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Greening

Last updated: 20 Jan 2015

CFE partners agree that farmers should try to maintain environmental areas to retain Government trust in voluntary approaches.

CFE's main message to farmers is to “RETAIN the land you’ve got in environmental management” and to “add VALUE for the environment” when choosing your Greening options.

Defra Ministers have recognised in their CAP Greening announcements that, through voluntary action, farmers can add value by taking advice from CFE. It is now vitally important for farmers to rise to this challenge.

Large areas of land are already managed for the environment under Stewardship schemes or CFE Voluntary Measures. As schemes end, keeping these areas in environmental management will be crucial for the food and farming industry.


With a range of events, CFE coordinators can demonstrate how greening provides a real opportunity for farmers to prove how Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) can be managed to benefit the environment. The particular focus of CFE will be to demonstrate how fallow land can work for your business and the environment.

CFE Voluntary Measures (VMs) can add value to EFAs to protect watercourses and benefit wildlife. Enhancing EFA hedgerows can also benefit your business and the environment.

CFE VMs & EFA 2

Download the CFE guide for more details.

Protecting watercourses:

Existing buffer strips along water courses should be retained to protect watercourses. To count as an EFA feature, a buffer strip must have a minimum width of 1metre. If you have a grass strip that is wider than 1 metre, you could choose to count the first metre as an EFA buffer strip, and the extra area as fallow land, as long as it meets the other rules for fallow land.

The following in-field CFE VMs can be included on fallow land and help to protect watercourses:

The following CFE VMs will not count as EFA, but should also be considered for protection of watercourses:

Don’t forget that if you are in ELS, some of your options might also count towards your EFA requirements and protect watercourses.

Don't forget that you must always meet the rules for EFAs and cross-compliance, as well as any existing stewardship management requirements

Benefitting wildlife:

Field corners and field margins that are out of production can benefit wildlife, for example, by sowing a pollen and nectar mix or a wild bird mix to support farmland birds and pollinating insects. Marginal land was unproductive when it was put into Stewardship, it is very likely that it won't be worth spending money and time to try to make the land productive.

The following in-field CFE VMs can be included on fallow EFA and can benefit wildlife:

The following CFE VMs will not count as EFA, but should also be considered for wildlife benefit:

Managing hedgerows

Also consider effective management of your hedgerows (including any hedgerow EFA) to benefit pollinators and other farm wildlife. Hedgelink produce a range of advice on managing hedges for wildlife, more details are on the pollinator page.

Don’t forget that if you are in ELS, some of your options might count towards your EFA requirements and benefit wildlife.

Don't forget that you must always meet the rules for EFAs and cross-compliance, as well as any existing stewardship management requirements

CFE VM 17_571_800

NOTE:

You must always meet the rules for EFAs and cross-compliance, as well as any existing stewardship management requirements

All these VMs could be used on EFA fallow land. Fallow land is arable land, including temporary grassland, that has no crop production or grazing on it. This land must be maintained in a state suitable for grazing or cultivation. To be counted toward EFA it must be in place for the whole of the fallow period (1 January to 30 June) and have a minimum width of two metres, a minimum area of 0.01ha and have no crops planted or sown on it during this period. Sowing of wild bird mixes or nectar sources is allowed in the fallow period providing it is an unharvestable mix. Fallow land can be placed adjacent to EFA buffer strips. Grass can be sown on fallow land during the fallow period as longs as no agricultural production is carried out.

You should always consult the EFA rules which can be found at www.gov.uk/cap-reform as the rules may have changed since the publication of this material.

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