Introduction to the guidance manual
19. Management measures and threats



19.1 Pressure – State – Response
Linking recording and reporting management measures to the condition assessments which form the core of Common Standards Monitoring enables Agencies to identify whether management and activities on or adjacent to sites are neutral, advantageous or deleterious for a particular feature on a specific site. Comparisons between sites are useful to decide whether it is necessary to alter site management or influence / control particular threats, in order to change the state of a feature from unfavourable to favourable. These will be facilitated by knowledge of what is working well elsewhere in the site network.

The consideration of what threats and management measures are occurring on or adjacent to sites is an application of the pressure, state, response (PSR) model. Threats are considered to be negative pressures which may be driving features into unfavourable condition. Condition assessments made under the common standards model are the state of features at a given point in time. Management measures are considered to be the responses put in place to mitigate threats or ensure that state remains in a favourable condition. It is expected that the assessment of threats and management measures will be at least in part a field based exercise, undertaken in parallel with the collection of data to make the common standards condition assessment.
19.2 Standardised threats
Threats are therefore those things which are driving a feature into unfavourable state. Threats should be recorded for each feature. Local needs for information may be more detailed, but any information collected should be summarised for reporting purposes into the categories below.
Categories agreed for reporting purposes:
  • Agricultural operations (e.g. ploughing, fertiliser, pesticides)
  • Burning
  • Development carried out under planning permission (including roads, Acts of Parliament etc)
  • Dumping / spreading / storage of materials (e.g. spoil deposition or large bale silage)
  • Earth Science feature obscured / removed (e.g. fossil collecting) / modified (e.g. cave entrances)
  • Flood defence or Coastal defence works
  • Forestry (including neglect such as lack of coppicing)
  • Game or fisheries management (e.g. introduction of stock at too high a level, over-zealous cutting of river banks, bait digging)
  • Invasive species (including bracken or scrub)
  • Lack of remedial management (e.g. stopping-up drains, scrub cutting, erecting deer fences)
  • Over-grazing (including deer browsing)
  • Recreation / disturbance (including scrambling, off road vehicle use, recreation pressure, disturbance of fauna etc)
  • Statutory Undertaker (i.e. works carried out by a statutory body which is not required to seek planning permission, including military operations)
  • Under-grazing
  • Water management (including drainage, dredging or alterations to the water table. Could be too much water or too little)
  • Water quality (including silt, water pollution (direct or diffuse), run-off, nutrient enrichment, eutrophication etc)
  • Other (specify: note that this should only be used for threats which do not fit within the schema; it is expected that the schema will be reviewed and, if necessary, revised on a regular basis).


19.3 Management measures
Management Measures are those things which are helping to achieve favourable condition, either by maintaining the state, or by encouraging recovery from unfavourable condition. The measures should be recorded for each feature. If the management of the feature is successful, the features should be either favourable or unfavourable recovering. If the features are unfavourable no change or declining, or worse, partly destroyed, it implies that the threats on the site are not being mitigated or managed effectively. This should be a trigger for review of the measures in place, or the exact prescription(s) agreed under a particular incentive or scheme.

Reporting management measures on sites:
Which management measures are in place?
  • Management agreement / scheme /
  • Conservation agency grant
  • Enforcement of Site Management prescriptions (e.g. through nature conservation order)
  • Woodland grant scheme
  • Agri-environment schemes e.g. Tir Gofal, ESA, Countryside Stewardship
  • Planning condition or agreement
  • Other grant (e.g. HLF, LIFE)
  • Inheritance Tax / Capital Tax Exemption
  • No formal agreement, but management sympathetic (incl. consents)
  • Other (please specify)