Workshop - Management Planning in the Countryside

Monday, April 08, 2019 All Day - Tuesday, April 09, 2019
Training Suite, ExeGesIS Offices, Talgarth, Powys

Management planning in the Countryside

Ever wondered if you’ve got the management of your sites quite right? Do you have clear objectives? If so, how do you know if you are meeting those objectives? Is it time for a review of your site management? How would you go about that? So often we manage a site in a particular way because that’s the way it’s always been managed but, in order to get the most out of the, sometimes, meagre resources available, we need to have clear objectives. Having defined those objectives we then need some way of assessing whether those objectives are being achieved. But how do you go about achieving this?

Well, in order to help you we are arranging a workshop, here in Talgarth, with someone who has been, and continues to be, one of the key figures in the development of the managing sites for conservation, Dr. Mike Alexander. And we would like to invite you along. Suitable for anyone who works in or would like to work in the countryside or nature conservation, the workshop will not only be about the principles that guide our management planning but will provide advice on how to identify the important features of your site and set objectives for them. You will learn how to plan the work to achieve your objectives and to monitor your progress. But places are limited to 10 so if you’re interested let us know straight away.

Cost                       £240

Dates                    8th/9th April 2019

Location               exegesis Training Suite, Talgarth. See here for more details.


Mike Alexander is a well-known and highly respected figure in Nature Conservation in the UK and beyond. Many of you will know him from the Countryside Management and planning courses he ran until recently at Plas Tan-y-Bwlch in the Snowdonia National Park for 25 years. If you have not attended one of Mike’s courses before you would be well-advised to take advantage of this opportunity. Here’s an excerpt from Mike’s own CMS Guide to Management Planning which you can download from here :


“Good planning is the key to good management. Planning is the intellectual or ‘thinking’ component of conservation management.

It is, or should be, a dynamic, iterative process. Learning from experience, or adaptive management, is the key to effective planning.

It is about recognising the things that are important and making decisions about what we want to achieve and what we must do.

Planning is about sharing this process with others so that we can reach agreement; it is about communication; it is about learning. 


The planning process that we will consider in the workshop can be applied to any place which is managed entirely, or in part, for wildlife.

It is equally relevant to nature reserves, where conservation is the primary land use, and country parks, where wildlife management may be a secondary interest.

It can be applied to the management of species or habitats in any circumstance, regardless of any site designation.

It is as relevant at a landscape scale as it is on a small local nature reserve.“


Planning does not have to be complicated; plans only need answer five essential questions:

  • Why are we here? (Policy)
  • What have we got? (Description)
  • What is important? (Evaluation)
  • What do we want? (Objectives)
  • What must we do? (Actions)

The workshop will cover each of these areas. In addition we will deal with some of the more interesting and challenging aspects of Nature Conservation, these will include:

  • Why conserve wildlife?
  • What do we think ‘nature conservation’ should be?
  • What can we do?

Because this thinking is crucial to CMSi, we thought we would follow-up on the 10th April with a day looking at how CMSi implements the good management planning approach that we will have developed on the previous two days. This third day is optional and will cost £60.


Further details are available here. If you are interested please let us know by emailing us at