The types of protected area strictly excluded from the woodland opportunity zone are:

  • Priority Habitats including semi-improved grasslands
  • Special Protected Areas (Birds) (occur in the Chew Valley)
  • Special Areas of Conservation (Habitats)
  • Ramsar Sites (Wetlands)
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest (occur in the Chew Valley)
  • National Nature Reserves
  • Local Nature Reserves (occur in the Chew Valley)
  • Natural England Priority Habitats

These categories may overlap. Much of the area immediately surrounding Chew Valley Lake and the lake itself are protected. Grassland meadow habitats above North and South Widcombe and around Folly Farm are excluded from our analysis as are good-quality semi-improved grasslands along the river Chew and on slopes above Chew Stoke and grazing marsh to the south east of the lake.

Chew Valley Lake glinting on a stormy day, from Maes Knoll Camp