Staff designating lowland raised bogs as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) will be familiar with the guidance provided within the JNCC's Guidelines for the selection of biological SSSI's. It includes paragraphs on the inclusion of 'all land judged necessary to provide and maintain the hydrological functions needed to conserve the special features of the site'. It wisely goes on to suggest that in some circumstances it may be necessary to seek expert hydrological advice prior to deciding the boundary of a candidate SSSI. &L;The approach described in this report provides generic guidance on which land around a bog is likely to be necessary to maintain these hydrological functions. While it cannot substitute for a site-specific study such as a detailed water budget it assists greatly in making the judgement, and reduces the need for expert hydrological advice.
The work is not just forced on SSSI boundaries, but also provides a steer on which land needs to be managed in a way that is sympathetic to the needs of the raised bog it surrounds. Similarly, it should assist in making sure that agri-environment schemes are correctly targeted on the land most of benefit, in supporting the bog, and in creating new fen or reedbed around its edge, and for what is required under Water Level Management Plans.
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