The need for climate change adaptation has become widely recognised in the last 20 years. The environmental sector was one of the first to identify the need and to start developing approaches to adaptation. Initially much of the focus was on identifying general principles. This was an essential first step, but adaptation needs to be embedded into decision-making in specific places and circumstances. There can be a big gap between general principles and specific applications. Effective adaptation requires local knowledge and experience, combined with relevant scientific information and an understanding of practical options. It will be assisted by sharing good practice and evidence of what techniques have worked in particular places and situations.
This Adaptation Manual is a resource to support practical and pragmatic decision-making, by bringing together recent science, experience and case studies, and is intended to be an accessible entry point to a range of available resources and tools. It is not intended to be read from cover to cover: different elements stand alone and can be read individually. We anticipate that the information contained here will be useful to a variety of people, including managers of nature reserves and other protected sites, conservation and land management advisors, and environmental consultants. The intended audience is those who are involved in the management of land for conservation and amenity, and includes staff of local and national government, statutory agencies and NGOs.
The first edition of the Adaptation Manual was published in 2014 and had a focus on habitat management. This new edition updates the information contained in the first edition and has been expanded to include new sections on:
Geology and geomorphology, and
Access and recreation.
Climate change adaptation is a fast moving field and we hope the manual to continue to develop and grow over time. This manual has been developed jointly by Natural England and the RSPB, with contributions from the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission and a wide range of other organisations.