Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-65
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-65

  26 Mar 2021

26 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Integrated ecological monitoring in Wales: the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme field survey

Claire M. Wood1, Jamie Alison2, Marc S. Botham3, Annette Burden2, Francois Edwards3, R. Angus Garbutt2, Paul B. L. George4, Peter A. Henrys1, Russell Hobson5, Susan Jarvis1, Patrick Keenan1, Aidan M. Keith1, Inma Lebron2, Lindsay C. Maskell1, Lisa R. Norton1, David A. Robinson2, Fiona M. Seaton1, Peter Scarlett3, Gavin M. Siriwardena6, James Skates7, Simon M. Smart1, Bronwen Williams2, and Bridget A. Emmett2 Claire M. Wood et al.
  • 1UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP, UK
  • 2UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK
  • 3UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Maclean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK
  • 4School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Deinol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, UK
  • 5Butterfly Conservation, Manor Yard, East Lulworth, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5QP, UK
  • 6British Trust for Ornithology, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2PU, UK
  • 7Welsh Government, Sarn Mynach, Llandudno Junction, Conwy, UK

Abstract. The Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) ran from 2013 until 2016, and was probably the most comprehensive programme of ecological study ever undertaken at a national scale in Wales. The programme aimed to (1) set up an evaluation of the environmental effects of the Glastir agri-environment scheme and (2) quantify environmental status and trends across the wider countryside of Wales. The focus was on outcomes for climate change mitigation, biodiversity, soil and water quality, woodland expansion and cultural landscapes. As such, GMEP included a large field survey component, collecting data on a range of elements including vegetation, land cover and use, soils, freshwaters, birds and insect pollinators from up to 300 1 km squares throughout Wales. The field survey capitalised upon the UKCEH Countryside Survey of Great Britain, which has provided an extensive set of repeated, standardised ecological measurements since 1978. The design of both GMEP and the UKCEH Countryside Survey involved stratified-random sampling of squares from a 1 km grid, ensuring proportional representation from land classes with distinct climate, geology and physical geography. Data were collected from different land cover types and landscape features by trained professional surveyors, following standardised and published protocols. Thus, GMEP was designed so that surveys could be repeated at regular intervals to monitor the Welsh environment, including the impacts of agri-environment interventions. One such repeat survey is scheduled for 2021 under the Environment and Rural Affairs Monitoring and Modelling Programme (ERAMMP). Data from GMEP have been used to address many applied policy questions, but there is major potential for further analyses. The precise locations of data collection are not publicly available, largely for reasons of landowner confidentiality. However, the wide variety of available datasets can be (1) analysed at coarse spatial resolutions and (2) linked to each other based on square-level and plot-level identifiers, allowing exploration of relationships, trade-offs and synergies. This paper describes the key sets of raw data arising from the field survey at co-located sites, 2013 to 2016. Data from each of these survey elements are available with the following Digital Object Identifiers. Landscape features, https://doi.org/10.5285/82c63533-529e-47b9-8e78-51b27028cc7f, https://doi.org/10.5285/9f8d9cc6-b552-4c8b-af09-e92743cdd3de, https://doi.org/10.5285/f481c6bf-5774-4df8-8776-c4d7bf059d40; Vegetation plots, https://doi.org/10.5285/71d3619c-4439-4c9e-84dc-3ca873d7f5cc; Topsoil physico-chemical properties, https://doi.org/10.5285/0fa51dc6-1537-4ad6-9d06-e476c137ed09; Topsoil meso-fauna, https://doi.org/10.5285/1c5cf317-2f03-4fef-b060-9eccbb4d9c21; Topsoil particle size distribution https://doi.org/10.5285/d6c3cc3c-a7b7-48b2-9e61-d07454639656; Headwater stream quality metrics, https://doi.org/10.5285/e305fa80-3d38-4576-beef-f6546fad5d45 ; Pond quality metrics, https://doi.org/10.5285/687b38d3-2278-41a0-9317-2c7595d6b882; Insect pollinator and flower data, https://doi.org/10.5285/3c8f4e46-bf6c-4ea1-9340-571fede26ee8; Bird counts, https://doi.org/10.5285/31da0a94-62be-47b3-b76e-4bdef3037360.

Claire M. Wood et al.

Status: open (until 22 May 2021)

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Claire M. Wood et al.

Claire M. Wood et al.

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Short summary
The Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) ran from 2013 until 2016, as a national programme of ecological study in Wales. GMEP included a large field survey component, collecting data on a range of elements including vegetation, land cover and use, soils, freshwaters, birds and insect pollinators. GMEP was designed so that surveys could be repeated at regular intervals to monitor the Welsh environment. Data from GMEP have been used to address many applied policy questions.