Woodland grazing toolbox

Woodland grazing toolbox

4.2 Determining biodiversity objectives

Select one of the woodland site types listed below for the details of biodiversity objectives for that site type:

  1. Acidic dry woodland (PDF 31k)
  2. Neutral dry woodland (PDF 29k)
  3. Base-rich dry woodland (PDF 28k)
  4. Acidic wet woodland (PDF 22k)
  5. Neutral to base-rich wet woodland (pdf 25k)

Read more information on key species for biodiversity in Scotland.

Select the biodiversity objectives that best meet the objectives for your own site types and enter them into table 4, column 4, of your woodland grazing plan.

Defining native woodland types contains descriptions of the five woodland site types and their relationship to other woodland classifications.

Selecting target short-term herbivore impact levels

Each biodiversity objectives table suggests a range of appropriate short term and long term levels of herbivore impact for achieving each objective. From within this range, select the most appropriate short-term level for your site type and enter it in column 5 of Table 4.

You will need to determine biodiversity objectives and short-term herbivore impacts for open ground habitats according to the management requirements for key features as shown in Section 3b of your plan.

Selecting a target long term woodland structure

Finally, from the range of possible woodland structure classes for your woodland site type, select the long-term woodland structure that you want to see for your woodland and enter it in column 6 of Table 4.

Regeneration or control of specific tree species

If you are aiming for the regeneration or control of specific tree species, see guidance on the relative palatability and resilience of native tree seedlings and saplings to browsing and also the guidance note on The Effects of Mammalian Herbivores on Natural Regeneration.

Compatibility of objectives

Not all biodiversity objectives will be compatible within the same area. Refer to the biodiversity objectives table to ensure all your chosen objectives are compatible. If there is some incompatibility between objectives, in section 5 of your woodland grazing plan you should explain how you intend to resolve the incompatibility. You may need to subdivide the wood into more than one grazing management unit.

Selecting appropriate species and breeds of grazing animal

The impacts of livestock grazing vary according to species and breed of animal. The toolbox contains several papers with background information on selecting species and breed of livestock most likely to achieve your biodiversity objectives.