Plants On The Move
Fife is home to a highly diverse range of habitats, some of which are under-valued and at risk of decline. To address the challenges of further habitat fragmentation and degradation, we have been awarded development funding from the Nature Restoration Fund to build a partnership network that will identify sites across urban to rural gradients where habitat restoration will be most effective.
This phase of the project focuses on restoring a spectrum of grassland habitats, including disturbed grassland swards (eg amenity and recreation areas), urban woodlands with grassland swards and glades, riparian and coastland grasslands (inc emerging dune systems), education campuses (subject to high disturbance and fragmentation), corridor networks (inc road verges and riparian corridors), and grazed pasture and water meadows.
In this phase, we will be working across 31 sites across Glenrothes, Ceres, Cupar, St Andrews, Newport and Tayport. Our objectives are three-fold:
- To build partnerships of land managers and groups with interests in botany and conservation,
- To carry out botanical assessments across all of the candidate sites, creating a rich database of habitat condition and trends,
- To use the botanical data we record to design restoration strategies that will reinforce habitat corridors, restore urban wild spaces that have not been previously managed for biodiversity, and retrofit highly disturbed or fragmented urban habitats where INNS or potentially invasive species have been planted or allowed to grow.
In particular, urban habitats are particularly complex, with multiple drivers of habitat decline. These drivers need detailed mapping and assessment, supported by partnership working and consultation to ensure long-term benefits are delivered.
These actions tend to be resource-heavy, so partnership working will be essential: we are delighted to be working with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, Fife Council, University of St Andrews, Kingdom Housing and the Botanical Society of Scotland, bringing together a wide range of expertise and interests. If you or an organisation that you know would like to be part of this project, please do get in touch!