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CFE and #BeesNeeds

Last updated: 19 Jul 2016

With Pollinator Awareness Week on 13-19 July, Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) project officer Bethan Williams looked at what farmers can do to help support pollinators on farm.

Farmers and landowners understand the benefits of increasing pollinator numbers on farm. This is clear to see from all the work the Campaign for the Farmed Environment has done with farmers up and down the country. We’ve witnessed how farmers and landowners have enhanced their grass margins, hedgerows, grassland and fallow land to provide pollinator friendly habitats.Bees on red peony_15982

 But we can all play our part and do more. As Defra’s Pollinator Awareness Week #BeeNeeds – a public campaign promoting the benefits of pollinators –was last week, the CFE is asking farmers and landowners to think about what they can do to help pollinators on their farm in the future.

 Throughout July, the CFE has held a whole host of events, all aimed at arming farmers and landowners with the tools to develop bespoke habitats for pollinators. The events are free and those that attended received on-hand detailed advice about farm management.

 As part of the government’s National Pollinator Strategy, the awareness week is not only working to engage farmers, but also to encourage urban communities to get involved and spread the word about the importance of increasing pollinator numbers.

But it’s also important to point out that there is a need to not only increase pollinators in the rural environment, but the need to promote the importance of pollinators to the younger generation – the future custodians of our land.

From sowing wild flowers and rich pollen mixes, to providing uncultivated field corners, farmers know exactly how important our pollinators are to both the environment and food production.

Many farmers whether within entry level stewardship, higher level stewardship, or voluntarily through the CFE, manage their hedges, margins, fallow land to benefit pollinators and to increase on-farm wildlife.

If your ELS/HLS agreement is coming to an end, and you will not be taking up the new mid and higher tier Countryside Stewardship schemes, the CFE is asking all farmers to think about retaining these features on your farm. Many of the existing ELS options not only work for the agreement, but also enhance your farm business. The CFE is asking all farmers to retain and take pride in what you have achieved.

 What CFE pollinator management tools are there?

• The CFE’s guidance, ‘Pollinator Management for your Farm Business’, is a useful tool focusing on wild pollinators and highlighting simple steps in providing food in spring, summer and autumn, alongside providing nesting and resting places

• The CFE has also worked with Hedgelink UK to develop a guide to managing hedges to benefit pollinators. This guide provides simple management steps to enhance pollinator numbers through providing food and shelter within hedgerows

• On the CFE website, farmers and advisers can gain BASIS points when completing the CFE’s online training module for pollinator management

• And finally, if you are looking to put in a pollinator and nectar mix, the CFE has a range of three discounted seed mixes – both annual and perennial – that will help support pollinators on your farm. Contact [email protected]  to find out more.

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CFE Programme Office
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Email: [email protected]

Tel: 02476 858 897

Twitter: @CFEonline