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Upland Habitats and Impacts of Herbivores, Lochaber – Event summary

6 March 2018

**  This event in Lochaber was one of a series, further events are being held in Sutherland, Wester Ross & Drymen over the next few weeks **

The impacts of grazing of both domestic and wild herbivores affect the long term sustainability of upland habitats.

For upland managers it is important to recognise these different upland habitats and be able to identify their condition in relation to manageA group of people standing in an upland area near Lochaber with a cloudy sky and mountains in the backgroud over a lochment. Habitat condition, as indicated by the vegetation type, cover and height is determined by the level of grazing and trampling. Good habitat condition is important for supporting wildlife and for optimum carbon storage capacity both important factors in sustainable land management.

A simple habitat assessment can be carried out at plots across each habitat type to give a base-line of habitat condition. Regular assessments can be used to show local grazing or trampling pressures and trends over a period of time on an upland estate or at a wider deer management group level. The information can be mapped using a GIS (geographic information system) to produce visual reports on grazing and trampling impacts to help set targets for stock or deer management and enable managers to see where they are doing well and where any improvements can be made.

The first part of the meeting included an indoor presentation with an introduction to upland habitat types and their main characteristics includingGroup of people standing in an upland setting discussing vegetation during the Lochaber Upland habitat meeting peat depth and vegetation and the impact of different types of herbivore and how to examine these impacts using standard and recognised means. There was an explanation of the value of the peatland habitats for wildlife, carbon and water followed by discussion.

During the afternoon those who attended were taken to hill ground where the different upland habitats could be identified and grazing, trampling and tracking impacts could be examined closely.

Presentation slides from this meeting and related information is available to download from the links below.

Related Downloads
Upland Habitats and Impact of Herbivores (Lochaber) – Impacts of deer presentation slides
Presentation slides from the Lochaber Upland Habitats & Imact of Herbivores event, used by Helen Bibby
Topics: Climate Change
Upland Habitats & Impacts of Herbivores (Lochaber): ‘Indicators of upland herbivores’ handout
A handout provided at the Lochaber Upland Habitats & Impacts of Herbivores event.
Topics: Climate Change
Upland Habitats & Impacts of Herbivores (Lochaber): Habitat monitoring presentation slides
Presentation slides by Paul Chapman on 'Habitat Monitoring' used during the Lochaber Upland Habitat & Impacts of Herbivores event
Topics: Climate Change
FAS: Guidance for Habitat Impact Assessment Surveys
This guidance document explores Habitat Impact Assessment Surveys. Assessing the habitat impacts of grazing on habitats requires looking at the various effects of herbivores, notably red deer, on the main habitats that occur in the uplands. These habitat types are dwarf shrub heath (wet & dry) and blanket bog, which are the most extensive habitats in the uplands.
Group of people standing in an upland setting discussing vegetation during the Lochaber Upland habitat meeting

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