeuvres.

4.4.22

Criterion 14: Capacity analyses based on current visitor use (see the HRA Report) suggest that there may not be substantial free capacity available at Hogmoor Inclosure; it is estimated to be receiving 33,877 annual visits already, which requires discounting from its available area through the HRA process. The site can currently meet this objective but its attractiveness under this criterion will be eroded as it approaches capacity. The situation is worsened by the loss of area to proposed residential, commercial and leisure uses, and we recommend that other sites are considered for these purposes in order to increase the size of the SANG.

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4.4.23

Criterion 15: Hogmoor Inclosure scores well in relation to proximity, being close to extensive areas of proposed redevelopment. Additionally, it is not too far from areas of lower density, larger sized houses that are more likely to be dog owners. One such site is proposed for development adjacent to the SANG while others are around 400m – 500m away at their nearest extent. But connectivity and accessibility are the operative words of this criterion in relation to Hogmoor Inclosure. The draft masterplan currently proposes re-routing the A325 so that significant areas of high density housing are severed from the SANG. The issue would be compounded if the disused railway line is brought back into use, depending on the location of its terminal station. We recommend that the A325 should maintain its current alignment to prevent severing new residents (without established visiting behaviours) from such an important part of the SANG network. Furthermore, the location of the rail station requires careful consideration.

4.4.24

Assuming for a moment a situation where finances are unconstrained, the best place to site the station would be underground, beneath the proposed town centre and transport interchange.

There is also potential to underground the relief road.

A more affordable

alternative would be to provide wide land bridges over a rail/road corridor in cuttings, to reduce (but not remove) severance of the site from surrounding residents. A further option would be to locate the station further north to around the junction of Station Road, Oakhanger Road and Budds Lane, but land bridges would still be required to ensure the town is not cut off from BOSC and Oxney Farm and Meadows (this would also be necessary if the station was located further south). 4.4.25

Criterion 17: comments relating to criterion 14 apply here also.

4.4.26

Criterion 18: currently Hogmoor Inclosure has good connectivity with the wider greenspace network, although this could be improved in relation to BOSC and Oxney Farm and Meadows. Connectivity with these sites would need to be maintained and enhanced in the future.

4.4.27

Criterion 19: We do not recommend providing a visitor centre or café at Hogmoor Inclosure, particularly given stakeholder preferences regarding car parking. Such facilities are unlikely to be required to attract people to the site and are therefore unwarranted. Summary

4.4.28

Hogmoor Inclosure fails to score against just two criteria, one of which is not a prerequisite for a successful SANG. It offers the most potential of the three currently proposed SANGs due to its proximity to proposed development and character akin to the international sites it is aiming to draw visitors from. Provision of parking accessible from Hogmoor Road would support its ability to divert visitors from other areas.

If it could be extended northwards, the site’s

potential could be enhanced even further. 4.4.29

The site also has substantial prospects for enhancement, both for recreation and nature conservation if sensitively managed.

However, the level of current use (estimated to be

33,877 visits per year) raises questions over its capacity to absorb additional visitors without losing attractiveness, while some of the specific land uses proposed in adjacent areas (transport corridors in particular), which also reduce its size, would lead to severance. UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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Standford Grange Farm Commentary on assessment framework scoring 4.4.30

Criterion 3: As with Bordon Inclosure, the appropriateness of access points depends on who the site is most aiming to attract; new residents will be living much further afield, and hence more likely to be driving, than existing residents who may be living adjacent. Clearly, the behaviour of new residents will be easier to influence, but they will be living much further afield; the site will therefore need to be highly attractive to be successful in the future.

4.4.31

Criterion 7: The semi-natural aspect of this criterion could be fulfilled if Standford Grange Farm was fully converted to SANG, but it would be more difficult achieve on a rotational basis with agricultural use, hence the zero score for that scenario.

4.4.32

Additionally, if agriculture was to continue in the future, the farm buildings and other artificial structures would need to be discounted from the site’s future SANG capacity. Similarly, if a visitor centre is to be provided on site, this would also need to be discounted from available capacity.

Plate 7: Current character at Standford Grange Farm 4.4.33

Criteria 11 and 14: Access for walkers with dogs would be unrestricted if the site was fully converted to SANG. If it were to retain agricultural use, we assume the main use would be to overwinter conservation grazing herds; livestock would be present during winter months, with an area of land probably given over in summer months to producing winter supplement feed crop.

This scenario reduces the area of unrestricted access and would require enclosed

fencing and/or on-lead access over parts of the site. Providing linear access along fenced wide corridors between grazing enclosures would allow a high degree of contact between people and farm animals without the risks associated with crossing the fields themselves. Natural England has confirmed that retention of grazing on the land (see also section 5.4 below) would not require a discount to be applied to its capacity as a SANG. 4.4.34

Criterion 15: Standford Grange Farm is over just 1km from the nearest areas of proposed new residential development on the edge of Hogmoor Inclosure, with most new residential areas being over 1.5km away.

Under both scenarios, therefore, it fails to meet the proximity,

connectivity and accessibility criteria.

New residents (those without established visiting

behaviours) would most likely need to access the site by car, which raises the question of why they would travel across town to the site when more attractive (and more sensitive) options are a comparable distance away. UE Associates Ltd Š 2011

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Plate 6: providing separated public access in corridors between enclosures can

allow

public

interaction

with

livestock without the dangers associated with being in the fields themselves (National Stud, Ireland)

4.4.35

On the other hand, local European sites of a similar size such as Shortheath and Kingsley Commons, for instance (58.7ha and 38.6ha respectively) successfully attract Whitehill Bordon visitors from an average 2.1km and 1.9km away.

Good design for this SANG will be

particularly important, and it may be able to draw in existing residents who live close by (despite the difficulties in changing established behaviour), which could also reduce the total numbers ultimately visiting European sites. 4.4.36

Criterion 17: As with criteria 11 and 14, retaining agricultural uses at Standford Grange Farm reduces its attractiveness to walkers with dogs.

4.4.37

Criterion 19: Eveley Wood provides for an intrinsic nature conservation interest at Standford Grange. However, the extent of retained grazing will have an influence over the ability of the site to improve habitat diversity over parts of the site, while there is more scope for enhancement if the site was managed primarily as a SANG.

4.4.38

Criterion 22: A visitor centre or café would be most appropriate if Standford Grange Farm was to retain its agricultural use in order to raise its profile and create a destination, possibly in conjunction with an Eco-farm concept or facility for locally grown food (although the latter may reduce the operable area of SANG even further). In our view, a visitor centre or café becomes less viable under the pure SANG scenario and may detract from its success as a semi-natural space, hence the zero score for that scenario. Summary

4.4.39

Looking at the assessment framework scores for Standford Grange Farm, it would score 21 points if its future management were purely as SANG, or 18 points if it is managed as SANG with rotational agricultural uses. Its existing potential is judged to meet 11 out of 23 criteria. However, while its future SANG potential seems as promising as Hogmoor Inclosure’s, this should not be viewed in isolation. The key consideration for Standford Grange Farm is its distance from the new (and more easily persuaded into positive behaviours) residents of the town; most proposed residential areas are at a distance greater than 1 to 1.5km from the site.

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4.4.40

Given that the majority of visitors to international sites arrive by car when travelling from further than around 1.5km away (see section 4.2), it may be less likely that they would choose to visit Standford Grange Farm over a range of alternative sites. This becomes more apparent when issues of traffic congestion, and the relative distance of international sites by comparison, are taken into account. However, it should also be noted that local European sites of a comparable size such as Shortheath and Kingsley Commons, for instance successfully attract Whitehill Bordon visitors from an average 2.1km and 1.9km away.

4.4.41

Standford Grange Farm’s future design and facilities provision would therefore need to be of exceptional quality to draw in new residents and, while this may be achievable, we suggest that a rotational combination of uses between SANG and ‘eco-farm’ is likely to be most successful in this respect. Hence the site has an interesting role to play in promoting the ecotown ethos and providing overwintering sites for conservation grazing herds. Accessibility could still be improved under this scenario, particularly by permanent providing wide, linear access routes. These challenges will need to be recognised and addressed by future revisions to the draft masterplan and its supporting Green Infrastructure Strategy.

4.5

Conclusion

4.5.1

Given the distance of Standford Grange Farm from proposed development and the limitations currently facing Bordon Inclosure, a new masterplan should consider extending the proposed SANGs, and/or look to new areas. Revisions to the masterplan could consider expanding Hogmoor Inclosure northward into The Croft, while Bordon Inclosure could feasibly be extended south into Alexandra Park and east into the River Wey corridor. Both extensions would increase the area of SANG available and improve the overall ability of the sites to meet the SANG requirements.

4.5.2

A quantitative assessment of the current SANGs, which accounts for existing use and value, is presented in the HRA Report.

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5

Management Aims for SANG

5.1

Introduction

5.1.1

From the outset and throughout the life of the related housing development, there needs to be clear and consistent management to meet, above all else, the statutory purposes of SANGs, namely to accommodate recreational activities that could otherwise have significant impacts on Natura 2000 sites. This purpose needs to be viewed as a positive measure for both the local community and the conservation of Europe's rarest species. This constructive ethos must be embraced positively in SANG management, as otherwise terms like ‘sacrificial dog use areas’ can de-legitimise their use by dog owners, create an atmosphere of this group being unwelcome, and ultimately lead to dog owners going elsewhere, which could include internationally protected sites. It can also lead to management approaches that see dog owners as a problem to, at best, be tolerated, rather than dog owners being a significant and legitimate part of the community, who inherently have a high degree of interest in maintaining attractive and extensive greenspaces in and around the eco-town.

5.1.2

The understandable concerns regarding nature conservation on SANG sites are recognised; the way forward is suggested as identifying the special features of a given proposed SANG (for example, the reasons for designation as SINC at Hogmoor Inclosure) to firstly determine if off-lead exercise by dogs, or other recreational activities, is detrimental to that species or feature. If it is held to be detrimental, then a management decision needs to be made to either:  Use good management to minimise any negative/unwanted interactions without reducing the SANG’s value for the recreational activity in question; or  Introduce restrictions on access on the areas in question and discount those areas from qualifying as SANG.

5.1.3

Discounting for the current nature conservation value of SANG is explored within the HRA Report. It must also be remembered that regular access taking in SANG will help nature conservation by:  Providing informal surveillance to deter antisocial behaviour, fly tipping and the early reporting of fires;  Fostering a sense of ownership and support for greenspace by a substantial proportion of the local community;  Protecting the areas from future development due to their perpetual requirement for offsetting the effects of currently proposed development; and  Conserving the most valuable international sites.

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5.2

Dog Owner Needs

5.2.1

Of primary importance to attracting and retaining dog owners on SANG is the need to ensure these areas reliably and consistently meet their needs.

The visitor survey has shown in

quantitative terms how dog owners travel and what they value about specific sites. However, usage of such sites can be because they are the least-worst option rather than ideal provision. 5.2.2

Research such as SIRC (2008) and Jenkinson and McCloy (2008) approach the issue from what would be an ideal access resource for dog owners. Summarising the findings, and to appeal to the widest range of dog owners as possible, SANGs need to offer:  Extensive year-round off-lead access;  Closeness to home – either to walk to or with free car parking;  Separation from traffic;  Feelings of personal safety;  Peace and quiet;  Opportunities to socialise with other dog owners;  Sufficient space to avoid other dog owners;  No requirement to pick up, or as second best, litter or dog bins close to where dogs foul;  Extensive areas for exercise with no livestock or conflict with nature conservation management;  A circular route ; and  A feeling of welcome and legitimacy.

5.2.3

It is important to note that dog owners are not a homogenous group; for example, some prefer

be

to

sociable,

others

seeking

isolation. Thus SANGs need to offer choice and, contrary to attempts to attract dogs owners in other areas, restricting them to a small communal area will not meet their range of needs. Many, but not all of these principles are explicitly stated in the SANG assessment framework. Plate 9: Off-lead access is the single most important factor for attracting dog owners to a site and needs to be explicitly identified to give confidence and legitimacy to its use

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5.3

Influence of Management of International Sites on SANG Usage

5.3.1

The inherent attractiveness of SANG must be considered in a contextual sense, as the decision of where to go by walkers with dogs is based on the relative merit of where best, or least worst, to go for their desired activity, in particular exercising a dog off lead. Thus the level of disincentive to go to an SAC/SPA will have an influence here, especially if walkers are using a car to access sites, as they have far greater latitude in site selection.

5.3.2

For example, management choices will need to be taken in future, informed by additional monitoring of visitor activity, between whether or not to close down or reduce the capacity of car parks at or close to international sites, or to increase wardening, impose Dog Control Orders or adjust management of habitats and the path network, in order to reduce the effects of visitor pressure. As a result of these interventions, SANG could become more attractive by default through displacement. However, simply relying on enforcement on other sites is not recommended as a way of indirectly increasing SANG usage because, instead of going to the SANG, the dog owners could also: 

Visit the SPA/SAC at times when wardening is less likely to occur;

Go to another SPA/SAC site that is more attractive than the SANG, which has no, or a less well enforced, on-lead policy; or

 5.3.3

Keep visiting the SPA/SAC if there is little risk of being fined.

Thus, SANG management needs to be integrated with management measures on other sites, for instance by promoting events or new facilities at SANG in March, at the same time as ‘onlead’ restrictions are introduced on SPA/SAC sites.

5.4

Grazing of SANG

5.4.1

Grazing of land can dissuade walkers with dogs from visiting land acting as a SANG for, because of:

5.4.2

Concerns about injury to people and their dogs, in particular from cattle;

General messages elsewhere about always using leads around livestock; and

General fears some visitors have about livestock.

While these impressions will not affect all dog owners equally, some of whom will be familiar with visiting designated sites which are grazed, research in Hampshire (SIRC, 2008) found that avoiding livestock was ‘always’ or ‘often’ a consideration in walk selection for 65% of dog owners. That is not to say that grazed land cannot provide attractive and wildlife-rich areas of greenspace in and around the eco-town; but they will be less successful in meeting the full SANG criteria for dog owners, either initially or throughout their operation, irrespective of the breeding and temperament of the livestock used.

