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Grasslands are everywhere: agricultural land, playing fields and road verges; but while species-poor, intensively managed grasslands are widespread, colourful semi-natural grasslands and heathlands, buzzing with life, are scarce. These semi-natural habitats are ancient, cultural landscapes, which are of considerable, if not international importance for biodiversity. However, despite targets for the conservation and restoration of these valuable grasslands and heathlands, these habitats continue to decline before our eyes. Lowland Grassland and Heathland Habitats contrasts the uniformity of intensively managed grassland with the diversity of traditionally managed grasslands and heathlands. It examines topics of concern to the ecologist or habitat manager such as causes of the loss and deterioration of these habitats, including inappropriate management, eutrophication and climate change. It then evaluates opportunities for positive change, such as conservation, restoration and creation. A series of case-studies illustrates the pressures on some lowland grassland and heathland habitat types and looks at ways to enhance them for biodiversity. This habitat guide features illustrated species boxes of typical plants and animals, as well as a full species list, a series of projects on the ecology of grassland and heathland species, a colour plate section, up-to-date references and information, and a full glossary. It will provide students and environmentalists with a deeper understanding of the nature and importance of lowland grasslands and heathlands.
Biodiversity is recognised to be of global importance, yet species and habitats continue to be under increasing pressure from human-induced influences. Environmental concerns are high on the political agenda, driving increased legislation to protect the natural environment. The starting point for much of this legislation is the requirement for a comprehensive biodiversity audit. For those needing to undertake such audits, this Handbook, first published in 2005, provides standard procedures which will enable practitioners to better monitor the condition of the biodiversity resource, resulting in improved data upon which to base future policy decisions and actions. Organised in three parts, the Handbook first addresses planning, covering method selection, experimental design, sampling strategy, and data analysis and evaluation. The second part describes survey, evaluation and monitoring methods for a broad range of habitats. Part three considers species and provides information on general methods before addressing specific methods of survey and monitoring for the major taxonomic groups.

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