This project relates to two priority habitats of Community interest: dry grasslands on calcareous substrates (6210*) and rupicolous calcareous/basophilic grasslands (6110*). These habitats are among the most species-rich and the most threatened natural habitats in Belgium. The sites targeted by the project, in the lower and middle valleys of the Meuse basin, are even more remarkable given their location at the northerly limit of the range of thermophilous communities.
These habitats, however, are subject to many threats, and have resulted in the very unfavourable conservation status of the project area. The major threats are: fragmentation; lack of appropriate management; increase in level of soil fertility; climate change; lack of public awareness about biodiversity issues; lack of inter-regional collaboration; insufficient availability of propagules; invasion by exotic species; and pressure from tourism/leisure.
The project will restore dry grasslands to a favourable conservation status within a project area consisting of 23 Natura 2000 sites in Belgium. The project will focus on four main objectives:
Recreating a dry grassland network with a sufficient number of individual sites, presenting a sufficient total habitat area that is adequately connected, in order to ensure long-term viability of the typical species of the target habitats;
Restoring individual units of dry grasslands, by scrub and tree removal/control, restoration mowing, invasive exotic species control, land stripping and hay spreading;
Setting up recurring management – mostly grazing – within restored sites;
Raising awareness among the local population about these invaluable natural resources and providing visitor and interpretation facilities at the sites under strong tourism/leisure pressure.
1. The restoration of a network of some 150 ha of dry grasslands.
2. The development of appropriate recurring management structures. This will include placing 50 ha of great biological value under protection through land purchase/lease; and implementing grazing management on some 130 ha of dry grasslands.
3. Increased awareness among locals and visitors of the project area. The project will hold events, erect 77 information boards, distribute 50 500 brochures, make a 20-minute film about the project, create an attractive project website and publish a widely available trilingual layman’s report.
protected area‚ restoration measure‚
|EU LIFE||unknown||356.000.00 EUR|
created:2011-12-14 14:18:59 UTC, source:eu