7 June 2002

Wildlife-friendly farmers asked to catch Buzz

FARMERS keen to take full advantage of environmentally-driven modulation schemes should soon be able to "Dial a Habitat", according to the manager of a new project sponsored by Syngenta, Unilever Research & Develo-pment and Birds Eye Walls.

The £300,000, three-year Farmed Environment Companys Buzz Project will test and develop a range of practical ideas to restore and enhance wildlife habitats on six farms across the country with varied soil types and conditions.

The aim is to help farmers choose the best way to attract missing farmland insects and birds, explains project manager Marek Nowakowski.

Reflecting options available under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme the independent Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will monitor flower-rich grassland, natural regeneration, cropped conservation headlands, tussocky grass, legume mixes and conventional cropping.

"If we get the habitats right for these species, then it will establish a sustainable food chain for a wide range of other flora and fauna," says Mr Nowakowski." &#42