Elan Valley has many areas of dry heath supporting important animal and plant populations and providing a fantastic display of colour during the flowering season. At the same time the heathland is used for extensive grazing by livestock at certain times of year.
Some sections of Elan’s dry heath are being invaded by species such as bracken and conifers which damage the habitat. In other areas, a uniform age profile of heather makes the heathland vulnerable to heather beetle and reduces the diversity of species.
Within this project, invasive species will be cleared from areas of dry heath and a more varied age profile of heather will be created in order to protect this wonderful habitat for the future.
The Elan Links area is home to around 250 hectares of dry heath, forming an important, if minor, and component of the mosaic of habitats found on the open hill. The dry heath habitat is important for a range of reasons:
- It punches above its weight in terms of landscape value adding colour and diversity
- It supports an array of pollinators and there are a number of local beekeepers dependent upon the resource
- It supports breeding populations of red grouse, pairs of hen harriers, merlin and a host of smaller bird species, and
- It is a grazing resource on a number of farm holdings.
This project will improve management of our dry heath by equipping farmers and others with the resources and skills to carry out the necessary management actions.
Over the next five years we will implement a five years management plan, which includes:
- 73 hectares of dry heath restored
- Management and burning plans
- Five people trained in practical heathland management skills
- Two stakeholder days
- All Elan Links farmers informed about the project
- End of project report with recommendations for future activity
- Biodiversity monitoring and volunteering activity
- Interpretation to a wider audience
Find out how you can get involved in the Elan Links scheme through our Friends of Elan project.