Layout and terms used in Species Action Plans

Note: Numbers in brackets in the text indicate references used (which are listed at the end of the plan).

Species Description: The opening paragraphs describe the species for which the SAP is written.

Main Habitat(s): A list is given of the main habitats in which the species is known to occur in the county.

National Status: This section is meant to answer a number of questions concerning the status of the species in the United Kingdom (UK) For example, what are the trends in population size, extent, etc in the UK? Are there any legal, UK BAP, Red Data Book, etc. designations relevant to the species?

Regional status: This section assesses the importance of the population supported in North West England and trends if known.

Local status: This section assesses the importance of the population supported in the county and trends if known. Information is given also about parts of the county or sites where the species is known to occur in significant numbers.

Current factors affecting the Species: The main threats/issues are described that are thought to affect abundance or extent of the species in Lancashire.

Current Action / Mechanisms: A brief description is given here of what conservation action is underway, which organisations are responsible and what mechanisms exist to take action. Examples of the type of action that is considered here include:

  • Policy (and legislation) - Documents/initiatives/laws that help to conserve the species.

  • Land Management – Practical land management aimed at conserving the species)
  • Advisory - Steps being taken to advise relevant landowners/managers on appropriate management.
  • Research and Monitoring - Local research and monitoring underway.
  • Public Relations - Initiatives aimed at raising general awareness of the species and its conservation.

Having made an assessment of the threats and issues facing the species and of action that is currently being taken for its conservation, future actions are proposed. These are laid out in Action Tables as below:

Objectives, targets and proposed actions for in Lancashire

Broad Objective:


Operational Objective

Action Required (Priority)





Broad Objectives: These state what the Plan aims to achieve with regard to the species. An attempt is made here to set targets e.g. to maintain / enhance / re-establish populations of the species by a certain date.

Operational Objectives: These outline goals to be attained towards fulfilling the overall, broad objective/aim.

Action required: The action points that contribute to each operational objective are listed with an assessment of their relative importance or priority. Generally, if action is needed to address an imminent threat or, if something needs to happen before the rest of the plan can be put into effect, this has accorded a ‘High’ priority. The other categories used to describe priority are ‘Medium’ and ‘Low’.

The purpose of assigning priorities is to direct attention to where action needs to be focussed initially. All actions suggested will contribute towards the conservation of the species and, therefore, the ‘High’ priority actions should NOT be seen collectively as some sort of minimum programme of action that, if implemented, will be totally effective in halting a species’ decline.

Partners: These are groups that it is envisaged will ensure the action is carried out. One organisation is highlighted in bold. This is the ‘lead partner’ proposed for this action. This does not necessarily mean the organisation is expected to carry out the action but it does mean that the body is being proposed as the one that should initiate the action and monitor whether it has been done. A key to the abbreviations used to identify partners is given in the Glossary.

Timescale: These are indications of the timescale over which certain actions are to be carried out.

  • Short Term (S) – To be completed within the first three years of the beginning of implementation.
  • Medium (M) – Ideally to have been initiated within the first three years but certainly to have been completed within five years of the start.
  • Long (L) – Ideally to be completed ten years from the start of the plan’s implementation but certainly within 15 years.
  • Ongoing – An action that by its nature, needs to be kept under constant periodic review.

Type: This relates the type of action proposed to the headings in the relevant national Species Action Plan. These are:

  • Advisory (A)
  • Land Management (LM)
  • Policy (P)
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Research and Monitoring (RM)

Definitions of what type of actions might qualify under these headings have been given previously above.

Links with other Action Plans: This is a list of other SAPs or Habitat Action Plans that need to be considered in conjunction with this plan.

References and additional reading: This is a list of a few key documents and any references made in the text.

Date: This is the date when the Plan was last updated.