5.4.3

Grazing of SANG can therefore only be accommodated where an area that is not grazed is permanently on offer, perhaps in rotation with grazing of other compartments within a SANG, and:

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Fencing or other measures provide certainty and clarity on the extent of livestock, as well as preventing dogs entering those areas, and

Walkers can get to livestock-free SANG areas from access points and car parks without having to pass through grazed areas, and

Regularly updated information on where livestock are grazing is available at access points and pre-arrival (e.g. in local papers and the internet, as occurs at Malvern Hills) to allow walkers to avoid livestock with confidence if they wish to do so.

Plate 10: While this example of modern good practice positively helps dog owners to have a safe and responsible visit, the presence of livestock in itself can „always‟ or „often‟ put 65% of dog owners off visiting grazed sites

5.5

Engagement with Dog Owners

5.5.1

The SANG management process should specifically aim to engage and involve dog owners in their strategic and day to day management. Examples and management from elsewhere (for instance Falkirk Green Dog Walkers and the informal shepherding of stock – see Dugdale, 2008) have shown how this can help with informal surveillance of sites and facilitate the dog owning community to promote responsible behaviour within its ranks. Efforts should also be made to engage vets and other local dog-related service providers, given that dog owners pay highest regard to the advice of vets and others in their canine community, rather than rangers or council officials (Edwards and Knight 2006).

5.6

Interpretation and Promotion

5.6.1

The study of dog owners’ awareness of existing access provision in Winchester (Jenkinson and McCloy, 2008) illustrated that dog owners were very loyal, repeat visitors to sites that meet their needs; 12% of dog owners involved in assessing access provision did not know of other sites where their needs could be met, even though these did exist.

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5.6.2

While some (18%) did use maps to find new areas to walk, and 13% found new areas by talking to other dog owners, the traditional materials used to promote access, such as leaflets and signage, were rarely reported as influential. Hence the use of a wider range of methods to promote awareness of SANG must be built in from the start, to inform dog owners about the dog-friendly experiences they offer, throughout the visit cycle including:

5.6.3

When considering buying a property and in home-buyer packs;

When in residence;

At access points to SANG;

At access to points to areas where their access is restricted (e.g. SPA/SAC sites); and

Within the SANG.

Once a dog owner has used a site and had a good experience, that will in most cases be selfsustaining; it equally means that if new residents start going to the SPA/SAC sites that are already popular with dog owners, it will be much harder to redirect them to SANG. Thus the SANG need to be provided and promoted in a proactive and substantive way from the time the first new property is occupied, and ideally at the time when purchasers view the plots.

5.6.4

The promotion, signage and management of SANG needs to be consistently dog friendly, while not suggesting these areas are for the exclusive use of dog owners.

It has been

suggested that branding SANG as ‘nature reserves’ or similar would help promote responsible behaviour. However this is not recommended as SANGs need to be seen as significantly different to the designated ‘nature reserves’ to ensure that dog owners know that SANGs are the best places to come to exercise their dogs on a year-round basis, and to differentiate them from SPA/SAC sites. Nature conservation can still be a worthy and achievable outcome on SANG, but in order to best conserve SPA/SAC sites, they need to be as welcoming and accommodating as possible, with dog owners feeling good and highly motivated about exercising their dogs there. 5.6.5

Similarly, the wording and visual imaging of any promotional materials must contain, above all else, positive engaging messages about the desired experiences dog owners can have there. Joint branding or endorsement by canine-related organisations can help with this. While dogs need to be walked responsibly and under control wherever they are, such messages should not put people off coming to the SANG. As with fouling, irresponsible behaviour is best dealt with through an approach targeted at the specific individuals concerned, taken forward and supported by the involvement of the wider dog owning community.

5.7

SANG Management Plans

5.7.1

Management of SANG should be implemented by a unified ranger service operating across SANG, international sites and other greenspaces around the town to ensure all sites are managed, and perceived to be managed, in an integrated and coherent way. This will help to establish clear messages about the expected behaviours on an individual site, and how it relates to the value and purpose of that site. Issues surrounding ownership, funding and maintenance are explored through the Green Infrastructure Strategy (Halcrow, 2011).

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5.7.2

For a SANG to function efficiently, not only will it need to meet the criteria outlined in this study, it will also require effective long term management. The guidance for SANG seeks management to be made in perpetuity (for a period of at least 80 years). To ensure a SANG is managed effectively, each site will require a management plan specific to the site.

5.7.3

The management plan should be developed alongside the master plan for the site, to ensure the design principles can be maintained through management. Whilst each management plan needs to be site specific, there are a number of key areas the plan should cover:

5.7.4

Background and history of the site;

Review of relevant policies and strategies;

Current layout and design;

Identification and description of key land and/or management compartments;

Site vision, key aims and management objectives;

Detailed maintenance plans for all land compartments;

Habitat survey results and plans for long term surveys;

Plans for community involvement, education, outreach and safety;

Marketing plan;

Action plans – annual, 5 year, medium term (10-20 years), long term (20 – 80 years);

Budgets and financial management plans; and

Mechanisms for monitoring and review.

The following section highlights some key issues for the successful delivery of a management plan. Existing habitats and land features

5.7.5

When the design and layout of the SANG is completed, it will be important to have good baseline data of existing habitats, features and existing species. Ideally this data would be compared to similar data from before changes were made to the site to lay it out as a SANG. All habitats and features should be mapped, and the location and distribution of key species identified.

It is useful to establish land management compartments to guide both

management and maintenance. Establishing a vision, aims and objectives 5.7.6

This should be driven by the basic principles of the SANG as outlined in this document, and ensure the site functions effectively as a SANG. In developing this, it can be useful to engage key stakeholders and the community to ensure the proposals are deliverable.

Local

circumstances will mean that each site will have its own unique vision, aims and objectives. Careful consideration will need to be given to balancing recreation and biodiversity priorities for the site.

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Maintenance plans 5.7.7

Each land management parcel will need detailed maintenance plans with schedules of operations, frequencies and costs. The plan will need to decide how maintenance will be delivered.

This may be through maintenance contracts, on site staff, volunteers or a

combination of options. Community involvement, outreach and education 5.7.8

In addition to effective land management, for a SANG to function effectively, there will need to be a programme of community involvement, outreach, education and site safety. Community involvement

5.7.9

Involvement of the local community in the site will be an important part of it functioning effectively. Sufficient resources must be allocated to ensuring the community can be engaged at an appropriate level. The plan needs to decide how involved the community will be in the site, as this can vary greatly from simple involvement measures such as volunteering to wholesale devolvement of management to the community.

The more involved the

community, the more resources will be required, particularly in supporting the community in the early stages and providing capacity for involvement. Education and outreach 5.7.10

Not all sectors of the community will want to be actively involved in the site, and the management plan needs to determine how key target groups can be engaged to help fulfil the management objectives of the site. This may involve outreach work with children and young people, advertising campaigns to local dog walkers, provision of information on site and within the local community. Delivering the management plan

5.7.11

One of the key decisions related to the management plan will be deciding how it will be delivered.

Delivery requires a combination of skills and resources including maintenance,

habitat management, community outreach work and education. There are various options for delivering the plan: 

Establishing a management company or Trust;

Delivery through existing organisations; or

Management by the council.

5.8

Rangers/Wardens

5.8.1

Rangers can have an important role in delivering many of the aspects of the management plan, particularly related to outreach, community involvement and safety. The role of rangers needs to be very clearly defined to ensure they are delivering the right activities against the management plan objectives.

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5.8.2

Throughout the required life of SANG (at least 80 years) there needs to be sufficient, protected and ring fenced funding for rangering and site management, to ensure these sites continue to be attractive and fulfil their intended purposes. However, management must also support the broader recommendations for an integrated, area-wide access management approach; indeed it is suggested as helpful for site management staff to work to across both SANG and international sites, and perhaps the whole network of greenspace and infrastructure, to ensure all sites are managed, and perceived to be managed, in an integrated and coherent way. This should also promote an ethos that all greenspaces have important and complementary parts to play in supporting the eco-town, rather than SANG being seen as somehow second-best areas.

5.8.3

Given the intended lifetime of SANG and the relatively early stages of the concept in the UK, it is important that sufficient developer contributions are put aside to manage and accommodate any unexpected needs that may arise over the many decades that SANGs are intended to offset the effects of housing development. This can be achieved via contributions to an index linked high interest account.

5.8.4

The role of rangers varies greatly, with some providing a site safety role, others being actively involved in site survey and habitat management and still others being very pro-active with community outreach and education. It is likely that rangers for a SANG will perform parts of all these roles, but defining the role needs to be agreed at the outset to ensure sufficient resources can be allocated to this role. Ranger salaries vary according to job description and typically fall within the following brackets:

5.8.5

Assistant/Trainee Ranger:

£12 - 14K p.a (assume £13K)

Ranger:

£16 - £20k p.a (assume £18K)

Senior Ranger:

£22 – £26K p.a (assume £24K)

To illustrate the ongoing costs of ranger provision, we give the following example of costs associated with a ranger post at Chobham Place Woods SANG in Surrey Heath Borough. This is a 10.8ha site, and the Council has allocated 25% of a FTE position for a ranger to cover this site. The role includes on site outreach work, site monitoring, survey, etc.

5.8.6

To extrapolate the figures, we will assume the site is actually 10ha in size. If the amount of SANG required is a maximum of 100ha, then there would be a requirement for 10 times the resource, i.e. 2.5 rangers FTE with an associate cost of £45,000 per year, equalling £3.6 million over 80 years (not allowing for inflation).

5.8.7

At Whitehill Bordon, the extent of proposed SANG will be much greater than 10ha, and it may be the case that a more intensive ranger provision is considered appropriate. This could either apply in the earlier years when sites and new behaviours are establishing themselves, or throughout the SANGs lifetime. Furthermore, given the benefits devising an integrated and coherent rangering programme across the network of greenspaces around the town, including SANGs, SAC/SPAs and other accessible natural greenspaces, in order to convey consistent messages, the actual area of land within the remit of the programme may be much greater than 100ha.

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5.9

Management of Fouling

5.9.1

The policy relating to fouling of land by dogs needs careful and pragmatic planning at the earliest stage for SANG, especially those where very limited access currently exists. Issues relating to the disposal of faeces are common to every dog owner and so the management of this issue has the widest possible relevance to how attractive SANG are to all dog owners.

5.9.2

‘Flick it off the path’ and ‘no need to pick up’ approaches have been used on some sites to both avoid bagged faeces being left behind, and the incineration or landfill of a naturally biodegradable product. These approaches are less suitable for intensively used sites and may not be acceptable here, although this depends on the specific character and purposes envisaged for individual sites. Certainly, a ‘no need to pick up’ approach would be the most attractive option for many dog owners; it can equally be very off-putting for non-dog owners depending on the intensity and type of site use.

5.9.3

On

balance,

it

is

thus

recommended that a ‘pick up everywhere’ approach (on SANG and

all

other

sites

including

SPA/SAC) is promoted, to also reduce any impact of faeces on other site users, ground flora and concern about links to deaths and abortions in sheep and cattle. As enforcement of picking up could displace

less

responsible

dog

owners onto international sites, provision of free bags and an ample

(rather

than

minimal)

provision of bins is needed to make it easy for dog owners to comply.

Plate 11: While a taking firm line on enforcement of „pick up‟ areas is understandable, it can displace dog owners - especially the less responsible ones - onto more sensitive sites, unless planned and managed in an integrated way

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5.9.4

Placement of bins is critical and they need to be located where they are easiest for dog owners to use them, rather than most convenient for contractors to empty them. Thus bins need to be placed along paths so they can be used where dogs foul, often within the first few hundred metres of a walk; incremental installation of bins in consultation with local dog walkers will ensure the best placement. Dog owners do not want to return to a car park or access point soon after starting their walk to dispose of bagged faeces.

5.9.5

While there are arguments to say dog owners should be prepared to carry bagged faeces to dispose of at home, such a philosophy is inappropriate on a SANG and would reduce their attractiveness. Similarly, numerous, well-placed bins will attract dog owners to use the SANG.

5.9.6

The provision of free bags either on site or at community premises, local vets, and via rangers aids compliance; they can even be overprinted with appropriate messages for the eco-town or dog related news.

5.9.7

In both legal and practical waste disposal terms, bagged dog faeces can go in general purpose litter bins as well as dedicated dog bins. Local authorities are increasingly using a dual use bin system to save costs and get the highest possible spread of bins. However, awareness of the acceptability of this approach is limited (SIRC, 2008) and if a dual use system is used, this should be made clear on the bins. Given the desire for naturalness in SANG, it is recommended that visually attractive disposal facilitates are provided, rather than urban looking red metal bins; if the latter need to be used, they can be placed in a robust wooden outer casing.

5.9.8

Sufficient developer allocation of funds for the provision and ongoing emptying and maintenance of bins is essential. While bins need to be provided from the outset, patterns of use over time will indicate where additional bins are needed (because faeces are left on the ground, or bins get full) or where bins are not needed (i.e. they are not used) and can be moved elsewhere.

Hence funding also needs to be kept in reserve for provision and

maintenance of additional bins when this becomes apparent through monitoring. 5.9.9

Encouraging compliance with picking up is best done through dog owners themselves, as this is very cost effective, community-based and avoids any enforcement action being seen as ‘anti-dog’.

The Falkirk Green Dogwalkers scheme pioneered an approach which can be

adapted here. If it is felt formal enforcement action is needed, this should be very tactfully and carefully targeted at specific individuals, to ensure it does not work against continued use of the SANG by dog owners, especially as it could displace to more sensitive sites the less responsible owners, who - by definition - are less likely to comply with any other restrictions, such as lead use between March and July.

5.10

SANG Safety

5.10.1

While the assessment framework and supplementary design features (below) can do a great deal to ensure dog owners use SANG, of overriding importance is that they should feel no less safe than the areas they are intended to be an alternative to. Irrespective of all other factors, if a visitor does not feel safe, then they will go elsewhere.

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5.10.2

While being able to access greenspace from the doorstep helps to avoid concerns about break-ins and damage to cars parked in remote locations, it equally presents other challenges; for example, congregations of young people can appear intimidating to some people arriving on foot, and so could be a significant detractor from SANG use, particularly if the off-putting factor was in or around a key access point.

