How we added value
Biodiversity survey & design
Over the last 30 years the RSPB has managed Aylesbeare reserve heathland by grazing, burning and bracken (fern) control. To asses the impact of these management techniques, plant biodiversity data was collected in quadrats at relevant sites. Control data was also collected for comparison purposes.
Biodiversity valuation: the BQC
Biodiversity is complicated and cannot be measured using species richness data alone. By using plant quadrat data to calculate a number of biodiversity variables, Ecosulis's proprietary Biodiversity Quality Calculator (BQC) tool was able to analyse the effects of various management techniques on the reserve's heathland plants.
Optimum management techniques
Over the last 30 years, the highest plant biodiversity on the reserve has resulted from management by burning, followed by grazing. Burning has also resulted in a better distribution of plant species. When cattle grazing was used to manage the reserve, more rare species were found than when other methods were applied.