The first Integrated Habitat Network Forum was held in March in Glasgow to bring together around 40 Integrated Habitat Network (IHN) data users from local authorities, agencies, environmental charities and universities. The Forum was an excellent opportunity for stakeholders to share experiences of IHN use and develop thinking on how the IHN data can be improved in future years. The event was hosted jointly by Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and the CSGN Support Unit. Discussion points from the workshops and message boards on the day are helping to inform the development stages of an improved IHN for 2014/2015, and will directly influence the next version of the data.
Ross Johnston, Area Manager, Scottish Natural Heritage welcomed all to the Forum and then introduced short presentations on the National Ecological Network (NEN), IHN Use and Application and IHN 2014/15 the Case for Regular Updating.
The main focus of the day was user engagement and participants were then encouraged to think about ‘why to map habitat networks?’, ‘what exactly to map?’, and ‘at what level of detail?’. These thoughts were then posted on message boards along with key questions for the IHN steering group. A series of well attended workshops with a lively level of debate followed, and these focussed on -
- Overcoming barriers to IHN data use
- What to map - assessing which networks to run?
- The level of detail to map - at what scale?
Gordon Patterson, Biodiversity Policy Adviser, Forestry Commission Scotland brought everyone together to summarise the findings of the day in a closing session.
A report of the event workshops and message boards will be available in May 2013.
The IHN data covers the entire CSGN area, along with Arran, Loch Lomond Trossachs National Park and Scottish Borders Council area.