5.10.3

The seasonal differences and challenges influencing the daily dog walk also need to be recognised. The visitor survey shows that 47% of visitors arrived before 9am or after 5pm. During winter it will still be dark around these times, when dog owners who are working during the day have no choice but to exercise their dogs.

5.10.4

Careful design is thus needed to ensure safety concerns do not mitigate against SANG use, particularly when the desired exercise time may be in partial darkness, and where more open landscapes away from residential areas, such as Broxhead Common, may be more attractive. It is true to note that the morning and late afternoon dog walks would be in darkness mainly only outside of the nesting season, and so may appear not to be as critical an issue. However, if year-round behaviour patterns can be established that SANGs are the first place one always considers for the dog walk, this will help compliance when it is most needed.

Case Study: Falkirk Green Dogwalkers scheme The Falkirk Green Dogwalkers scheme is a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling. very

popular

It has been

involving

600

volunteers and 14 community partners, leading to an increase of over 60% faeces being picked up, compared to before the scheme. Volunteers wear a GDW armband or collar signifying they have ‘taken the pledge’ to always: clean up after their dog; carry extra dog waste bags; be happy to be approached to 'lend' a dog waste bag to those without; and be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dogs. Results of a full evaluation of the project are due out in summer 2011; it is already being adopted by many other councils across the UK.

Dog walkers in Falkirk sign a pledge with their dogs to always pick up and encourage others to do so

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5.11

Multi-user Routes

5.11.1

The provision of multi-user routes for non-motorised access users, and in particular cyclists, can be accommodated within SANG.

However, it must be carefully designed with the

recognition that busy cycle routes, particularly where users are commuting and seeking to make a brisk journey, can lead to conflict and potential injury in areas frequented by walkers with dogs off-lead. Thus multi-user routes should be located and managed such that dog owners can readily avoid these areas with their pets, as otherwise cycle routes would detract from their attractiveness. 5.11.2

Ensuring such routes have good open sightlines, and are located so that dog owners can still have the desired length and penetration of walk without needing to be walking along routes shared with cycles is essential. Equally, the informal surveillance provided by cyclists can also help make areas feel safer and more attractive; the key issue here is providing choice.

5.12

Supplementary Design Features

5.12.1

A key outcome for the design and provision of SANG is that they are inherently more attractive to visit, especially for the once or twice daily dog walk, than the surrounding SPA/SAC sites. While the SANG assessment framework identifies a number of management and design requirements to optimise their attractiveness, the following will also help them function as well as they possibly can, and also illustrate best practice. Dog activity trails

5.12.2

These comprise a series of permanent obstacles made out of natural looking timber (e.g. jumps, tunnels, weave poles) set out along a route, which encourage people and their pets to be more physically active during their walks; they also encourage greater dog control ability. , Pilot trails in Teesside and the Lee Valley Regional Park in north London have been successful with the trails withstanding the demands and challenges of the urban fringe.

Plate 12: Dog activity trail elements at Lee Valley Regional Park, North London (photo courtesy, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority)

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Enclosed training areas 5.12.3

Fenced-in areas where owners can train their dogs to be off-lead safely and with good recall are very popular with dog owners, given that it is exceptionally difficult to find such safe areas to train outside. Most dog training occurs indoors, which does not adequately prepare dogs and their owners for the distractions and demands of good control when in the outdoors. Such areas have been successfully provided at Manor Farm Country Park (Hampshire County Council), and at Jeskyns community woodland in Kent (Forestry Commission).

They also

provide an opportunity to work with local dog trainers to run classes to improve control and further engender a feeling of community ownership by dog owners. Short-cropped, welldrained permanent grass is the preferred surface type, and so occasional mowing may be required and will need to be costed within the schedule of developer contributions. 5.12.4

As these areas (and the activity trails) are available for anyone to use, Natural England has indicated they do not need to be excluded from SANG area calculations. Health and safety should also be considered, to ensure the risk of dog attacks is appropriately managed.

Plate 13: A popular enclosed dog training area at Jeskyns community woodland, Kent

Notice boards 5.12.5

Noticeboards at access points where dog owners, and others, can put up messages about related facilities, events, lost dogs and so on, can provide a focal point for communicating with site users, to further engender a sense of ownership and community. They also provide a useful facility for communication with rangers and can help avoid wider fly posting elsewhere on sites. Seating

5.12.6

Informal seating, for example using naturalistic timber, should be considered and provided, as it enhances accessibility, particularly for people with mobility impairments who may also own dogs. It should be carefully placed to ensure it will not encourage an inappropriate gathering of people or antisocial behaviour. Manned facilities

5.12.7

If any manned facilities are planned at SANG, additional amenities such as dog washes (a tap with a short hose) and drinking bowls with fresh water can be usefully provided to further encourage dog owners to these sites.

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Access to water 5.12.8

As 53% of dog owners ‘always’ or ‘often’ look for opportunities for their dogs to exercise in water (SIRC, 2008), special provision for this can both attract dog owners to a SANG, and also attract them to less sensitive areas of water on sensitive sites.

Plate 14: a well-designed water access point and a well drained exit area at Jeskyn‟s community woodland, Kent

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6

Additional Recommendations

6.1

Summary

6.1.1

The recommendations made throughout the preceding chapters and relating specifically to the provision of Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces can be summarised as follows: 

SANGs need to be explicitly designed and managed to be as attractive to dog owners as possible, reflecting established design guidelines and supplemented by wider good practice and facilities described herein.

SANGs need to be fully in place before the first new residents arrive, to ensure the desired behaviours are established from the outset.

Where access taking by dog walkers is perceived to be in conflict with other management objectives within an area that is designated as SANG (either permanently or at that time of year), and where this cannot be resolved through good management practice, the role of SANG in accommodating dog owners’ access needs should remain paramount.

Future revisions to the draft masterplan should explore opportunities to increase the extent of Hogmoor and Bordon Inclosures as SANG, in order to improve the overall provision and quality of the SANG suite and its ability to offset the effects of new housing. Alternative or additional sites should also be considered.

6.2

Recommendations: managing access for walkers with dogs

6.2.1

Applying best practice from elsewhere to the current management approaches apparent on the ground during site surveys and consultation events, further recommendations are made as follows. Integrated Access Management Group

6.2.2

An Integrated Access Management Group should be established to ensure integrated management of all areas of public access and greenspace within the eco-town and surrounding areas visited by its current and future residents, to proactively manage the likely and unexpected consequences of the proposed housing development. The administration and support of this group should be funded from developer contributions. This management group in particular should have a responsibility to: 

Develop and apply policies to give a consistent and sensitive approach between and across sites on issues including: fouling, accommodation and management of off-lead access, formal enforcement action;

Promote a shared identity and interdependency between the sites, both for internal management reasons and in communication with the public;

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Develop behaviourally-described, positive, locally-relevant and shared core messages about access opportunities and responsible behaviour across all sites;

Promote a joint approach to working across administrative and land ownership boundaries, to better manage the overall suite of sites as a whole, proactively assessing, accommodating, managing and monitoring the access needs of walkers with dogs across sites, as well as other interests;

Coordinate liaison with the local dog-owning community and related service providers to ensure SANG and access management in general reaches its full potential;

Develop a ‘green dog walkers scheme’ (see section 5.9) to reduce the amount of fouling being left behind; this would also require site managers to review, adapt and probably increase bin provision to aid compliance in some cases, which developer contributions should support;

Avoid unmanaged or inappropriate displacement of activity due to reactive management changes made in isolation on a particular site; and

Facilitate and manage a social networking facility and/or other mechanisms, to establish a greater sense of community between dog owners and engagement with sites they visit, to thus facilitate better exchange of information, awareness of alternative sites, and foster peer pressure to encourage compliance with management measures.

Access information provision 6.2.3

Information specifically tailored to dog owners’ needs to answer ‘where can I go?’ and ‘what can I do’ should be produced and maintained. This information needs to be available from the outset so that initial versions are available in new home packs; this can also be used as a positive marketing feature by illustrating how it can accommodate dog owners. All such materials should be produced in partnership with local dog owners and canine service providers to foster engagement and credibility.

6.2.4

Provision will need to be made for these to be updated as the development progresses, in particular with regard to SANG provision. A hard copy leaflet will be required to go in new home packs, and so it can be given out by Rangers and made available at information points. They should also be complemented by an online resource (as has been created in Dorset www.dorsetdogs.org.uk) to provide a more interactive and easily updatable information source, and to minimise the use of printed materials to reflect the ethos of the eco-town.

6.3

Access Management for Internationally Designated Sites

6.3.1

Alongside the provision of SANGs, there is a need for the Integrated Access Management Group to address access management planning within the internationally designated sites. This is a key component of reducing the existing as well as future impacts of development. Access management plans will need to be prepared on a site by site basis to respond to the individual features and sensitivities of each, as well as in an integrated and coordinated way to maximise their effect across the suite of designated sites.

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6.3.2

However, there are some common threads that are likely to relevant to the management of each designated site, including: 

Promoting responsible access that acknowledges the right of access while preventing or reducing the incidence of impacts;

Providing and maintaining routes that are compatible with nature conservation aims, and help to draw visitors away from the most sensitive parts of the site, while also remaining desirable to use;

Rationalising the number and distribution of routes and access points (including car parks) to influence choice of destination (both which site, and which part of the site once there);

Offering access management choices that are deliverable alongside landholder’s existing aims and objectives for their site;

Identifying measures which are deliverable in their own right as distinct from those which require further measures to be taken in off-site locations; and

Ensuring compliance with the Habitats Regulations by identifying whether measures are directly connected with management of the site under its conservation objectives.

6.3.3

A wide range of further ideas on the management of designated sites were discussed during focus group workshops, and these include: better delineation of site boundaries and security; better signage and interpretation with coherent/consistent messages across sites; the consistent use of byelaws, and consistent application of enforcement measures (e.g. fines for fouling, prosecution for fly-tipping); digital provision of byelaw/management information (e.g. ‘push’ to mobile phone); use of CCTV/webcams to record fly-tipping and other breaches; Traffic Regulation Orders and/or resurfacing byways open to all traffic to make them less attractive to off-roaders; and supply of free cat bell collars to new and existing households.

6.4

Other Access Management Issues and Recommendations

6.4.1

Although there has been a strong emphasis on the access needs and management for walkers with dogs due to potential impacts on SAC/SPA sites, other access issues of relevance have been noted through the course of this project and related site visits. These are noted here for future reference, with the caveat that, in most cases, additional information and evidence would be needed before implementation of any changes. Equestrian access

6.4.2

While local use of equestrian access across Ludshott, Shortheath and Kingsley Commons was observed, this study has made no attempt to assess how well current access provision for horseriders is met. However, it is noted that future changes in site management, particularly at access points, could have both positive and negative impacts on the network for horseriders. In particular, opportunities to improve connectivity to the wider network going north, and reduce off-road riding in and around Shortheath and Kingsley Commons was apparent.

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6.4.3

Unauthorised and ‘inappropriate’ use of land by horse riders was reported during the consultations at several sites by land managers. It is important to assess these on a case by case basis as, while people riding where they are not allowed can understandably be seen as irresponsible by the landmanager, it is often a symptom of under provision for such access, and can in particular be caused by riders seeking safer alternatives to busy roads; usage on Kingsley Common appears to be a good example of the latter.

6.4.4

As with reducing conflict from walkers with dogs, it is recommended that a positive and integrated approach is taken by land and access managers, especially as physically restricting access onto a Common is difficult in legal and practical terms, and because unauthorised usage is usually only a trespass at common law, and so enforcement is limited to asking people to return to where they have a right or permission to be. While ‘reasonable force’ can be used if they do not comply, this is unlikely to be practical or safe with a horse rider.

6.4.5

Thus it is recommended that when faced with usage that is not as of right or otherwise formally authorised, land managers should ask themselves: 

Is this usage actually having a negative effect on the site’s designated status and species?

Is this usage detracting from other management aims?

Can equestrian access be accommodated on a permissive basis somewhere on this site, year-round or during certain months, particularly if it provides an alternative to a busy road?

 6.4.6

Are we able to stop the usage anyway?

It is often a natural reaction to regard usage that has not been formally granted as ‘irresponsible’ and something to be opposed. However, this can distract land managers from seeing if such an openly expressed desire for greater access can be accommodated somewhere on a permissive basis, working with local riders to identify and negotiate the most appropriate route, and involving them in ensuring responsible usage within their community. This is suggested as especially important and relevant if the land is publicly-owned, or being managed at the public expense.

6.4.7

Hampshire County Council's statutory Rights of Way improvement plan (locally termed the Countryside Access Plan) is notable for its engagement with equestrians in its development, and should be referred to ensure any opportunities to improve access management provision are delivered as part of the overall access management process. In addition, contact should be established with the most relevant local representative(s) of horseriding interests to ensure their needs and concerns are understood and wherever possible addressed.

6.4.8

Due to the potentially serious physical injuries (which can be fatal), arising from uncontrolled interactions between dogs and ridden horses, information for dog owners and riders on the safest behaviours when approaching or passing each other should be included in relevant publications.

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Plate 15:

The needs

of equestrians for offroad access and safe interactions

when

passing dog owners needs

to

incorporated access and

be into

management communication

(Ludshott Common)

Cyclists 6.4.9

As with equestrians, liaison with on and off-road cycling interests should be built into the access management process, again referring to Hampshire's statutory Rights of Way Improvement Plan and other related policies. Similarly, if unauthorised bicycle use is identified on a site, its relevance as a symptom of under provision and avoidance of busy roads should be assessed, and a proactive decision made about whether permissive access can be permitted and managed. Gibb’s Lane

6.4.10

The management of this route into and through Shortheath Common from BOSC must be addressed, as it is highly likely vehicular use will increase as a result of any additional housing in Whitehill Bordon, beit as a short cut to avoid use of the A325 on longer journeys, or as a convenient way to drive onto Shortheath Common itself.

6.4.11

A recent survey found that, during 24 survey hours over a two week period, 143 vehicles were recorded using tracks on Shortheath Common. After accounting for legitimate access, this can be extrapolated to estimate the rate of cut-throughs at 7,446 annually between 7am and 7pm. The peak time was found to be between 3pm-5pm weekdays, and 1pm-3pm weekends, suggesting a possible correlation with the school run (Hampshire County Council, 2011).

