Conservation: Scrub. Although scrub is a widespread and fairly common habitat, the extent of scrub has declined. In Barnsley the scrub on former railway tracks, stream banks and previously developed sites gives opportunities for conservation management. There is a risk of too much being cleared or cut back.
Causes of loss or decline of Scrub
Scrub is not given any direct protection under existing legislation.
Natural England licences may be needed for work on scrub where protected species are present. Protected species include all breeding birds and bat species. Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
There are currently no SSSIs in Barnsley that include scrub in their designation.
Local Wildlife Site designation is a material consideration in the consideration of planning applications.
Links for Information and Advice
Positive conservation management
Scrub requires periodic maintenance to retain its character and value to wildlife but also to prevent scrub from encroaching to an undesirable level on other priority habitats.
Techniques to manage and control scrub are based on cutting, with or without stump removal, followed by grazing or mowing.
The RSPB has published a useful three-page advice note on Scrub Management: Creating, Restoring and Maintaining Scrub for Wildlife. It includes details for
Restoration and maintenance
Control or eradication
Further information is given in:
Day J, Symes NC, Robertson PA, Bacon J (Ed)
The Scrub Management Handbook. (2003)
The RSPB has also published online advice on the management of Wet Scrub.