There is an ever-increasing need for farmers to deliver environmental benefits and to ensure that food is produced in a sustainable way. Improving farmland biodiversity through successful environmental management will help to ensure the longevity of farmland habitats and wildlife.
Retailers and processors are becoming increasingly demanding in their requirements surrounding biodiversity. Many farmers are required to produce biodiversity plans in order to ensure that their products are produced to the highest environmental standards and to help them operate more sustainable farming businesses.
What is a biodiversity plan?
A biodiversity plan needs to set out measures to protect and encourage a variety of wildlife on farmland. A successful plan will ensure that the right measures are to be introduced, in the right places, at the right time, in order to benefit the farm biodiversity.
ADAS can help to produce a biodiversity plan by identifying management approaches which work for the individual farm business whilst increasing the availability of resources for wildlife, including food and shelter. Approaches can include:
- Maintaining existing habitats – It is important to look after the wildlife habitats which are already established on the farm, a biodiversity plan will assess these habitats and provide a plan on how to maintain or improve them, helping to ensure the survival of the wildlife already on the farm.
- Hedges and ditches – Managing existing hedges and ditches can increase wildflowers and fruit whilst creating refuges for wildlife. Establishing new features can further enhance this.
- Varied grassland swards – Wildlife opportunities can be boosted by providing varied pastures.
- Flower rich areas – Flower rich areas encourage various beneficial insects along with an abundance of wildlife.
- Winter bird food – Supplying a winter food resource for farmland birds.
How ADAS can help
If you would like assistance with pulling together a biodiversity plan that is specific for your farm and allows you to comply with the auditing process for your aligned supply chain contract, please contact Agricultural Consultants Emma Turnock (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07917527768) or Mel Holloway (email@example.com or call 07785708545) for more details.