6.4.12

While the site manager shares this concern, it is suggested that a multi-agency approach is needed to address this, which has worked in other situations. This is not something that an individual site manager can address independently. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there is no reason, to the casual user, why they should not drive along this route, especially as it is designated at a Byway Open to All Traffic at its eastern end.

6.4.13

Thus it is recommended that the following should be explored in conjunction with local residents:

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Its entire status is formally researched for both public and private rights; this may have already occurred.

If there is a public vehicular right along the whole route, a traffic regulation order (TRO) should be imposed, particularly using the SAC status and the EU legislation as a justification for the order, and its value as a traffic free route.

Once a TRO has been imposed, or if there is not a through right of public access for motor vehicles, signage to that effect should be installed to sufficiently meet the needs of Hampshire Police to enable fixed penalty tickets to be issued for subsequent unauthorised use.

Enforcement sessions should then take place in partnership with the Police who can issue fixed penalty tickets for offenders; this has proved practically and legally effective in other cases. If any users claim a private right of access, they would then need to pursue this in their defence with the Police. This approach puts the onus on the driver to be proactive in identifying their private rights, rather than Hampshire County Council as Highway Authority proving a lack of right to do so.

Depending on what private rights exist, permanent or temporary physical barriers could be introduced.

6.4.14

The likelihood that the proposed development would increase vehicular usage of the route makes this a relevant mitigation measure for developer contributions; this would be for signage, any physical barriers and Police time for ongoing enforcement. Off-road vehicles

6.4.15

The prevalence of the unlawful use of motorcycles and other mechanically propelled vehicles on sites and linear routes was raised several times during consultation with site managers. While the issue can be challenging to manage, if such usage was - in particular - affecting the attractiveness of SANG, then its management would be very relevant to the development proposals. Again, an integrated and targeted approach should be taken, facilitated by the access management group and in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary.

6.4.16

While challenging, positively accommodating such activity can be a way to manage any such demand, although lack of provision elsewhere could attract riders from a long way outside the local area. In addition, land managers have understandable public liability concerns, even where such usage is informally tolerated on sites. However such facilities do exist in some areas, and are usually successfully managed in partnership with a club. No assessment has been made of the potential or desirability of locating such a facility around the eco-town area; it is raised as an issue for further consideration. Least restrictive access and path infrastructure

6.4.17

All provision, management and modification of new and existing access should adopt the least restrictive approach to path infrastructure, minimising the use of any barriers or user control structures wherever possible.

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6.4.18

Where it is felt that barriers are needed, for example to restrict use by motor vehicles, they should be provided as a last resort and be of the least restrictive design to achieve the desired outcome. Any such barriers should also be regularly reviewed to see if they are still required and removed if not.

6.4.19

Similarly, access control measures may unexpectedly be required as a result of the increasing number of residents in the area, and provision should be made in the developer contributions to fund this in the future. Wider network of access

6.4.20

In order to enhance the perceptual accessibility of all the access opportunities in and around the eco-town, and in particular SANG provision, as well as promoting choice for people who seek to take access in areas less frequented by walkers with dogs, it will be helpful to raise awareness of the wider network of access for all users. This will be particularly helpful for new residents, and could also be used as a promotional marketing tool to promote the wide range of access opportunities in and around the town. This could be through maps, leaflets, guided walks, online resources; most importantly, the opportunity should be taken to raise awareness of this access, and how to enjoy it responsibly and safely through community based projects, such as in schools and other social events within the area. Common Land

6.4.21

It is noted that many areas of access in and around the eco-town are also registered common land; indeed, it is for this reason that many have acquired Access Land status through the CRoW Act 2000. When considering any management initiatives or changes, the additional requirements and restrictions imposed by common land status need to be noted and accommodated. For example, erecting structures (including fences and access facilities) on common land needs authorisation by the Secretary of State, which can complicate or preclude management measures that would normally be applied on land not so designated. Restrictive covenants

6.4.22

While restrictive covenants banning dog ownership in new properties have been used as mitigation within the Thames Basin Heaths area, this approach is not recommended here due to the very limited enforcement options, and reliance on the original landowner to monitor and enforce the conditions. It also places reliance on civil contractual law (i.e. between the house vendors and purchasers) to meet what is a statutory obligation, i.e. compliance with EU legislation. In addition, it is inherently divisive, discriminatory and is submitted as inconsistent with the wider social aims of the eco-town, particularly given the significant proportion of families that prefer to keep dogs.

6.5

Other Recommendations

6.5.1

Further recommendations that were raised by site holders and other stakeholders during the HRA process include:

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Provision of smaller SANG(s), e.g. 2ha-4ha, within the proposed development areas, e.g. increasing the size of the green ‘spoke’ from leading from the proposed town centre to Hogmoor Inclosure and manage this as SANG;

SANGs must feature:

signage/interpretation, dog bins, bike parking, perimeter

fencing (e.g. pig-netting) to keep dogs safe, guided walks (e.g. leaflets), bike hire, designated BBQ areas (close to water feature), disabled access; 

Responsible recreation project: to work with ramblers association, schools, kennel club, equestrian groups, veterinarians;

Wildfire project: to work with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, schools, youth groups, supermarkets (to discourage selling of disposable BBQs), caterers and visitor centres (for the provision of BBQ’d foods);

Off-roaders project: to work with police, schools, youth groups, 4x4 clubs, cycling clubs, equestrian centres; and

Waste management project: to work to reduce charges at waste processing centres (especially for small/micro businesses), and offer free collection of garden waste from households (new and existing).

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7

Monitoring

7.1

Monitoring Dog Owner Behaviour

7.1.1

It is imperative that dog owner behaviour is measured accurately and reliably to assess the impact of both SANG and the recommended improved access management on the internationally designated sites.

7.1.2

Given the underlying concerns about conserving ground nesting birds and other wildlife, there can be an understandable temptation to monitor and assess causal relationships between the behaviour of walkers with dogs and breeding success and other population statistics for wildlife. However, given the many other variables on the latter, and the difficulty of meaningfully relating dog owner behaviour with populations of a given species without the use of controlled trails, it is recommended that monitoring of dog owner behaviour is focused on precisely that, namely observable and measurable behaviours.

7.1.3

Assessments of ‘dog is not under close control’ are inappropriate, and neither is ‘dog not on a lead’ if the dog is on a public right of way where there is no lead requirement, unless a dog control order has been imposed. Monitoring needs to qualitatively and quantitatively assess change in observable behaviours by walkers with dogs, that directly relate to desired management outcomes and requested behaviours communicated to dog owners

7.1.4

Accurate, relevant, precise and observable behaviours to monitor would include, for example, ‘dog observed off-lead on x site at a time where access is conditional on dogs being on a fixed lead of 2 metres or less’. While such definitions may seem more cumbersome than ‘dog not under close control’ they provide much more meaningful data and allow greater precision between different surveyors, and direct feedback on the effectiveness of messages being communicated.

7.1.5

Perceptions of required behaviours on given sites will also be useful to monitor, as will knowledge about the availability of alternative sites where off-lead access is permitted year round, including SANG. Qualitative assessments will also be helpful in assessing reasons for the degree of compliance, as these can indicate where improvements in management are needed.

7.1.6

Overall, the monitoring must relate to precise management aims and objectives; if the latter cannot be measured and monitored, then more precise outcomes need to be devised.

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7.2

Monitoring the Effects of Eco-town Development

7.2.1

A framework for monitoring the effects of the draft masterplan, as well as informing its future development and subsequent assessment, was prepared with the aid stakeholders. The HRA monitoring framework is set out in Table 7.1, and is ordered under the following themes: (a) atmospheric pollution, (b) disturbance and birds, (c) urban edge effects, and (d) habitats and typical species. Table 7.1: HRA Monitoring Framework

HRA Monitoring Framework  o o o

A  

Updated habitat mapping for use with impact contour isopleths Traffic flow at key locations (including byways of Shortheath Common)

Visitor patterns (numbers, purpose, transport mode, behaviour on site, routes taken, etc.) for proposed SANGs to inform/revise capacity analyses Regarding Hogmoor Inclosure in particular, analysis to establish likely increase in visitors post-MoD departure but pre-development i.e. will available capacity decrease? Rate of SANG delivery in relation to rate of housing delivery Dog owner behaviour in relation to management aims (SANGs and EU sites) Repeat surveys of visitor patterns at EU sites Visitor patterns in relation to Woolmer range closures, and penetration/activity beyond perimeter fence Access audit: EU sites and SANGs Annex 1 birds within EU sites (including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Annex 1 birds within SANGs (including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Annex 1 birds within other supporting areas (neither SANG nor EU Site, e.g. Slab/Warren - including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Radio tracking of Annex 1 birds (e.g. nightjar) to establish better understanding of supporting areas used for foraging

B

Atmospheric/background pollution levels: Adjacent to roads within 200m of EU sites (including Shortheath Common byways) At EU site boundaries close to roads within 200m Staged distances within EU sites in relation to roads and energy centre(s)

        

Incidence of the following, within EU sites and/or SANGs (from all sources, including MoD, building on database created during HRA): o Arson/fire - Fly-tipping o Invasive species - Theft / vandalism / poaching o Use of off road vehicles / motorcycles  Rat-running across Shortheath Common (see also above)  Number of infringements and enforcement procedures  In EU sites, water levels, water quality and other items coming through Water Cycle Study 

C

D

   

European habitats and typical species / negative indicators (see HRA; e.g. mottled beefly, green tiger beetle, silver studded blue, sand lizard, cranberry, sundews) Extent and quality of wet and dry heathland on EU sites Extent and quality of wet and dry heathland within SANGs Extent of heathland restoration Indicator species in relation to Whitehill Bordon Biodiversity Action Plan 2

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8

Conclusion

8.1

Summary

8.1.1

The Land Management Report sets out the findings of a series of focus group workshops held to inform the process and findings of continuing Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan.

8.1.2

One of the central concerns of the HRA for the eco-town draft masterplan is to establish the likely increase in visitor pressure at internationally designated nature conservation sites and its impacts on protected habitats and species, notably heathland birds. Increasing recreational pressure is thought to increase the exposure of Annex 1 birds to disturbance, while increased damage to habitats may occur through trampling, soil compaction, erosion and nutrient enrichment. Other human induced impacts frequently associated with sites at or close to the urban edge, the frequency of which may also increase through urbanisation as a result of the draft masterplan, include fly-tipping, wildfire and arson, invasive species, use of off-road vehicles and cat predation.

8.1.3

The focus group workshops and Land Management Report sought to collect views and data on the incidence of this range of impacts, and how they relate to current accessibility at the designated sites. A framework for assessing the potential of Hogmoor Inclosure, Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange Farm to act as SANGs was also explored with the focus group.

8.1.4

The qualitative assessment finds that the three SANGs vary in their quality and ability to perform well as SANG, and all have significant prospects for improvement.

Hogmoor

Inclosure offers the best potential due to its size, character and location, but its nature conservation interests and current visitor use need to be taken into account.

Bordon

Inclosure, as currently proposed in the draft masterplan, is quite a linear site and could be improved by expanding the area to be used as SANG. This site is also highly used already which suggests it may have limited ability to absorb additional visitors. Standford Grange Farm has significant scope for use as SANG, however, its location in relation to proposed development areas means that it is more likely to be successful in attracting existing residents than the new population. Additionally, its possible future agricultural use is to be welcomed and SANG uses should be planned around ongoing grazing. 8.1.5

An extensive suite of recommendations for the management of greenspaces is developed, focusing in the first instance on the management aims for SANG and how the needs of dog owners in particular can be met.

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8.1.6

Creation of an Integrated Access Management Group is recommended as a means for proactively managing the likely and unexpected consequences of proposed housing development. The Group should operate across both designated wildlife sites as well as proposed SANGs to ensure consistent and coherent information on desired behaviours is available at the right times and in the best places to encourage responsible access.

8.1.7

This is supplemented with high level recommendations for access management at the designated sites and further recommendations for other specific user groups.

Finally, a

monitoring framework targeted at the key impacts of concern is described, in order to monitor the effects of masterplan delivery as well as provide updated information for future detailed assessments.

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References and Bibliography AECOM (2010): Whitehill Bordon Eco-town: Draft Framework Masterplan Report. Produced for East Hampshire District Council, June 2010 Air Quality Consultants (2011):

Air Quality Assessment:

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Habitats

Regulations Assessment Ajzen I (1991):

The Theory of Planned Behaviour. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision

Processes. 50(2):179-211 BT/Fieldfare Trust (2005): BT Countryside for All: Accessibility standards Commission for Integrated Transport (2006): Sustainable Transport Choices and the Retail Sector Final Report. London Countryside Agency (2005): CA215: By All Reasonable Means Cox JC and Pincombe NEJ (2011): Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010). A report by UE Associates and Jonathan Cox Associates on behalf of the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town. Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG, 2009):

Eco-towns Location Decision

Statement Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra, undated): Dog Control Orders: Guidance on Sections 55 to 67 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 Dugdale K (2008): The rise of the urban shepherd. The Guardian, 21 July 2008 [Accessed online at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/jul/21/localgovernment.conservation] East Hampshire District Council (EHDC, 2004): Whitehill Bordon Green Town Vision Edwards V and Knight S (2006): Understanding the psychology of walkers with dogs: new approaches to better management. University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth European Union (1992): Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive) European Union (2009): Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (the Birds Directive) Government Office for the South East (GOSE; 2009): The South East Plan: Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East of England. Halcrow (2009): Outline Water Cycle Study for Whitehill/Bordon Green Town Vision Halcrow (2011): Whitehill Bordon Green Infrastructure Strategy

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Ham S, Brown T, Curtis J, Weiler B, Hughes M and Poll M (2009): Promoting persuasion in protected areas: A guide for managers who want to use strategic communication to influence visitor behaviour. Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd, Queensland Hampshire County Council and Whitehill Town Council (undated): Exploring Whitehill Hampshire County Council and Kingsley Parish Council (undated): Exploring Kingsley Hampshire County Council (2011): A study on the vehicular usage of tracks on the northern part of Shortheath Common Jenkinson S and McCloy A (2003): ROWIP exemplar project: whole network approach. Access and Countryside Management, North Yorkshire Jenkinson S and McCloy A (2008): Final report: Walkers with dogs around Winchester. Access and Countryside Management, Hope Valley Langston RHW, Liley D, Murison G, Woodfield E & Clarke RT (2007): What effects do walkers and dogs have on the distribution and productivity of breeding European nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus? Ibis 149 (Suppl. 1): pp.27 – 36 Natural England (2007): Statutory guidance to relevant authorities on their functions in relation to local access restrictions v3.0. [Accessed 28/04/11 at www.openaccess.gov.uk] Natural England (2008):

Guidelines for the creation of Suitable Accessible Natural Green Space

(SANGS) Pers. comm. (2011; 09/05/11): Updated outline proposals for potential SANG areas received from Nigel Albon, Associate, Masterplanning, Landscape and Urban Design, Halcrow Group Ltd, Bristol Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (2011):

Regional Pet Population. PFMA, London [Accessed

28/04/11 at http://www.pfma.org.uk/statistics/index.cfm?id=125&cat_id=59] Peter Brett Associates (2011): Whitehill Bordon Detailed Water Cycle Study Sport Industry Research Centre (2008): Assessment of perceptions, behaviours and understanding of walkers with dogs in the countryside. SIRC, Sheffield TNS Research International (2010): Monitor of engagement with the natural environment: The national survey on people and the natural environment, annual report from the 2009-10 survey. Natural England, Sheffield UE Associates (2009a): Visitor Access Patterns on European Sites surrounding Whitehill and Bordon, East Hampshire. With University of Brighton UE Associates (2009b): Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Draft Masterplan: Appropriate Assessment Report UE Associates (2009c):

Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon Opportunity:

Screening Statement United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) (1971):

Convention on

Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. (Ramsar (Iran), 2 February 1971, UN Treaty Series No. 14583). UE Associates Ltd © 2011

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Appendix I: Summary of Focus Group Findings

Please see insert.

