The most important current policy context for the conservation of broadleaved woodland in Britain is the UK Biodiversity Action Plan for the Broadleaved, Mixed and Yew Woodland Broad Habitat. Its aims include the maintenance of the extent and habitat quality of existing woodland especially ancient and semi-natural woods. Progress towards management goals on individual sites can be better evaluated by setting sites in the context of national scale changes in the ecology of broadleaved woods. Characterising large-scale vegetation change can pinpoint convergent, crosssite patterns of environmental and floristic change. These changes maybe associated with environmental drivers operating at-large, where site managers may not be in a position to directly affect causes but only symptoms. Such information is important if both small and large-scale conservation initiatives are to be effectively designed and their progress realistically assessed.
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