A variety of evidence suggests that species may be able to withstand the effects of climate change in localised environments known as refugia. These are areas in which specific environmental conditions create local climates that can act as a buffer against broader scale climatic changes. Refugia are areas where species can persist, despite the surrounding areas becoming unsuitable due to climate change.
This report is part of a project to investigate the characteristics of potential refugia and identify sites with the appropriate characteristics at a range of spatial scales. This work was commissioned to:
• Investigate, using palaeoecological data, the characteristics of potential climatic change refugia.
• Understand the extent to which palaeoecological data can help inform opportunities for, and constraints on, ecological restoration.
The results of this report and the related report Climate change refugia for the flora and fauna of England (NECR162) will be used by Natural England and others to target conservation efforts at the areas that could improve species’ abilities to cope with climatic change in situ and to inform the creation of new conservation areas and ecological networks.