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Technical Note Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Whitehill Bordon

Project

Eco-town Draft Framework Masterplan (June 2010)

Date

April 2011

Note

Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Ref

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Author

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1. Introduction This document summarises the findings of consultation activities in relation to work carried out in 2011 on the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) for the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town draft framework masterplan (June 2010). Three Focus Group events were held, with additional data being supplied by stakeholders before and after events, all of which is addressed in this document. The Focus Groups are listed as follows: 

Focus Group 1: Access management for European sites (4 March);

Focus Group 2: Design for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces (SANG; 23 March); and

Focus Group 3: Masterplan monitoring framework in relation to HRA (15 April).

The scope of the HRA is to further analyse the draft masterplan for likely significant effects in relation to (i) atmospheric pollution from traffic and energy generation, (ii) disturbance and predation of Annex 1 birds (Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark), and (iii) other urban edge effects, with a view to avoiding, reducing or removing adverse effects on ecological integrity. Atmospheric pollution is not mentioned further in this report as it is addressed via traffic assessments, transport strategy and atmospheric pollution modelling. The following European sites are included in the assessment: 

Wealden Heaths SPA;

Woolmer Forest SAC;

Shortheath Common SAC;

East Hampshire Hangers SAC;

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC; and

Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar.

2. Access Management for European Sites The objective of Focus Group 1 was to help establish a better understanding of the current access management plans of landholders with an interest in European sites around the town, and discuss additional/amended plans that landowners/managers would be willing to adopt, the implementation of which could be funded through Eco-town development. The main purpose of the day was twofold: A. To gather views on deliverable measures to improve the robustness of European sites; and

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B. To help identify the incidence of other potential impacts of access and urbanisation, such as arson, wildfire, fly-tipping, invasive species, motorbike/BMX/4x4 trails, path erosion, etc. The meeting was attended by the following organisations: 

Deadwater Valley Trust

East Hampshire District Council

Hampshire County Council

National Trust

Natural England

South Downs National Park

Town Mayor and Local Councillors

Waverley Borough Council

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

While additional invited organisations were unavailable to attend:  Environment Agency  Defence Training Estates / MoD 

Forestry Commission

Hampshire Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

RSPB

Surrey Wildlife Trust

Landholdings, management, accessibility and impacts To enable more focused conversation, composite European designations were aggregated into clusters of sites to enable landholders (owners or managers) to talk specifically about their sites. A breakdown of all individual sites encompassed by the suite of European designations is given in Annex I, together with landholders where known. Sites were addressed in the following clusters for group conversations: 

Shortheath/Kingsley/Broxhead Commons, and Woolmer Forest

Ludshott/Bramshott/Hindhead Commons

Frensham/Thursley Commons, and Selborne Common, Noar Hill and Ashford Hangers

Over 300 spatially specific records of access points and impact hotspots were identified by annotating printed 1:25,000 maps on the day. In addition, Waverley BC provided a bespoke map containing similar geo-referenced data for Frensham Common, and several other landholders supplied additional information after the event. The data were digitised (where possible) and copied into a database to use as a starting point for monitoring the effects of development; mapped data are included in the Land Management Report. Written answers that were not possible to digitise are summarised in Annex II. Additionally, site managers were given a short questionnaire to complete which sought to answer the following key questions. Answers are analysed in Annex II. 

What are the management plan objectives or key activities relating to the site?

What

are the main constraints

you currently

face

that limit

the

success

of these

objectives/activities? 

How could proposed Eco-town development affect the site or its management objectives?

What deliverable measures are there that could offset current/future impacts to the site, or generally increase the robustness of the site, which could be explored if resources were available?

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Meeting with MoD, Defence Training Estates Representatives from MoD and Defence Training Estates (DTE) were unable to attend the meeting, however, a follow-up meeting was held at Longmoor Camp to explore similar issues in relation to their landholdings. Items discuss at the meeting can be summarised as follows: 

DTE already has considerable concerns over the difficulty of managing current visitor activity;

Its principal objective is to maintain its duty of care in relation to a safe training environment;

Data were provided on DTE landholdings and usage;

Further data on trespass and breach of bylaws, collated by Landmarc, were also provided (for the months June 2010 and February 2011, see Annex II which also includes details of range closures);

Issues encountered by Landmarc and DTE include: motorbikes, 4x4s, dens, BMX jumps, unauthorised access, livestock, fires, abandoned vehicles, vandalism, theft, fly-tipping and so on;

The Estate is occasionally made available under licence for Third Party Income Generation;

Such activities include motorcycling, cycling, triathlon, location filming, etc, and are only permitted after careful consideration including consultation with Natural England.

However, occasional

licensed activities are thought to encourage repeat, unlicensed activities; 

Oxney Farm (DTE areas M1, M2 and M3) is used as a Forward Operating Base with low level training operations;

There is no tenant farmer at Oxney, but ‘cover’ crops are planted;

The area is currently used by walkers and dog walkers;

Conservation management plans, as referred to in NE’s SSSI condition assessments, are largely implemented already, but sourcing an appropriate quantity and type of livestock is problematic;

Perimeter fencing with controlled access points would be the most effective way of managing access, but funding does not exist and there would be strong local opposition to reducing permissive rights of access;

Regarding the release of land for development-related use, DTE stated that sites such as Hogmoor Inclosure would not be made available unless replacement sites can be found, while it is very unlikely that replacements could be found for sites such as Oxney Farm.

3. Design for Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace The subject of Focus Group 2 was to establish design objectives for SANGs local to Whitehill Bordon, agree a framework for assessing those proposed through the Eco-town masterplan (current and future versions) and review draft outline designs for three initial SANGs. The main purpose of the day was twofold: A. To establish design objectives for SANGs against which performance can be measured; and B. To review emerging principles for the location and function of SANGs, together with outline designs. The meeting was attended by the following organisations: 

Deadwater Valley Trust

East Hampshire District Council

Hampshire County Council

RSPB

Natural England

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Town Mayor and Local Councillors

Hampshire Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

Environment Agency

While additional invited organisations were unavailable to attend:  Surrey Wildlife Trust  Defence Estates / MoD 

Forestry Commission

National Trust

Waverley Borough Council

SANG Assessment Framework A draft SANG Assessment Framework was presented to the group for discussion.

This uses Natural

England’s 2008 SANG guidelines for the Thames Basin Heaths (TBH) area as its starting point, making adjustments for locally specific evidence such as the required length of walking routes to be provided. Added to this are supplementary criteria which seek to go above and beyond TBH requirements and address further locally specific considerations to guide the final SANG suite to a bespoke solution. A group-work session experimented with applying the framework to SANGs at Hogmoor Inclosure, Bordon Inclosure and Standford Grange, as proposed in the June 2010 version of the masterplan, and comments were taken on how the criteria should be amended. The revised framework and final assessment findings are presented in the Land Management Report. Based on the group-work session, the following broad objectives can be identified for each of the three sites: 

Hogmoor Inclosure: should be prioritised for recreation, with a mainly local focus, and provide a variety of habitats that maintain its nature conservation interest, retaining some wood cover particularly to help screen surrounding built up areas;

Bordon Inclosure: has an important role in providing for recreation and, as a more linear site, particularly as a link within the wider green infrastructure network. Thinning of conifer plantation and heathland restoration should be explored; and

Standford Grange: should include a visitor centre and/or ‘eco-farm’ concept to help draw in visitors given its comparatively greater distance from proposed development. If some form of pastoral use is maintained, enhanced access should still be provided though an improved footpath network and in combination with areas managed purely as SANG.

Other comments received on the assessment framework or SANG network in general included: 

The provision of parking is an important consideration that requires careful balance. The majority of visitors to European sites travel by car, and to succeed in offsetting those visits the requirement must be catered for. But where SANGs are provided purely for local use, or for smaller SANGs (<4ha), parking is less important and, as an Eco-town, continued use of the car should not be overtly encouraged.

There was discussion over the concept of penetration distances; the straight-line distance between a visitors point of access to a site and the most distant part of their route while on site which, according to the 2009 visitor survey, ranges from 880m to 900m on European sites around Whitehill Bordon. There was concern that such distances could not be achieved from all directions

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at the proposed SANGs, but also pointed out that the same is true for some of the European site areas (e.g. Shortheath, Kingsley and Broxhead Commons). 

It was suggested that sites should be explored for providing smaller SANGs (e.g. 2ha-4ha) within the footprint of proposed development areas, for example the green ‘spoke’ shown on the masterplan as leading from the new town centre to Hogmoor Inclosure (currently c.1.7ha) could be enlarged and designed as SANG.

Connectivity of SANGs with areas of new/existing residential development was generally felt to be important, to encourage ‘doorstep usage’. Specifically, the potential severance effects of the rail corridor, rail station and relief road could significantly limit the attraction of Hogmoor Inclosure from areas to east and north. At Standford Grange, connectivity with existing development at Bordon (Conde Way) and Hollywater should be maximised.

The 2009 visitor survey describes the possibility of using areas of gorse planting within European heathland sites to discourage people and dogs from leaving the path, but it was pointed out that this could represent a fire risk in some cases and would need to be carefully planned and managed in relation to fire breaks.

It was accepted that, while existing nature conservation value within proposed SANGs would need to be taken into account by discounting the notional capacity of the site (in relation to the 8ha/1,000 standard), it should not be included as a criterion in the assessment framework.

In areas that might remain wooded it was felt important to open up large, wide rides with varied habitats/vegetation. The example of Alice Holt was given where rides are up to approximately 60m across. This would give sufficient room for meandering and deviating routes to be walked, and substantial areas for dogs to exercise freely, while also providing a feeling of openness and security through a wider wooded landscape.

A similar approach could be used at Standford

Grange (if it is to retain an element of pastoral use) in relation to increasing access through the areas grazed by livestock; the rides would need to be enclosed by suitable fencing to prevent dogs ranging into grazed areas. 

It was confirmed that all criteria under the assessment framework should be satisfactorily met by the suite of SANGs, but that not every SANG has meet to all criteria.

The ephemeral Foy’s Pond has valuable amphibian interest which will require careful management if recreational activity within Hogmoor Inclosure is to be substantially increased.

Allotments were not generally viewed as ideal neighbours for SANGs.

Activity/agility courses for dogs should be considered as part of or adjacent to SANGs, linked to the provision of dog training and puppy classes.

The provision of natural play space within SANGs was questioned; it could be acceptable if very low profile and highly naturalistic.

The need to engage with local groups and business regarding fire and fly-tipping was raised, and the possibility of providing for barbeque areas within SANGs put forward.

Parking provision at Hogmoor Inclosure would be more appropriately located at the current tank sheds in the north rather than ‘Bobby’s Food’ in the south. Sites for parking at Bordon Inclosure are less obvious, but could focus on/around the current Woodland’s Inn car park.

Good accessibility for disabled persons and parents with pushchairs should be established.

April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


Technical Note: Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Page 6

4. Masterplan Monitoring Framework in relation to HRA The objective of Focus Group 3 was to provide HRA stakeholders with an opportunity to inform a monitoring framework for the masterplan. The main purpose of the day was twofold: A. To present, discuss and amend a provisional list of items to monitor, either to inform more detailed assessments as masterplan proposals progress or establish the accuracy of predictions and efficacy of avoidance and mitigation measures; and B. Invite views on an outline approach to assessing SANG capacity, following on from work undertaken since the previous Focus Group. The meeting was attended by the following organisations: 

Deadwater Valley Trust

East Hampshire District Council

Hampshire County Council

Environment Agency

Natural England

Hampshire Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

Town Mayor and Local Councillors

Waverley Borough Council

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town

RSPB

While additional invited organisations were unavailable to attend:  South Downs National Park  Defence Estates / MoD 

Forestry Commission

National Trust

Surrey Wildlife Trust

Before discussions on the agenda commenced, concern was raised by a number of attendees regarding a Hampshire County Council project to extend the Shipwright’s Way recreational route (also part of National Cycle Route 22, London to Portsmouth), with proposals for part of the route to transect Broxhead Common. The project has the potential to substantially increase the numbers of people access the site, putting it in possible conflict with access management measures proposed through the HRA as mitigation, and should be added to the list of plans and projects to be assessed in combination (if required). Regarding monitoring of visitor numbers as a result of Eco-town development, the route could skew results by disproportionately adding to visitor counts, although this could be factored into calculations in a number of ways (e.g. monitoring numbers on the route and at other access points to determine the difference, or using qualitative and quantitative methods). Monitoring Framework A short presentation was given, setting out the reasons for establishing a monitoring framework for the masterplan. With specific reference to HRA, monitoring will inform more detailed, iterative assessments in the future as masterplan proposals progress, and establish the accuracy of impact predictions and efficacy of avoidance and mitigation measures.

