Conservationists and farming organisations have agreed on an eight point plan to simplify the advice given to arable growers on environmental management.

The 22 organisations behind the Campaign for The Farmed Environment have produced a guide which boils down the principles of best environmental practice.

They have produced a booklet, Conservation management on an arable farm, and also launched a new website www.farmwildlife.info with online tools and expert advice.

Richard Winspear, farm wildlife coordinator, said the package was a big step forward in improving the consistency of environmental messages coming from industry and government.

“We have boiled this down to eight concise messages which will deliver soil, water and wildlife in the least area, leaving the greatest area for crop production.”

The eight points farmers are being urged to apply are:

• Look after established wildlife habitats
• Maximise the environmental value of field boundaries
• Create a network of field margins
• Establish flower-rich habitats
• Provide winter food for birds
• Use spring cropping or in-field measures to help wildlife
• Use winter crops to protect water
• Establish in-field grass areas to reduce soil erosion and run-off

The guidance offers practical suggestions on how to manage features such as hedges, ditches, margins and habitat to best effect.

 

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