Carry out work to create, restore or manage habitats

Business Sectors (Suites): Agricultural Crop Production,Crofting and Smallholding,Environmental Conservation,Treework
Developed by: Lantra
Approved on: 30 Mar 2020


This standard covers the work required to create, restore or manage habitats. The work required will differ according to the nature of the habitat and the desired outcome of the work, and it must take into account the use of the site.

You are expected to carry out these activities following specifications based on site management and other plans e.g. Biodiversity Action Plans. It is essential that you understand the characteristics of the habitat you are working in and the effects that your work will have on it. Species identification skills are also important (covered in a separate standard) as are practical habitat management skills.

The use of power tools and machinery and the application of chemicals must only be undertaken if you are trained in line with the relevant legislation, and hold current certification where required.

You must carry out your work in line with the relevant permissions and licences and at the correct time of year. Permissions and licences may relate to work on designated sites (Sites of Special Scientific Interest, nature reserves, conservation areas, etc.), to specific types of work (tree felling etc.) or to the presence of protected species within that site.

You must carry out your work in a way that takes account of its impact on the environment.

This standard is suitable for anyone who is involved in the creation, restoration or management of habitats.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. assess the risks associated with the site and the required activity
  2. wear suitable clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  3. confirm that you have any required permissions, consents or licences
  4. carry out a site assessment and prepare the site for the required habitat work
  5. select, prepare, use and maintain tools, equipment, machinery and the PPE required, keeping these in a clean and serviceable condition throughout the work
  6. use relevant machinery for the work and take the necessary steps to limit the environmental impact of machinery on the site
  7. maintain the security of the equipment, machinery and materials on site and store them securely after use
  8. carry out all work to create, restore or manage habitats in accordance with instructions and specifications
  9. carry out your work in accordance with the relevant environmental legislation, local regulations, codes of practice and requirements of your organisation
  10. carry out your work in accordance with the relevant health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements, codes of practice and policies of your organisation
  11. maintain biosecurity throughout your work
  12. maintain communication with colleagues and others involved in, or affected by, your work
  13. keep the site clear of obstacles and waste material
  14. carry out the work in a manner that causes minimal disturbance to the site and surrounding area
  15. reinstate the site to the required condition, which is consistent with the surrounding area
  16. use the correct techniques to create, restore or manage the habitat in accordance with instructions and specifications
  17. deal with waste and excess materials safely and correctly, in accordance with the relevant legislation and organisation requirements
  18. take the required action where accidental damage to the habitat occurs
  19. report and record progress as required by your organisation

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to identify hazards and assess risks
  2. the type of clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for the activity
  3. the types of work and sites where permissions, consents or licences are required
  4. the implications for your work of the relevant site restrictions or designations that are in place
  5. how other legislation or constraints may affect your work
  6. the effect that land uses such as farming, gamekeeping, recreation and tourism have on habitat creation, restoration or management work
  7. the importance of carrying out an environmental assessment of the site before starting work and how the findings may affect the habitat work
  8. the aims and objectives of the habitat creation, restoration or management work
  9. the principles of how flora and fauna live and survive and how this affects habitat creation, restoration or management work
  10. how to interpret instructions and specifications
  11. the types of tools, equipment, machinery and materials required for the work and how to prepare, use, maintain and store these safely and correctly in accordance with instructions and specifications
  12. the relevant legal requirements for the preparation and use of work equipment and machinery
  13. your responsibilities under the relevant environmental and health and safety legislation, risk assessment requirements, codes of practice and policies of your organisation
  14. the importance of maintaining biosecurity when carrying out habitat work and the methods for achieving this
  15. the importance of maintaining communication with those involved in, or affected by, your work and how this should be done
  16. why and how habitats need to be created, restored or managed for different outcomes
  17. the effect that site use and environmental conditions will have on the growth of vegetation, habitat quality and landscape value
  18. the best time to carry out the work to maximise the benefits to the habitat and minimise environmental damage
  19. when weather conditions may impact work 
  20. the environmental value of the site, the potential impact that your activities could have and ways in which these can be minimised
  21. the effect that your work will have on the habitat and landscape quality
  22. ways of encouraging natural regeneration
  23. the potential causes of damage to the habitat and the ways in which it can be protected
  24. habitat creation, restoration and management techniques, including traditional methods, and how to carry them out
  25. how your work fits into local plans such as Biodiversity Action Plans
  26. the limits of your responsibility and expertise, and where to seek advice
  27. the relevant legal and organisational requirements for the handling, transport, storage, recycling or disposal of waste and excess materials
  28. the requirements of your organisation for reporting and recording progress


