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The Grampian forest habitat network study area is defined by the Forestry Commission Conservancy boundary (yellow area on map below), with an external 15 km buffer applied (hatched area on map below). This comprises approximately 1.2 million ha, of which Grampian Region covers 880 115 ha:
Grampian Region is comprised of a mosaic of land cover types, within a varying topography, from the farmland of the Buchan Plains to the wooded slopes of the Cairngorm mountains. Riparian and wet woodlands are an important component of the wooded landscape and the former are especially important, in terms of connectivity, as they often form corridors linking other areas of woodland.
Habitat network analyses for the region focused on an open ground habitat, heathland and five woodland types:
The study also attempted to identify riparian and wet (Carr) woodlands by incorporating a number of methodologies, which were given a hierarchy of confidence:
Maps showing the potential extent of functional networks for riparian woodlands were examined by 'nesting' these networks within broadleaved networks and woodland generalist networks:
This procedure also enabled wet (Carr) woodland networks, and pinewood networks (map below) to be examined to support regional strategic plans for Grampian:
The networks can also be used at a local scale to determine and prioritise opportunities to reduce habitat fragmentation:
In the above example, the numbers refer to the opportunities listed below:
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