However, the masterplan’s monitoring framework is likely to

examine a number of issues with a much wider remit than items only relating to HRA, such as the Biodiversity Action Plan review, transport strategy, housing delivery and job creation. Monitoring will also help to maximise the benefits from development and inform implementation of management plans. It will be required pre-, during and post-development to ensure that the latest evidence is available and help meet the aim of delivering an exemplary development. April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


Technical Note: Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Page 7

For HRA monitoring, four themes are identifiable: A. Atmospheric pollution; C. Other urban edge effects; and

B. Disturbance and birds; D. Habitats and typical species.

Figure 1 gives a provisional list of items to monitor in relation to the HRA, including those raised by stakeholders at the Focus Group. It was noted that a monitoring framework in relation to Thames Basin Heaths is due to get underway in June, the findings of which could inform monitoring for the Eco-town.

 o o o

A   

B

       

Atmospheric/background pollution levels: Adjacent to roads within 200m of EU sites (including Shortheath Common byways) At EU site boundaries close to roads within 200m (including Shortheath byways) Staged penetration distances within EU sites in relation to roads and energy centre(s) Traffic flow at key locations (including byways of Shortheath Common) Visitor patterns (numbers, purpose, transport mode, behaviour on site, routes taken, etc.) for proposed SANGs to inform/revise capacity analyses Regarding Hogmoor Inclosure in particular, analysis to establish likely increase in visitors post-MoD departure but pre-development i.e. will available capacity decrease? Rate of SANG delivery in relation to rate of housing delivery Repeat surveys of visitor patterns at EU sites Visitor patterns in relation to Woolmer range closures, and penetration/activity beyond perimeter fence Access audit: EU sites and SANGs Annex 1 birds within EU sites (including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Annex 1 birds within SANGs (including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Annex 1 birds within other supporting areas (neither SANG nor EU Site, e.g. Slab/Warren - including volunteer based summer surveys 2011) Radio tracking of Annex 1 birds to establish better understanding of supporting areas used for foraging

Incidence of the following, within EU sites and/or SANGs (from all sources, inc MoD, building on database created during HRA): o Arson/fire - Fly-tipping o Invasive species - Theft / vandalism / poaching o Use of off road vehicles / motorcycles  Rat-running across Shortheath Common (see also above)  Number of infringements and enforcement procedures  In EU sites, water levels, water quality and other items coming through Water Cycle Study 

C

D

   

European habitats and typical species / negative indicators (see HRA; e.g. mottled beefly, green tiger beetle, silver studded blue, sand lizard, cranberry, sundews) Extent and quality of wet and dry heathland on EU sites Extent and quality of wet and dry heathland within SANGs Extent of heathland restoration Indicator species cf. BAP2

Figure 1: Provisional HRA monitoring framework

April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


Technical Note: Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Page 8

Annex I: EU Sites Landholdings Site:

Site:

Shortheath Common

Kingsley Common

Landholder:

Landholder:

Hampshire County Council

MoD – Defence Training Estates, managed by Hants IoW

Designations:

Wildlife Trust

Shortheath Common SAC/SSSI

Designations: Wealden Heaths SPA, Broxhead & Kingsley Commons SSSI

Site:

Site:

Broxhead Common (west of B3004)

Broxhead Common (east of B3004)

Landholder:

Landholder:

MoD – Defence Training Estates, managed by Hants IoW

Hampshire County Council

Wildlife Trust

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden Heaths SPA, Broxhead & Kingsley Commons

Wealden Heaths SPA, Broxhead & Kingsley Commons

SSSI, Broxhead Common LNR

SSSI, Broxhead Common LNR Site:

Site:

Passfield Common and Conford Moor

Woolmer Forest

Landholder:

Landholder:

National Trust

MoD – Defence Training Estates

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SSSI

Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SAC/SSSI

Site:

Site:

Longmoor Inclosure

Holly Hills

Landholder:

Landholder:

MoD – Defence Training Estates, managed by Hants IoW

Private landowner

Wildlife Trust

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SSSI

Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SSSI Site:

Site:

Blackmoor

Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Bramshott Chase

Landholder:

Landholder:

Private landowner

National Trust

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden Heaths SPA, Woolmer Forest SSSI

Wealden Heaths SPA, Bramshott & Ludshott Commons SSSI

Site:

Site:

Bramshott Common

Hindhead Common (north of A3) April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


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Page 9

Landholder:

Landholder:

MoD – Defence Training Estates

National Trust (Surrey team)

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden Heaths SPA, Bramshott & Ludshott Commons

Wealden Heaths SPA, Devil’s Punch Bowl SSSI

SSSI Site:

Site:

Hindhead Common (south of A3)

Selborne Common

Landholder:

Landholder:

National Trust (Surrey team)

National Trust

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden Heaths SPA, Devil’s Punch Bowl SSSI

East Hampshire Hangers SAC, Selborne Common SSSI

Site:

Site:

Noar Hill

Ashford Hangers

Landholder:

Landholder:

Hants IoW Wildlife Trust (leased from Rotherfield Park,

Hampshire County Council

East Tisted)

Designations:

Designations:

East Hampshire Hangers SAC, Wealden Edge Hangers

East Hampshire Hangers SAC, Noar Hill SSSI

SSSI, Ashford Hangers NNR

Site:

Site:

Frensham Common and Great Pond (west of A287)

Frensham Common (east of A287)

Landholder:

Landholder:

Waverley Borough Council (leased from Nat. Trust?)

Waverley Borough Council (leased from Nat. Trust?)

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

SSSI

SSSI

Site:

Site:

Frensham Common and Little Pond

Churt Common and The Flashes

Landholder:

Landholder:

National Trust (Surrey team)

Waverley Borough Council (leased from Nat. Trust?)

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

SSSI

SSSI

Site:

Site:

Hankley Common

Thursley and (part) Ockley Commons

Landholder:

Landholder:

MoD – Defence Training Estates (and Hankley Common

Natural England National Nature Reserve

Golf Club)

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Chobham SAC; Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar; Thursley, April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


Technical Note: Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

Page 10

Hankley & Frensham Commons SSSI

SSSI Site:

Site:

Elstead, Royal and (part) Ockley Commons

Bagmoor Common

Landholder:

Landholder:

MoD – Defence Training Estates

Surrey Wildlife Trust?

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

SSSI

SSSI

Site:

Site:

Thursley (south)

Witley Common, Cramhurst and Mare Hill

Landholder:

Landholder:

Natural England National Nature Reserve

National Trust (Surrey team)

Designations:

Designations:

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Wealden

Heaths

SPA;

Thursley,

Ash,

Pirbright

&

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

Chobham SAC; Thursley, Hankley & Frensham Commons

SSSI

SSSI

Linear/Fragment Sites to North West:

Linear/Fragment Sites to West:

East Hampshire Hangers SAC: Upper Greensand Hangers

East Hampshire Hangers SAC:

– Wyck to Wheatley SSSI

Worldham Hangers SSSI

Landholder:

Landholder:

See Figure A1

See Figure A1

Linear/Fragment Sites to West:

Linear/Fragment Sites to South West:

East Hampshire Hangers SAC: Coombe Wood and The

East Hampshire Hangers SAC: Upper Greensand Hangers

Lythe SSSI

– Empshott to Hawkley SSSI

Landholder:

Landholder:

See Figure A1

See Figure A1

Wyck Wood and

Linear/Fragment Sites to South West: East Hampshire Hangers SAC: Wealden Edge Hangers SSSI Landholder: See Figure A1

April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


Technical Note: Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Page 11

April 2011

Figure A1: Land ownership within Hangers UE-0085 East Focus Hampshire Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP SAC c. 1984 (Supplied by National Trust)


Technical Note: Focus Group and Stakeholder Consultation Report

Page 12

Annex II: Site Holders Responses to Land Management Questionnaire

Please see insert.

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This page is intentionally blank.

April 2011 UE-0085 Focus Group & Consultation Report_2_260411NP


HRA for Whitehill Bordon Draft Masterplan

UE-0085

Analysis of EU Site Landholders' Management Objectives, Threats and Opportunities Management Plan Objectives / Activities Site Designation

Respondent

Position

Shortheath Common

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Wealden Heaths SPA

- To conserve & enhance habitats & species - To address misuse issues, inc. fly-tipping, illegal vehicle use, fire, etc - To promote responsible use of site by visitors, particularly by dog walkers and horse riders - To encourage educational usage of site by all age ranges - To foster greater understanding of how & why the site is managed Note: Shortly beginning 'common purpose' consultation, with draft management plan to follow

SF

Ranger, HCC

Broxhead Common W

Wealden Heaths SPA

MoD: Principal objective is to maintain its duty of care in relation to a safe training environment. Conservation management plans, as referred to in NE‟s SSSI condition assessments, are largely implemented already, but sourcing an appropriate quantity and type of livestock is problematic Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Maintain heathland and scrub mosaic through scrub management, grazing, scrapes etc.

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Passfield Common, Conford Moor

Wealden Heaths SPA

CW

Head Ranger, NT

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

-

-

CW

Head Ranger, NT

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

CW

Head Ranger, NT

AC

Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Kingsley Common

Broxhead Common E

Details - To conserve & enhance habitats & species - To address encroachment & misuse issues, inc. fly-tipping, illegal vehicle use, fire, etc - To encourage people to consider Shortheath as an important site for wildlife that should be valued & respected Shortheath Common SAC - To promote responsible use of site, inc. by dog walkers and horse riders in particular - To encourage educational usage of site by all age ranges Note: Shortly beginning 'common purpose' consultation, with draft management plan to follow MoD: Principal objective is to maintain its duty of care in relation to a safe training environment. Conservation management plans, as referred to in NE‟s SSSI condition assessments, are Wealden Heaths SPA largely implemented already, but sourcing an appropriate quantity and type of livestock is problematic Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Maintain heathland and scrub mosaic through scrub management, grazing, scrapes etc.

Longmoor Inclosure

Wealden Heaths SPA

Holly Hills Blackmoor Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Bramshott Chase

Wealden Heaths SPA Wealden Heaths SPA

Bramshott Common

Selborne Common

Noar Hill

Wealden Heaths SPA

Wealden Heaths SPA

- Permanent preservation of places of historic interest and natural beauty (National Trust Acts) - SSSI – legal requirements to manage sites in „favourable condition‟ - Access managed with objective of maintaining a safe training environment for Defence Estates - Access not permitted when red flags flying - Range generally in use 0730-1700 daily, with occasional night firing operations - Range closures (open for public access) are generally on 3rd weekend of each month for maintenance, and for Christmas - Use of Woolmer Forest for training operations is aniticipated to increase rather than decrease in future years - Conservation management plans, as referred to in NE‟s SSSI condition assessments, are largely implemented already, but sourcing an appropriate quantity and type of livestock is problematic MoD: Principal objective is to maintain its duty of care in relation to a safe training environment. Conservation management plans, as referred to in NE‟s SSSI condition assessments, are largely implemented already, but sourcing an appropriate quantity and type of livestock is problematic Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Maintain heathland and scrub mosaic through scrub management, grazing, scrapes etc. No data No data - Permanent preservation of places of historic interest and natural beauty (National Trust Acts) - SSSI – legal requirements to manage sites in „favourable condition‟ MoD: Principal objective is to maintain its duty of care in relation to a safe training environment. Conservation management plans, as referred to in NE‟s SSSI condition assessments, are largely implemented already, but sourcing an appropriate quantity and type of livestock is problematic Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Maintain heathland and scrub mosaic through scrub management, grazing, scrapes etc.

- Permanent preservation of places of historic interest and natural beauty (National Trust East Hampshire Hangers Acts) SAC - SSSI – legal requirements to manage sites in „favourable condition‟ Maintain chalk grassland, scrub mosaic and associated species through scrub management, East Hampshire Hangers grazing, scrapes etc. SAC Natural history education of visiting groups

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Mgt Info

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Ashford Hangers

Draft Management Objectives, pending local consultation: 1. Subject to natural change, to maintain the broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland in favourable condition, with particular reference to relevant specific designated interest features. 2. Subject to natural change, to restore the lowland calcareous grassland to favourable condition, with particular reference to relevant specific designated interest features. 3. To maintain the bryophyte assemblage in favourable condition 4. To maintain the lichen assemblage in favourable condition 5. Subject to natural change maintain a neutral grassland meadow in favourable condition (NVC MG1e) 6. Subject to natural change maintain the Lutcombe chalk springs, stream and pond in East Hampshire Hangers favourable condition. AP SAC 7. Subject to natural change restore a population of red helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra ) to favourable condition. 8. Subject to natural change maintain a population of narrow-leaved helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia ) in favourable condition. 9. To conserve the hanger woodlands, with interspersed grassland areas, within the context of the surrounding chalk-downland landscape, and to conserve the historic features of the site 10. Maintain links with the local community. 11. To encourage the use of the site for education and research, in so far as this is compatible with the conservation interest of the site. 12. To encourage public access to the NNR for purposes of quiet enjoyment, in so far as this is compatible with Objectives 1, 2, 3 and 4. 13. To fulfil all legal and other obligations arising from Parliamentary Acts, conveyances etc. • To maintain and restore favourable condition for the SSSI in light of the sites Conservation Objectives. • To maintain a mosaic of different habitats across the site including open wet and dry heath, bare ground, scrub, acid grassland, species-rich grassland and woodland, particularly wet woodland and ancient woodland. • To maintain the restored area of open heath by chemical control of bracken Pteridium aquilinum and clearance of scrub and tree cover. • To consolidate stock grazing by cattle and ponies on the site at appropriate stocking levels and with the optimum mixture of livestock types. • To maintain a range of age classes of heather Calluna vulgaris and gorse Ulex europaeus in order to promote structural diversity. MC • To maintain areas of semi-natural woodland habitat in appropriate condition to promote their special biodiversity. • To maintain the continuity of mature, dying and dead trees and their associated invertebrate fauna. • To maintain the areas of unimproved and semi-improved acid and neutral grassland in appropriate condition to promote their special biodiversity. • To selectively remove and control non-native and invasive plant species. • To ensure that the level of visitor access to the site is not harming its biodiversity and special interest features. • To ensure that there is a good and well marked path and nature trail network throughout the site As above MC

Hindhead Common N

Wealden Heaths SPA

Hindhead Common S

Wealden Heaths SPA

Frensham Common & Great Pond W Frensham Common E

Maintain existing lowland heath. Increase the area of lowland heath by removing pine plantations as part of a Higher Level Stewardship Agreement (expires 2020). Continue to improve habitats for particular species through targeted works i.e. pond creation for Natterjack toad and sand scrapes for sand lizard / heath tiger beetle. Obtain “recovering” SSSI status for Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Great Pond by reed control and possible planting. Obtain and implement a water management Chobham SAC, Wealden plan for the Flashes in conjunction with EA & NE. Increase amount of surveying – reptile, SW Heaths SPA butterfly, other insects, vegetation, birds, fixed point photo. Complete new fire break mapping exercise and implement improvements. Carry out restoration works to the burnt area (2010), to include birch & gorse spraying, heather seeding, fencing of the barrows etc. To continue to manage the public access, car parks, information room and provision of facilities. No increase in facilities or events or outward publicity / promotion.

