Gamekeepers and shoot managers are being urged to register for the Campaign for the Farmed Environment to help the initiative meet its targets.
Registering cover crops containing wild bird seed mixes would make a significant contribution, said Peter Thompson, biodiversity advisor for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Any eligible game cover, field corner or old set-aside should be entered online. “It’s very simple to register and could help ensure the success of the campaign.”
Blocks of maize or sorghum were not eligible, but planting a wild bird seed mix around the patch would make it count, he said. “This way CFE wins, farmland birds win and the shoot wins as pheasants and partridges will love this addition.”
The CFE aims to increase the area of farmland in voluntary, unpaid environmental management by at least 30,000ha by 2012. If the government considers the voluntary approach is not working well enough it could replace the scheme with a regulatory approach that could take 5% of land out of production.
If the campaign failed to meet it’s 2012 objectives it would have a dramatic impact on shoot management, said Mr Thompson. “It could mean shoot managers lose control over where set-aside is positioned and how it was managed – this could be disastrous for the shoot.”
Show your support
Show what you are doing to support the CFE by recording your efforts online.
The online record for Campaign voluntary measures needs completing by 1 December 2010. Visit www.cfeonline.org.uk.