Below is a copy of the download that can be found on the Elmley web page
We are taking a new approach to wildlife conservation on the Isle of Sheppey. For more information go to the About Elmley Marshes page where there's a document available for download.
(Below is that document.)
**Good for Wildlife, Good for People, Good for Everyone A new approach to wildlife conservation on the Isle of Sheppey. **
The Elmley National Nature Reserve (NNR) is currently managed in two sections. The majority of the site is managed by the owners, Philip & Corinne Merricks, Elmley Conservation Trust (ECT); the eastern section, Spit End, is managed by the RSPB, who lease the land. Philip & Corinne Merricks have decided, with the support of Natural England to take the Spit End area back in hand and manage Elmley NNR as a single unit. The RSPB is aiming to leave before their lease expires and use their resources to bring more land on the Isle of Sheppey under conservation management. Negotiations are ongoing but the intention is that ECT will manage the whole NNR from Spring 2013.
**Good for wildlife**
The RSPB has been managing Spit End as a nature reserve since 1975. Philip & Corinne Merricks (ECT) acquired the whole of the Elmley estate, including Spit End in the 1980s. After initially farming the estate, other than Spit End, conventionally they put the whole 2,400 acres into nature conservation management. After a number of years of great success, ECT will take the Spit End area (600 acres) back in hand to create one large 3000 acre reserve. ECT will also continue to manage the Swale NNR (600 acres).
ECT’s decision has been inspired by learning from the RSPB and others and this decision will allow the RSPB to use their resources in places where there is greater need. Adjoining areas where the RSPB is involved will be managed to create a landscape scale approach to wildlife conservation in the area.**Good for people **
– ECT are keen to ensure that access for the public, including RSPB members, will continue and will be enhanced with an additional visitor route and additional hides being provided. Facilities will exist for continued formal educational visits by adults and children. RSPB members will be able to enjoy Elmley in the knowledge that that the organization is using its resources to extend its activities in the area.
**Good for everyone**
Private landowners managing NNRs as a Natural England Approved Body is not common place. This is a positive move for nature conservation and a model for the future. It is impossible for conservation bodies to own and manage enough land to ensure a wildlife rich countryside. The RSPB (Futurescapes) and the Wildlife Trusts (Living Landscapes) are promoting vision of landscape scale conservation but these visions can only be fully realized if more private landowners can be persuaded to manage their own sites for conservation.
Best of all, this is the perfect demonstration of landowner and conservation body working together to maximize nature conservation and should be developed where possible across the UK.