Management plans

What is a management plan

Management plans are an essential tool in managing any open space.  They identify the important elements of the wildlife and nature conservation and give a framework and co-ordination to the management required to protect these features.

A plan can be a simple as a site map and annual work program or it can be an in-depth scientific analysis of the site and subsequent programme of management over many years.  Alan Scott, the Director of CEL, has a huge amount of experience in producing management plans for wildlife sites having produced over 100 plans for sites across London and elsewhere in the UK, often working with other specialist ecologists such as botanists or entomologists.  These have ranged from small urban sites like school nature areas or community gardens; to large multi use sites such as Tooting Bec Common and high value protected wildlife sites like Saltbox Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Many wildlife sites are multi use, especially in urban areas.  CEL can produce plans to show how nature conservation can be fitted in with other sites uses such as sports provision, amenity horticulture and educational use.  Even sites like housing estate or formal city squares have nature conservation value and can be improved for wildlife.  We can make suggestions and show how these improvements can be carried out alongside other uses.


To see an example of a management plan prepared by CEL for Tunnel Gardens Nature Reserve for the London Borough of Haringey got to Tunnel Gardens


Management plan format

Although management plans can be in many formats the most common format used by CEL is:

A description of the site usually produced following an ecological survey of the site to identify the wildlife and habitats present and consultation with site mangers and other stakeholders.

An evaluation of the important features of the site including any protected and/or species or habitats and their relative importance in a local, regional and national context.  This section can also cover the historic, amenity and education value and other features of the site.

A management prescription looking at what needs to be carried out to protect and enhance the feature of the site identified in the evaluation section.

A work programme, usually covering a 5 year period, showing the tasks required and their frequency and timing.

Annotated maps showing location, habitats and management recommendations. 

Map showing management recommendations for Tunnel Gardens Nature


 Tunnel Gardens Management Map

Follow up management 

A management plan is only as good as the subsequent management carried out. In many cases are able to carry out this management following the programme in the plan. For example in 2001 Alan Scott wrote management plans for several sites in Merton on behalf of the local council. CEL then carried out many of the maintenance tasks on these sites for several years. This has the advantage that the people doing the maintenance work already know the site and have a good understanding of its wildlife and the management required.