FOLLOW WILDLIFE advice to maximise benefits from the new generation of agri-environmental schemes, the Game Conservancy Trust is urging growers.

The Trust recommends four key areas farmers should concentrate on:

  • Ensure land is IACS registered – to register land or check if land is fully registered, contact your local Rural Payments Agency IACS section.
  • Create a conservation headland around cereal crops, ensuring they are not sprayed with autumn residuals
  • Create a beetle bank across fields – sow from April with a mix of perennial grasses such as Cock‘s foot or Timothy
  • Develop a hedgerow management plan – put a hedgerow cutting rotation in place, so that hedgerows are cut every third year. Aim to cut after Christmas.

Future government schemes will see farmers being paid to improve biodiversity, said the Trust‘s Peter Thompson.

“To benefit from these new schemes, people really need to start the planning process now so that they can reap the rewards when the entry level scheme starts next year.”