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC

As above

SW

Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC

None given

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

None given

MoD/DTE (& golf club)

-

None given

MoD/DTE

-

JG

Reserve Manager, NE

Surrey WT

-

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

Wyck Wood and East Hampshire Hangers No data Worldham Hangers SSSI SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

Churt Common & The Flashes Frensham Common & Little Pond Hankley Common Elstead, Royal and (part) Ockley Commons

Thursley & (part) Ockley Commons, Thursley S

Bagmoor Common Witley Common, Cramhurst & Marehill Upper Greensand Hangers – Wyck to Wheatley SSSI

Coombe Wood and The Lythe SSSI Upper Greensand Hangers – Empshott to Hawkley SSSI Wealden Edge Hangers SSSI

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

Sites Manager, HCC

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA, Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA

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Deadwater Valley (LNR)

n/a

Main Constraints to Achieving Objectives Site Designation

Shortheath Common

- Conserve & enhance LNR - Management of LNR with varied habitats: woodland, grassland, heathland, river, ponds - Access management: footpaths - Litter picking - Engaging community & schools in conservation tasks/activities/education

JC

Ranger, DVT

Details

Respondent

Position

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

CW

Head Ranger, NT

CW

Head Ranger, NT

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

-

-

- Public opinion regarding measure that would be beneficial to site e.g. dogs on lead, reintroduction of grazing - Bureaucracy and grey areas in legislation Shortheath Common SAC - Lack of funding & resources - Lack of respect for site particularly from some site residents - Lack of enforcement e.g. for motorbikes, horse-riding off bridleways

Kingsley Common

Wealden Heaths SPA

Broxhead Common E

Wealden Heaths SPA

Broxhead Common W

Wealden Heaths SPA

Passfield Common, Conford Moor

Wealden Heaths SPA

MoD: DTE has considerable concerns over the difficulty of managing current visitor activity. Data were provided on trespass and breach of bylaws, collated by Landmarc for the months June 2010 and February 2011 Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Scrub encroachment – financial constraints. Vegetation disposal following clearance - Public opinion regarding measure that would be beneficial to site e.g. dogs on lead, reintroduction of grazing - Bureaucracy and grey areas in legislation - Lack of funding & resources - Lack of respect for site by visitors - Lack of enforcement e.g. for motorbikes, horse-riding off bridleways MoD: DTE has considerable concerns over the difficulty of managing current visitor activity. Data were provided on trespass and breach of bylaws, collated by Landmarc for the months June 2010 and February 2011 Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Scrub encroachment – financial constraints. Vegetation disposal following clearance Irresponsible horse riders and lack of consideration to other users Fishermen and uncontrolled dogs Aggressive dogs - members of the public being bitten and horse attacked Illegal Fishing Removal of limbs and trees from Commons Mushroom Picking on Ludshott Animal Trapping on Ludshott 4 x 4 driving on Commons Illegal riding of motorbikes and mini-bikes Raves Horse riding on non permitted routes Arson Fly tipping Dog Mess Dogs not under control Cars parked in car parks broken into Burnt out cars Dumped Mountaincars biking on footpaths

Longmoor Inclosure

Wealden Heaths SPA

Holly Hills Blackmoor Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Bramshott Chase

Wealden Heaths SPA Wealden Heaths SPA

Poaching and use of firearms People sleeping rough on Commons Management items being stolen - sheep netting /energiser, gates. Encroachment Illegal signs - house names put up Cutting of perimeter fence Litter Garden waste dumped Invasive species from garden waste Jumps created for BMX rides and along horse routes Drugs use Dog Poisoning from drugs (BMX riders) Livestock being deliberately harmed and worried by youths Sexual activities in car parks etc, especially at night. Erosion around lake edges and along dams, especially where dogs are being encouraged into the water. DTE has considerable concerns over the difficulty of managing current visitor activity. Data were provided on trespass and breach of bylaws, collated by Landmarc for the months June 2010 and February 2011 MoD: DTE has considerable concerns over the difficulty of managing current visitor activity. Data were provided on trespass and breach of bylaws, collated by Landmarc for the months June 2010 and February 2011 Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Scrub encroachment – financial constraints. Vegetation disposal following clearance No data No data

Wealden Heaths SPA

See Passfield & Conford

CW

Head Ranger, NT

Bramshott Common

Wealden Heaths SPA

MoD: DTE has considerable concerns over the difficulty of managing current visitor activity. Data were provided on trespass and breach of bylaws, collated by Landmarc for the months June 2010 and February 2011 Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Scrub encroachment – financial constraints. Vegetation disposal following clearance

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Selborne Common

East Hampshire Hangers See Passfield & Conford SAC

CW

Noar Hill

East Hampshire Hangers Scrub encroachment – financial constraints. Conflict between different ecological SAC requirements.

AC

Ashford Hangers

East Hampshire Hangers None given SAC

AP

Passfield Common, Conford Moor

Wealden Heaths SPA

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Mgt Info

Head Ranger, NT Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT Sites Manager, HCC

3/9


Hindhead Common N

Wealden Heaths SPA

External constraints, such as natural trends, i.e. climate change and acidification of rain and groundwater as well as human activities, particularly public access to the site

MC

Hindhead Common S

Wealden Heaths SPA

As above

MC

Frensham Common & Great Pond W Frensham Common E

Churt Common & The Flashes Frensham Common & Little Pond Hankley Common Elstead, Royal and (part) Ockley Commons

Thursley & (part) Ockley Commons, Thursley S

Amount of visitor pressure during March to October drains resources. Area not considered for it‟s conservation value by council decision makers. Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Being able to communicate with a huge visitor base, including distances people travel to get Chobham SAC, Wealden SW here, (local notification of site issues won‟t reach majority of visitors). Also, language / cultural Heaths SPA issues relating to the use of open spaces. Pictograms and multi-lingual signs don‟t seem to work. Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden As above SW Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given MC Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & MoD/DTE (& Chobham SAC, Wealden None given golf club) Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given MoD/DTE Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA, Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar

Head Warden, NT (Surrey) Head Warden, NT (Surrey) Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC Head Warden, NT (Surrey) -

-

JG

Reserve Manager, NE

Surrey WT

-

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

Wyck Wood and East Hampshire Hangers No data Worldham Hangers SSSI SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

JC

Ranger, DVT

Respondent

Position

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Bagmoor Common Witley Common, Cramhurst & Marehill Upper Greensand Hangers – Wyck to Wheatley SSSI

Coombe Wood and The Lythe SSSI Upper Greensand Hangers – Empshott to Hawkley SSSI Wealden Edge Hangers SSSI

Deadwater Valley (LNR)

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA

n/a

- Funding (DVT is a charity) - Manpower: only 2 rangers, plus limited number of volunteers - People pressure - Lack of enforcement on wildlife law

How Eco-town could Affect Site or Prevent Mgt Objectives from being Met Site Designation Details

Shortheath Common

- Increasing recreational pressure, particularly from dog walkers - Increasing fires & fly-tipping Shortheath Common SAC - Increasing traffic on the road that bisects Shortheath Common; accessibility & air pollution - Increasing use of the track through the Common as a rat-run, accessed via Gibbs Lane MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased visitor pressure could lead to: nutrient enrichment, greater trampling effect, disturbance to birds and insects, disturbance to livestock, loss of peace and tranquillity, problems with parking, litter etc. Water abstraction could lead to damage to wetlands. Increased traffic could lead to increased nitrogen pollution.

Kingsley Common Broxhead Common E

Wealden Heaths SPA Wealden Heaths SPA

- Increasing recreational pressure, particularly from dog walkers - Increasing fires & fly-tipping - Increasing traffic on B3004 Broxhead Farm Road; accessibility & air pollution MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased visitor pressure could lead to: nutrient enrichment, greater trampling effect, disturbance to birds and insects, disturbance to livestock, loss of peace and tranquillity, problems with parking, litter etc. Water abstraction could lead to damage to wetlands. Increased traffic could lead to increased nitrogen pollution.

Broxhead Common W

Wealden Heaths SPA

Passfield Common, Conford Moor

Wealden Heaths SPA

None given

CW

Head Ranger, NT

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

None given

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased visitor pressure could lead to: nutrient enrichment, greater trampling effect, disturbance to birds and insects, disturbance to livestock, loss of peace and tranquillity, problems with parking, litter etc. Water abstraction could lead to damage to wetlands. Increased traffic could lead to increased nitrogen pollution.

Longmoor Inclosure

Wealden Heaths SPA

Holly Hills Blackmoor Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Bramshott Chase

Wealden Heaths SPA Wealden Heaths SPA

No data No data

-

-

Wealden Heaths SPA

None given

CW

Head Ranger, NT

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Mgt Info

4/9


Bramshott Common

Selborne Common Noar Hill

Wealden Heaths SPA

MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased visitor pressure could lead to: nutrient enrichment, greater trampling effect, disturbance to birds and insects, disturbance to livestock, loss of peace and tranquillity, problems with parking, litter etc. Water abstraction could lead to damage to wetlands. Increased traffic could lead to increased nitrogen pollution.

East Hampshire Hangers None given SAC Increased visitor pressure could lead to: nutrient enrichment, greater trampling effect, East Hampshire Hangers disturbance to birds and insects, disturbance to livestock, loss of peace and tranquillity, SAC problems with parking, litter etc Increased visitor pressure: • exacerbating existing problems of erosion, particularly on the steep chalk slopes • exacerbating the erosion of Byways Open To all Traffic through increased use by off-road East Hampshire Hangers vehicles and producing adverse impacts on the tranquillity of the area SAC • increasing disturbance to wildlife through uncontrolled dog activity and potentially causing harm, or disturbance, to the sheep flock which grazes the site

MoD/DTE / AC

CW AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Head Ranger, NT Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

AP

Sites Manager, HCC

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

SW

Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC

SW

Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

MoD/DTE (& golf club)

-

MoD/DTE

-

JG

Reserve Manager, NE

Surrey WT

-

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

Wyck Wood and East Hampshire Hangers No data Worldham Hangers SSSI SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

JC

Ranger, DVT

Respondent

Position

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Ashford Hangers

Increased fly-tipping especially from the lay-bys on Stoner Hill.

Hindhead Common N

Wealden Heaths SPA

It is important to ensure that the habitats, required by the key heathland bird species of the site (Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark), are not impacted on by an increase in dog disturbance as a result of an increase in visitors (these visitors are normally local people who travel 5-10 miles to walk the dog and the proposed Eco-town would fall within this catchment area)

Hindhead Common S

Wealden Heaths SPA

As above

Frensham Common & Great Pond W Frensham Common E Churt Common & The Flashes Frensham Common & Little Pond Hankley Common Elstead, Royal and (part) Ockley Commons

Thursley & (part) Ockley Commons, Thursley S

Bagmoor Common Witley Common, Cramhurst & Marehill Upper Greensand Hangers – Wyck to Wheatley SSSI

Coombe Wood and The Lythe SSSI Upper Greensand Hangers – Empshott to Hawkley SSSI Wealden Edge Hangers SSSI

Deadwater Valley (LNR)

Increase in visitors to an already fragile habitat. Increase in dog disturbance on a SSSI, SAC, Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & SPA that already has huge numbers of dog visits per week (circa 200-300 per day). Projected Chobham SAC, Wealden increase in fires, arson, vandalism, litter and anti-social behaviour. Erosion from bikes, 4x4‟s & Heaths SPA horses is already a problem. An increase is envisaged as Bordon area is already an area we attract a large number of visitors from. Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden As above Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA, Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA

n/a

- Increased footfall with increase of dog fouling & cat predation - Increased fly-tipping & garden waste - Increasing atmospheric pollution - Increase in arson, esp. on heathland - Disturbance of wildlife - Increase in alien species (i.e. from garden waste)

Deliverable Measures to Offset Impacts & Increase Robustness Site Designation Details

Shortheath Common

Kingsley Common

- Responsible recreation project, inc. engaging schools - Better delineation of site boundary, plus better signage & interpretation - Better site security - Project to reduce / influence behaviour in relation to wildfire & arson - Provision of cameras to record fly-tipping aiding enforcement & prosecution Shortheath Common SAC - Installation of barrier at Gibbs Lane to prevent unauthorised vehicle access & rat-running, together with careful site selection for school provision - Enforcement measures, e.g. for dog walkers or horse riders not adhering to law/byelaws - Projects to reduce current/future impacts could be carried out through / with support from Eco-town, to manage the incidence of impacts, promote a more positive attitude towards & respect for the site MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased wardening presence, increased capital works. Arisings from capital works disposed of through biomass boilers. Wealden Heaths SPA

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Mgt Info

5/9


Broxhead Common E

Wealden Heaths SPA

- Responsible recreation project, inc. engaging schools - Better site security - Better signage & interpretation - Project to reduce / influence behaviour in relation to wildfire & arson - Enforcement measures, e.g. for dog walkers or horse riders not adhering to law/byelaws - Projects to reduce current/future impacts could be carried out through / with support from Eco-town, to manage the incidence of impacts, promote a more positive attitude towards & respect for the site MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased wardening presence, increased capital works. Arisings from capital works disposed of through biomass boilers.