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Environmental value could be:

  • ecological
  • biodiversity
  • aesthetic
  • historical
  • recreational
  • economic
  • cultural
  • carbon

Habitats may be in terrestrial, freshwater, coastal or marine including:

  • Coastal
  • Estuary
  • Farmland
  • Freshwater
  • Grassland
  • Heathland and moorland
  • Marine
  • Peatlands
  • Rocky
  • Urban
  • Wetlands
  • Woodlands


Habitat creation, restoration or management work **could include:

  • opening up of woodland canopy or coppicing to promote woodland flora and tree regeneration
  • carbon/nitrogen capture schemes
  • peatland restoration
  • tree planting
  • management to encourage the development of food plants for specific insects
  • improving the numbers and diversity of native species through re-introductions
  • re-wilding
  • control of invasive, non-native plant and animal species
  • river restoration
  • bankside management/improvement/protection
  • pond creation/management
  • natural flood management
  • flood plain/wetland restoration
  • erosion control
  • drainage
  • work to manage the effects of visitors
  • scrub control in reed beds, grasslands, heathlands or moorlands
  • site amelioration and habitat creation in urban or post-industrial sites
  • management of marine habitats improving marsh, wetland, seagrass or riparian communities through re-vegetation and natural re-contouring of landscapes
  • improving shellfish beds through seeding juvenile shellfish, creating adult spawner sanctuaries, introducing appropriate substrates etc.
  • working with coastal and marine authorities to develop ecologically compatible dredging, shoreline protection and recreational activities
  • establishment of artificial reefs
  • use of grazing animals to manipulate vegetation
  • grassland management
  • management of wild animals
  • adaptive management techniques

Instructions and specifications could include:

  • drawings/plans
  • site maps/aerial image assessment
  • schedules
  • method statements
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • manufacturers' guidelines
  • legal requirements
  • good practice guidelines
  • customer requirements
  • standard of outcome required
  • verbal instructions

Objectives could include:

  • to create or maintain suitable conditions for particular species
  • to mitigate the effects of climate change on habitats
  • to enhance or provide new habitats to enable connectivity
  • to create or maintain a desired mix of habitats for biodiversity, access and recreation
  • to conserve desirable physical or archaeological features
  • to reduce the pressures of human activity on habitats
  • to promote site safety
  • to restore terrestrial carbon stores (peatland restoration)

Protection from:

  • unwanted competing growth
  • prevailing environmental conditions
  • humans
  • animals
  • erosion and carbon loss

Site and environmental conditions could include:

  • climate
  • time of year
  • weather conditions
  • soil type and condition
  • water levels
  • water condition
  • drainage
  • slopes and levels
  • previous use of the site
  • existing structures and systems (e.g. fences, hedges, walls, paths, buildings, bridges, drains)
  • access
  • peat depth
  • hydrology

* *

Site restrictions or designations could include:

  • National Park
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
  • Special Protection Area (SPA),
  • Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • National Nature Reserve
  • Marine Conservation Zone
  • World Heritage Site (WHS)
  • Archaeological site
  • Nitrogen Vulnerable Zone (NVZ)
  • Drinking Water Safeguard Zones
  • Scheduled Monument (SM)
  • Listed Building (LB)
  • Registered Parks and Gardens (RPGs)
  • Registered Battlefield (RB)
  • Sites identified on the Historic Environment Record (HER)
  • Public rights of way and access land
  • Military training area

Links To Other NOS

​LANEnC33 Apply species identification skills

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Agriculture, Forestry, Conservation Officer, Estate Worker, Ranger

SOC Code



conservation; habitats; establish; create; restore; land; marine; coastal; waterways; grassland; moorland; heathland; woodland; wetland; peatland