A list of 56 habitats has been published for England under Section 41 of the NERC Act 2006 as threatened, requiring conservation and ‘of principal importance’.
This S41 list includes all the habitats identified as priority habitats in the UK BAP
They are regarded as priorities in the Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. for England.
In Barnsley we have at least 20 of these “UK BAP” or national priority habitats:
* indicates local priority habitat wider than national definition.
Other habitats of value included in our local list:
Local priority habitats.
A number of habitats in Barnsley have been identified as requiring protection, restoration and positive conservation management. These priority habitats have special characteristics that support wildlife: they have distinctive plant communities and provide food supplies, shelter and sites for nesting and roosting for a range of wildlife species.
Most wildlife species need certain habitats to support them. Different habitats support very different communities of plants and animals. Their differences stem from the underlying rocks and soils, the prevailing climate and how wet and cold it tends to be, the interactions between plants and animals, and not least the interventions of man.
Careful management is needed to sustain the special characteristics that are of value for wildlife. Many habitats of particular value for plants and animals have been sustained by activities such as managed grazing, late season mowing, wetland maintenance and woodland management.
The local priority habitats are in the main the same as those identified nationally as threatened and requiring conservation action. Their titles are given in the column on the right. In some cases the definition of the local priority habitat is wider than the national ‘equivalent’, indicated by a * next to the title.
Two habitats have been included in the local list that are not priorities for conservation in the usual sense but can be managed to benefit biodiversity. These are amenity grassland and built environment and urban spaces such as gardens and school grounds.
Other habitat features for example scrub, field edges, ditches, walls, road verges, quarries and rock outcrops are also important at times.
The best priority habitat sites should be protected and conserved, others should be retained if viable and their value for wildlife improved. As well as having objectives for priority habitat site an overall objective should be to secure the connection of priority habitat sites in a network through the landscape which allows wildlife to thrive. [See Habitat networks]
The links below give further information and links to Local Priority Habitats.