The Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 (Part 1) came into effect across England in 2005. The National Open Access Monitoring Programme was set up to evaluate the long-term impact of implementing the new access rights. Visitors using this new right of open access could potentially increase disturbance to breeding bird populations, adversely impacting on biodiversity at the landscape scale.
The Upland Breeding Bird Survey (UBBS) was set up in 2007 to monitor long-term upland bird trends to inform both the impact of Natura 2000 designated sites in protecting species of interest and understand the impact of Open Access on upland bird populations, taking on board recommendations from the pilot study in 2006.
This report contains the results of the first full scale field season in 2007, which has been designed to be a fully integrated survey to meet the following long-term objectives to:
- Improve the capacity to monitor key upland bird species and bird population trends on Natura 2000 designated sites and CROW access land in England.
- Develop an ‘upland bird index’ which will contribute to reporting on the health/condition of the suite of upland Natura 2000 sites and inform the England Biodiversity Strategy.
- Identify any early signs of significant impacts arising from open access.
This report also looks at the potential for the UBBS to be used in the future to:
- Assess the success of Agri-environment schemes in the uplands; and
- Act as an indicator to measure impacts of climate change or the ability of birds to adapt to it.
This report is being published as part of a package of reports relating to monitoring the impacts of (CROW) Act 2000 (Part 1). These include:
- Executive Summary, Communications and Access Management Commissioned * Reports of the National Open Access Visitor Survey (NOAVS) 2006 to 2008, published in three parts NECR036a, NECR036b and NECR036c; and
- Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) Pilot Study (2006) NECR040.