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Broxhead Common W

Wealden Heaths SPA

Passfield Common, Conford Moor

Wealden Heaths SPA

None given

CW

Head Ranger, NT

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

None given

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased wardening presence, increased capital works. Arisings from capital works disposed of through biomass boilers.

Longmoor Inclosure

Wealden Heaths SPA

Holly Hills Blackmoor Ludshott Common, Waggoners Wells, Bramshott Chase

Wealden Heaths SPA Wealden Heaths SPA

No data No data

-

-

Wealden Heaths SPA

None given

CW

Head Ranger, NT

MoD/DTE / AC

-/ Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

MoD: None given Wildlife Trust (managing site in partnership with MoD): Increased wardening presence, increased capital works. Arisings from capital works disposed of through biomass boilers.

Bramshott Common

Wealden Heaths SPA

Selborne Common

East Hampshire Hangers None given SAC

CW

Noar Hill

East Hampshire Hangers Increased wardening presence, increased capital works SAC

AC

Ashford Hangers

• Resurface Byeways open to all traffic (BOAT) to make them less attractive to hard-core offroaders East Hampshire Hangers • Place Traffic Regulation Orders on BOATs SAC • Improved interpretation to encourage considerate use of the site both in situ and on web pages • Improved enforcement against fly-tipping abuses.

AP

Sites Manager, HCC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey) Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

Hindhead Common N

Wealden Heaths SPA

The NT Hindhead Property includes a number of other parcels of land in the vicinity of the SSSI and there are strong ecological and practical links between the management of the core MC area and surrounding sites, though some of these less sensitive areas (such as Golden Valley) could be used as a „sacrificial‟ area for dog walking etc

Hindhead Common S

Wealden Heaths SPA

As above

Frensham Common & Great Pond W Frensham Common E

Churt Common & The Flashes Frensham Common & Little Pond Hankley Common Elstead, Royal and (part) Ockley Commons

Thursley & (part) Ockley Commons, Thursley S

MC

More on-site interpretative material. NB - No increase in staff resources. Not sure if a heathland site of this nature can be made more robust. The activities of the visitors either pollute (dogs), damage (arson / vandalism) or destroy (erosion / large wildfires) Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & the very environment they come to enjoy. Short of limiting numbers of visitors through Chobham SAC, Wealden SW reducing car parking areas I cannot see that we can make the area less popular with visitors. Heaths SPA This policy would be difficult to pass through councillors who see the site only as a “lovely area”, and would upset local people (traffic congestion / parking on narrow lanes in village etc). Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden As above SW Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given MC Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & MoD/DTE (& Chobham SAC, Wealden None given golf club) Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given MoD/DTE Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA, Thursley & Ockley Bogs Ramsar

Head Ranger, NT Grazing Project Manager, HIoWWT

Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC

Countryside Ranger, Waverley BC Head Warden, NT (Surrey) -

-

JG

Reserve Manager, NE

Surrey WT

-

MC

Head Warden, NT (Surrey)

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

Wyck Wood and East Hampshire Hangers No data Worldham Hangers SSSI SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

East Hampshire Hangers No data SAC

-

-

Bagmoor Common Witley Common, Cramhurst & Marehill Upper Greensand Hangers – Wyck to Wheatley SSSI

Coombe Wood and The Lythe SSSI Upper Greensand Hangers – Empshott to Hawkley SSSI Wealden Edge Hangers SSSI

Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden None given Heaths SPA

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Mgt Info

6/9


Deadwater Valley (LNR)

n/a

- Ensure dog owners keep dogs on leads - Supply 'free' or discounted cat bell collars to new & existing households - Small levy on new households to employ extra countryside staff - Reduce charges at town dump for 'white van man' to reduce fly-tipping - Free collection of garden waste from households to reduce garden waste dumping - Funding to increase community engagement - Path management to encourage people away from most sensitive areas - Funding to employ extra countryside staff

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Mgt Info

JC

Ranger, DVT

7/9


HRA for Whitehill Bordon Draft Masterplan

UE-0085

Analysis of Data Provided on Incidence of Fly-tipping, Arson, Wildfire or other impacts This is a partial dataset based on snapshots or limited monitoring provided by landholders. MoD/Landmarc data is Jun 2010 and Feb 2011 only. The data is additional to that captured as annotations on printed maps at the stakeholder event held on 4 March 2010, and has been digitised where possible. Only sites where additional data was provided are repeated on this sheet. Site

Respondent

Position

SF

Ranger, HCC

Shortheath Common

Wildfire or arson (not always possible to differentiate): • No incidences of fire are known to have occurred in 2008 or 2009. • Two incidences occurred in 2010: 1) 29 June 2010: Small fire known to be caused by discarded cigarette found and attended by fire service, returned to site 01 July 2010 to discover that the a larger area again had been Shortheath Common SAC SF burnt (most likely due to spreading underground) – Total area burnt 0.71ha 2) 01 July 2010: Small fire probably caused by discarded cigarette – Total area burnt 0.21ha. Total area of Shortheath Common lost to wildfire in 2010: 0.92 hectares. This represents about 1.6% of the total site area, much of which is not heathland (% of heathland at site lost has not been calculated as yet).

Ranger, HCC

Shortheath Common

Vehicles on the Common (from survey carried out by HCC, 2010): Number of vehicles: - 143 vehicles recorded using tracks on Shortheath Common in 24 survey hours over two week period - 18 residential properties with legitimate need for access, suggests 7.9 vehicles per property - but 35 vehicles (24%) identified as rat-running, plus 5 further vehicles began entering Common but turned around on seeing surveyors - 103 vehicles identified as having legitimate access; 5.7 per property Shortheath Common SAC Number of cut throughs: SF - 255 vehicle movements recorded during 24 survey hours, 41 (16%) of which cut-throughs - average of 1.7 vehicles cutting through every hour, suggesting 7,446 cut-throughs annually between 7am and 7pm - peak times for cut-throughs are 3pm-5pm weekdays, and 1pm-3pm weekends - results suggest that weekday peak could be related to school pick up, but survey was partially in summer holiday, therefore findings likely to be underestimate (145 vehicles movements during term-time week, 110 movements during holiday week) Suggested that the issue requires assessment through Eco-town HRA

Ranger, HCC

Shortheath Common

Designation

Details Fly-tipping: • Reliable data on fly-tipping incidents is only held since July 2009. • Number of incidents recorded: - July 2009 – Dec 2009: 21 recorded incidents – average of 3.5 incidents a month - Jan 2010 – Dec 2010: 12 recorded incidents – average of 1 a month. • Based on these data, the average number of fly-tipping incidents over the months for which we have data is 1.8 incidents per month. • Based on incidents for which we have full cost estimates, the average cost per incident is £95.71, which includes staff time, transport and disposal costs. This figure does not included legal costs. • Therefore, the average number of incidents is 22 fly-tips per year and expense to our team is an average of £2100 per year. Shortheath Common SAC • This represents over 1/5 of our total site maintenance budget for both Shortheath and Broxhead Commons. • The following should also be noted: - Much fly-tipped material is removed by site residents or East Hampshire District Council before it can be recorded by HCC, therefore these figures are likely to be a gross underestimate. - Our disposal costs are lessened due to the fact that we currently have a facility for burning green waste – should we lose this facility our costs could increase substantially. - As mentioned above, these figures do not include legal costs. Other hotspots include: - Oakhanger Road beside first entrance to Shortheath Common (bridleway 28) - Oakhanger Road beside second entrance to Shortheath Common (footpath 4)

Kingsley Common

Wealden Heaths SPA

Kingsley Common

Wealden Heaths SPA

Broxhead Common E

Wealden Heaths SPA

Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

Fly-tipping - hotspots: - Forge Rd (both sides) at entrance to Common, nr footpath 10 - B3004 in small layby nr bridleway 501 and Coldharbour Pond - B3004 around wide entrance to Common at Coldharbour, nr footpath 11 - B3004 beside Sandrock entrance to Common, nr footpath 7a - B3004 in small triangular woodland outside Cricketers Inn - B3004 on Lower Green from track to stream (footpath 6) - B3004 at entrance to SITA quarry - Sickles Lane on common land on eastern side of road - South Hay Lane in small parking area opposite St Nicholas Chirch Fly-tipping: 16/06/10: Pallets & building waste removed Fly-tipping: • Data on fly-tipping incidents for Broxhead Common are extremely lacking, with just 3 incidents recorded for 2009 and 2 recorded for 2010. • These records are likely to represent an underestimate of the actual amount of fly-tipping that occurs at Broxhead Common, as some material is likely to be removed by the farm before it is reported to, or recorded by, HCC. • Fly-tipping regularly occurs behind the lay-by at Broxhead Common (3 out of the 5 recorded incidents) but it can be difficult to determine how many separate „incidents‟ the various piles of material left here represent, again leading to the figures given being highly conservative. Wildfire or arson (not always possible to differentiate): • Incidences of fire and arson have occurred in 2008, 2009 and 2010: 2008: One recorded incident (cause unknown) – total area burnt 1.75ha. 2009: One recorded incident (known to be arson) – total area burnt 2.75ha. 2010: Two recorded incidents, first likely to be caused by discarded cigarette (0.05ha burnt) and second cause unknown (1.05ha burnt) – total area burnt 1.10ha. Total area of Broxhead Common lost to arson and wildfire between 2008 and 2009: 5.60 hectares. This represents about 13.3% of the total site area, much of which is not heathland (% of heathland at site lost has not been calculated as yet). Unauthorised access: 04/02/11: 2x horse riders w/out permits

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Incident Data

MH

Parish Cllr

MoD/DTE

-

SF

Ranger, HCC

MoD/DTE

-

8/9


Woolmer Forest

Woolmer Forest SAC, Wealden Heaths SPA

Longmoor Inclosure

Wealden Heaths SPA

Bramshott Common

Wealden Heaths SPA

Hankley Common

Elstead, Royal and (part) Ockley Commons

Hogmoor Inclosure (SINC)

Range Danger Area closures: - RDA is closed to public access when any 1 of 3 ranges is in use - ranges are in use virtually every day, except one maintenance weekend each month (generally 3rd w/e) and the Christmas period - red flags fly approximately 07.30 to 17.00 daily, plus a certain amount of night firing - sometimes there are queues of people waiting to access once flags lowered - only foreseeable likelihood is for an increase in firing, and therefore range closures to public access, due to other MoD land disposals and return of German deployments Livestock: 12/06/10: 2 cows found wrong side of stock fence; returned to herd Wildfire: 23/06/10: Fire on area, F&RS in attendance; in location of w/e cadet patrol Fly-tipping: 29/06/10: 2x fridges removed from grid 783 294 04/02/11: bags of rubbish in car park at end of Queens Rd, from address on Queens Rd Off-road vehicles: 25/02/11: 2x motorbikes on area Pollution: 08/02/11: Dumping of effluent down manhole Unauthorised access: 25/02/11: horse rider w/out permit Fire (military): 17/06/10: Fire at grid 886 335, 50m x 50m, F&RS vehicle in attendance; military pyro Unauthorised access: 25/02/10: Man queries legality & reason for car park closure - not happy Garden waste / invasive species: 08/02/11: Garden waste dumped in car park, grid 854 335 25/2/11: Grass cuttings & tyres dumped in Rectory Ln, grid 854 333

Vandalism: 05/02/11: Large tree which had been used to stop illegal 4x4 access at Stockbridge Pond barrier removed Unauthorised access: 08/02/11: Husky team & trainers stopped as leaving Westbrook Farm access point (previous Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & licence and not renewed) Chobham SAC, Wealden Dog fouling: Heaths SPA 24/2/11: 1 of 5x dogs being walked seen fouling footpath; owner asked to clear up Fly-tipping: 22/02/11: 2x piles of household rubbish removed from grids 890 401 and 890 339 24/02/11: 5x tyres & 4x rims removed from Pitch Place car park, grid 884 393 24/02/11: 2x tyres & garden waste removed from barrier at grid 877 394 Thursley, Ash, Pirbright & Chobham SAC, Wealden Vandalism: Heaths SPA, Thursley & 08/06/10: Chain & lock cut at Milford Rd access point; reason unknown Ockley Bogs Ramsar

n/a

Oxney Farm & woods, The Brocas (SINCs)

n/a

The Slab (SINC)

n/a

Garden waste / invasive species: 13/06/10: Resident on Hogmoor Rd warned about dumping hedge cuttings Off-road vehicles: 13/06/10: 4x4 event stopped after vehicles found driving off designated areas 27/02/11: 2x motorbikes seen illegally entering area from Woolmer Ind Estate, nr Coombers Wildfire: 13/06/10: Small smouldering fire at grid 789 349, 30m x 30m; cause unknown 17/06/10: Fire at grid 886 335, 60m x 60m, F&RS vehicles in attendance; cause unknown 24/06/10: Fire on area, F&RS in attendance; cause unknown Unauthorised access: 13/06/10: 3x horse riders w/out permits

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE

-

MoD/DTE (& golf club)

-

MoD/DTE (& golf club)

-

MoD/DTE

-

Unauthorised access: 13/06/10: 4x horse riders w/out permits Building / digging: 15/06/10: BMX track found and dismantled 18/06/10: Larger BMX track found and dismantled 09/02/11: Large BMX track found and dismantled MoD/DTE Other incident: 11/06/10: 2 males flying large jet model plane Livestock: 01/02/11: Large, uncontrolled Alsatian found near sheep; owner advised of restrictions & farmer shooting dogs worrying sheep, dog put under control Garden waste / invasive species: Undated: garden waste & boxes removed from grid 795 384 Wildfire: 23/06/10: Fire on area, F&RS in attendance; cause unknown, but same location as earlier fire MoD/DTE Note: the Warren and Slab are managed for conservation grazing by Wildlife Trust in partnership with MoD

UE-0085 EU Site Mgt Objectives & Incident Data_2_260411NP

Incident Data

-

-

9/9


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HRA Land Management Report  

Whitehill Bordon Eco-town HRA Land Management Report

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