Module Identifier RD27220  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr John M Warren  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mr David R Powell, Dr Peter Dennis  
Course delivery Lecture   1 x 2 hour lecture per week  
  Other   6 x 3 hour visits over two semesters  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Conservation management planning and species recording exercise Outcomes assessed: 3, 4, 670%
Semester Exam1.5 Hours Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 5  30%
Supplementary Exam1.5 Hours Candidates will be required to re-take the element(s) of assessment that resulted in failure of the module  30%
Supplementary Assessment Assignment  70%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

Outcome 1
Describe the motivation behind countryside conservation
Performance criteria:
a. The justification or motives for countryside conservation in the UK can be described
b. The concept of native or indigenous species and natural/semi-natural habitats can be explained
Esthetic, moral, economic, anthropocentric
UK species and habitats, specifically comparing natural, semi-natural and habitats created for wildlife

Outcome 2
Describe the designations and powers available to protect wildlife
Performance criteria
a. Current designations designed to protect wildlife within the UK can be described
b. The legal powers, which cover the management and protection of wildlife within the UK, can be explained
English & Welsh legislation and European commitments

Outcome 3
Produce appropriate management objectives for a range of wildlife habitats
Performance criteria
a. The management needs of habitats can be assessed
b. Appropriate conservation priorities are selected
UK native species and habitats concentrating on semi-natural grasslands, wetlands, moors and woodlands.
   Invasive and introduced species

Outcome 4
Apply a standard management planning process within the confines of ecological theory
Performance criteria
a. A recognised management planning process can be used
b. A management plan can be evaluated
c. Dynamic ecological processes can be identified
d. Conservation prescriptions can be justified in accordance with ecological theory
The formats used by a major conservation organization (RSPB, EN or CCW) for
UK native species and habitats concentrating on semi-natural grasslands, wetlands. moors and woodlands.

Outcome 5
Justify the need for biological recording schemes.
Performance criteria
a. Justify choice of methodology used in wildlife surveying at a range of levels
b. Explain the application of information from recording schemes.
UK native species and habitats.
Local, national and international schemes for recording.
Schemes, several from: flora, invertebrates, mammals, birds.

Outcome 6
Evaluate the sampling techniques that may be applied to a range of species and habitats
Performance criteria
a. Explain the use of alternative sampling techniques that may be applied in a range of circumstances.
b. Apply appropriate scientific methodology and thinking to plan and report an ecological survey.
Techniques to include absolute measures and indices of abundance. Direct and indirect assessments of presence and abundance. Mark release recapture. Declining catch. Quantitative and qualitative sampling. Counts, density, percentage cover, cover scores, frequency of occurrence.
Measures of community structure to include; species richness, species diversity, similarity.


This module covers the ecological principles plus the practical skills of species monitoring and habitat management that are required by today's professional conservation practitioner. An understanding of applied community ecology is developed, in conjunction with the ability to record dynamic ecological processes. Management planning methodologies are evaluated. The techniques used to maintain, enhance and re-create the conservation value of a range of habitats are examined.

Module Skills

Problem_solving The conservation management planning assignment will develop the students' ability to work independently on a practical project integrating the skills of habitat surveying, species recording, defining management objectives and producing workable prescriptions. These aspects will then be presented in a clear, well-structured report that justifies its recommendations with reference to the ecological literature. Key Skill 01 Communication also applies  
Research skills The species surveying and recording assignments will require students to record, present and statistically analyse numerical information and critically comment on its meaning.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The production of the conservation management plan as the assignment for this module requires the student to be able to self-manage. To successfully complete the exercise, they must allow sufficient time to assimilate the vairous bits of information (handling field data, accessing published literature) and for integration of the different components into the final report.  
Team work The field visit component of this module not only provides the opportunity to practice the skills of habitat surveying and management planning prior to the assessment exercise, it also provides an opportunity for the students to interact with each other while performing a range of group activities.  
Information Technology The species surveying and recording assignment will generate data that students will be required to process using appropriate IT packages, and present in an accessible format. Key Skill 7 Application of number also applies  
Personal Development and Career planning The outcomes of the module are designed to provide the practical skills and academic understanding that are required by the professional countryside conservation manager of the 21st century.  

Reading Lists

Alexander M (1994) Management planning handbook CCW
Andrews J and Rebane M (1994) Farming and wildlife RSPB
Bromley P (1990) Countryside management : Chapter 2 Spon
Goldsmith F B (ed) (1991) Monitoring for conservation and Ecology Chapman and Hall
Goldsmith F B and Warren A (eds) (1993) Conservation in progress Wiley
Kent M and Coker P (1992) Vegetation description and analysis: a practical approach Wiley
Perring F H and Walters S M (eds) (1990) Atlas of the British flora Botanical Society of the British Isles
Ratcliffe D (1977) Nature conservation review - 2 volumes CUP
Rodwell J S (ed) (1991-1994) British plant communities - 4 volumes CUP
Rodwell J S et al (2000) Review of coverage of the national vegetation classification JNCC
Spellerberg I F (1992) Evaluation and assessment for conservation Chapman and Hall
Spellerberg I F (1991) Monitoring ecological change CUP
Spellerburg I F (1991) Scientific management of temperate communities for conservation Blackwell Scientific
Sutherland W J (1996) Ecological census techniques CUP
Sutherland W J and Hill D A (eds) (1995) Managing habitats for conservation CUP
Winter M (2000) Practical delivery of farm conservation management in England English Nature
(1992) Biological recording of changes in Britain's wildlife Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, HMSO


This module is at CQFW Level 5