Biodiversity 2020, launched in 2011 is a national strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystems, focussing on ecological networks and developing ecosystem services. Biodiversity 2020 aims to halt the loss of wildlife, support healthy well-functioning habitats and establish ecological networks.
As custodians of the countryside farmers have a role in delivering Biodiversity 2020. By working with the CFE to enhance their land for on-farm wildlife and resource protection farmers and landowners are contributing to the overall aims of Biodiversity 2020.
Biodiversity 2020 includes four key priorities for agriculture:
- Developing a more integrated, streamlined and efficient approach that is clearer to farmers and land managers.
- Bring together industry, environmental partners to reconcile an agreement of improving environment and increasing food production.
- To work with partners and stakeholders to develop environmental stewardship
- To seek maximise the contribution of countryside stewardship.
What can you do to help deliver for biodiversity (2020)?
As a farmer and landowner, helping increase on farm wildlife voluntarily or through agri-environment schemes can deliver for this new government strategy.
Certain areas on your farm or ‘priority habitats’, can be managed through some simple measures to deliver for on-farm wildlife.
Effective management of habitats such as hedgerows, grass margins and traditional hay meadows will fit within your farm business and deliver significant benefits for on-farm wildlife.
By proactively managing these areas on your farm you can create wildlife friendly parts of your farm but also keep productive and profitable land in production. Management techniques include;
- Enhancing your field margins for pollinators and farmland birds. By sowing a flower rich margin, or by allowing unproductive land to go fallow you can create habitats that provide food and shelter for invertebrates, and birds.
- Reducing the cutting of hedges, and establishing a field margin alongside a hedgerow will helps provide the variability in habitats which on farm wildlife need. Simple measures for hedgerows include establishing native species hedgerows or encouraging tussocky grass to grow alongside your hedges.
- Traditional hay meadows with mixed length sward and variations in grasses can provide essential food sources for farmland birds and invertebrates.
By establishing these 3 key areas on your farm; you will help protect ‘section 41’ species.
Section 41 species are many of our rarest and most threatened species. These species are listed under Section 41 (S41) of the 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities act. Managing these areas helps you deliver for the government’s biodiversity strategy.
How can the CFE help support you?
Working with the CFE’s guidance on increasing pollinator habitats on farm will not only help your farms pollinators but will also increase the variety of biodiversity on your farm. The establishment of pollinator friendly habitats such as wild flower meadows and pollen and nectar mixes (CFE voluntary measures 6&7) and using our discounted seed mixes deliver for biodiversity (2020).
Increasing on farm pollinators not only deliver ecosystem services via the increase in cross pollination but they also develop habitats that actively increase biodiversity on farm such a farmland birds, wider invertebrates and other on farm mammals.
For further information please see our resources: