Successful working visit to the United Kingdom

Thursday, 25 July 2013
The Dutch Natura 2000 Programme Directorate and AERIUS have paid a working visit to the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), following the visit to the Epping Forest last April. The purpose of this working visit was to provide information about the role of AERIUS in the Dutch ‘PAS’ system (Integrated Approach to Nitrogen), and to give a live demonstration of the AERIUS Calculator. The British colleagues said to be impressed by the Dutch approach. In addition to this working visit, recently, an English version of the AERIUS flyer was published.

Several organisations were present during the meeting, both from the British Government and NGOs, including JNCC, Defra (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the UK Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Scottish Natural Heritage. The Dutch Natura 2000 Programme Directorate held a presentation on the whys and wherefores of the PAS, the role of recovery strategies, the room for development, and the possibilities offered by the AERIUS calculation tool. In addition, an example on area level was elaborated. The morning session was concluded with a presentation of the AERIUS Calculator. In the afternoon, parties discussed the content of a workshop on nitrogen that will be organised by the United Kingdom from 2 to 4 December of this year.

UK application
The British colleagues were very interested and enthusiastic, and were considering whether such a calculation tool could also be applied to the situation in the United Kingdom. This would involve a number of challenges, such as the lack of agricultural data on the same scale as the Dutch data, and the fact that not all UK Natura 2000 areas have been identified on a digital map. 

Subsequent steps
During this working visit it was agreed that AERIUS will hold a presentation on the various possibilities of the calculation tool at the UK nitrogen workshop in December. For this purpose, the United Kingdom will supply data on one of their Natura 2000 areas, to serve as a case study. This will provide the British with a sense of the benefits of AERIUS for the UK situation.

AERIUS flyer in English
The English version of the AERIUS flyer proved of use during the working visit and may be downloaded from the AERIUS website.