What is the purpose of Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme?
Glastir is the main scheme by which the Welsh Government pays for environmental goods and services whilst the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) evaluates the scheme's success. Commissioning of the monitoring programme in parallel with the launch of the Glastir scheme provides fast feedback and means payments can be modified to increase effectiveness. The Glastir scheme is jointly funded by the Welsh Government (through the Rural Development Plan) and the EU, to whom outputs from GMEP are reported annually. GMEP will also support a wide range of other national and international reporting requirements for biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, soil and water quality.
What does it do?
The programme collects evidence for all six intended outcomes from the Glastir scheme; climate change mitigation, improvement to soil and water quality, a halt in the decline of biodiversity, improved woodland management and greater access to the welsh landscape and condition of historic features. Much of this is achieved through a field survey of 300 1km squares across Wales, half of which are focussed on areas prioritised for advanced payments. The 1km squares are selected at random from 26 land classes, ensuring good coverage of the Welsh landscape. Squares will be surveyed over a four year period and then revisited over the following four years, meaning evidence of change will be collected and the effects of a single year's weather extremes are reduced. The area of 'Glastir land' within each surveyed square will vary and this is taken into account during analysis. Data from ongoing specialist monitoring programmes much of it collated by the Biological Records Centre is also included in analysis wherever possible to maximise use of all ongoing monitoring activity. Models are being used to estimate expected future outcomes so that adjustments can be made to match Welsh Government priorities and scheme impact can be maximised.
What is innovative?
The combination of data and modelling approaches is novel in itself but in addition, we are using new molecular tools to explore the effects of Glastir on soil organisms and satellite technologies to monitor the state of peatlands, numbers of small woody features and areas and condition of habitat in Wales. New approaches to assess visual quality of landscape and defining High Nature Value Farmland are being developed and mobile measurement systems for recording greenhouse gas fluxes are being deployed to measure carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane emissions from grasslands across Wales.
What is available on this GMEP data portal?
Work from the first two years of GMEP are currently available on this data portal. These data provide a valuable evidence base for ongoing change Wales. Natural Resources focussing on some key indicators agreed with our GMEP Advisory Group. For some key indicators, the data can be combined with other sources of data to provide a record of long term trends driven by a wide range of factors such as economic drivers, air pollution, climate change and past agri-environment schemes. As the first 4 year cycle of GMEP monitoring collects baseline data, no evidence of the impacts of the Glastir programme can currently be provided. However, our modelling work is available through the portal and provides an indication of the size of changes we may expect and identify where trade-offs and co-benefits are most likely. We have also carried out an analysis of the type and condition of land in and out of scheme which provides us with an insight as to where and what type of land is receiving the Glastir payments. This data portal will be updated annually as data from the annual field survey becomes available.
Who are the GMEP team?
GMEP is led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), an independent research centre owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The programme consortium consists of specialists from public research centres, universities, voluntary bodies, and consultancies and include: ADAS, APEM, Bangor University, Bowburn Consultants, British Geological Survey, British Trust for Ornithology, Butterfly Conservation, ECORYS, Edwards Consultants, Staffordshire University and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Who are the GMEP Advisory Group?
The GMEP Advisory group is comprised of individuals with a wide range of experience and diverse interests relevant to the Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme and includes representatives from the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Country Landowners Association, CADW, National Farmers Union, Confor, Farmers. Union of Wales and RSPB.
The role of the Advisory Group is to:
- Advise the GMEP project board on programme direction and how to ensure maximum impact
- Advise on the delivery of a GMEP communication strategy
- Support and advise on the development of collaborative activities including emerging and future opportunities, and links with other relevant initiatives and organisations
- Identify additional data and information sources to enhance CMEF reporting requirements
- The Group is not involved in the programmes. governance and will not take decisions. These being the responsibilities of the GMEP project board
- Group members will neither act as representatives or spokespersons for the programme with this role being taken by the GMEP project team and WG staff
How do I contact GMEP?
GMEP Project Manager
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bangor
Environment Centre Wales
+44 (0)1248 374 500