Favourable Conservation Status strategies set out Natural England’s view of the objectives and actions needed to achieve Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) for species and habitats in England.
FCS is the situation in which a habitat or species is thriving throughout its natural range and is expected to continue to do so in the future. Natural England’s Defining FCS project is defining minimum thresholds for FCS in England for a range of species and habitats. FCS definitions are published on the project’s Access to Evidence webpage. They describe the long-term ambition for a species or habitat in England, wherever they occur, based on the best available ecological evidence. FCS can also be defined at smaller spatial scales, representing the contribution of a place to national FCS. For simplicity, this document sometimes refers to the focal species and habitats of FCS strategies as ‘features’.
FCS strategies provide a link between conservation actions on the ground and national nature recovery ambitions. They are intended to guide the work of conservation practitioners, particularly Natural England Area Teams but also external partners. FCS strategies are flexible tools that can focus on single or multiple features. There are three types:
• Species: a national strategy for a single species with conservation needs.
• Habitat: a national strategy for a habitat, or group of ecologically coherent habitats. For example, a heathland strategy could cover different heathland habitats, including wet and dry heaths. A habitat strategy can also encompass key associated species
• Place-based: a strategy that brings together multiple definitions in a place to deliver a place’s contribution to FCS. The place may contain nationally significant populations of species and areas of habitat. Features that have national strategies may also be included in place-based strategies.