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High Nature Value farming – what are we trying to do?

High Nature Value farming – what are we trying to do?. Guy Beaufoy / Gwyn Jones. Galati April 2008. The Forum is a European network of individuals and organisations involved in farming and nature conservation at local and EU levels. Here today are:. Gwyn Jones Western Isles, Scotland.

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High Nature Value farming – what are we trying to do?

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  1. High Nature Valuefarming –what are we trying to do? Guy Beaufoy / Gwyn Jones Galati April 2008

  2. The Forum is a European network of individuals and organisations involved in farming and nature conservation at local and EU levels. Here today are: Gwyn Jones Western Isles, Scotland Guy Beaufoy Extremadura, Spain

  3. HNV farming favours biodiversity for two main reasons: • The type of land cover: • Mainly semi-natural vegetation that is grazed or mown (Type 1). • May be mosaic of semi-natural vegetation with crops (Type 2). • The way the land cover is used: • Always low intensity use of land, livestock, machinery, chemical inputs • May be high intensity use of labour

  4. Type 1 HNV - grazing land in central SpainLand cover: semi-natural grass, scrub and woodlandUse: grazing by cows and goats at <0.2 LU/ha

  5. Natural values maintained by mountain grazing Hedge-hog heaths Hay meadows Black vulture Cytisus purgansformations Nardus grasslands

  6. HNV farming is low intensity farming, except in use of labour, for example:- shepherding, olive harvesting

  7. Future landscape? Abandoned land and intensive fruit production? Biodiversity declines.

  8. Grazing marshes, Doñana National Park (Spain)

  9. Grazed steppes, Llanos de Cáceres (Spain)

  10. Type 2 HNV: cereal steppes, La Serena (western Spain)Land cover: mix of permanent pasture, arable crops, fallowUse: low-intensity sheep grazing and arable cropping Possible HNV indicators: >25% permanent pasture>50% fallow <0.2 LU/ ha <1 tonne cereals / ha

  11. Cereal steppe bird communities Large-scale mosaic of low-intensity crops,fallow and pasture Montagu’s harrier Great bustard Sandgrouse

  12. Mosaic of arable and permanent crops.Semi-natural vegetation limited to small patches and field margins. Fewer species. Otis tetrax

  13. No mosaic, cropping more intensive, not HNV

  14. Low-intensity management Livestock Nitrogen Biocides HNV Type 1 Type 2 % of semi-natural land cover Grass, scrub Trees Field margins Water bodies Diversity of land cover Crops Fallows Grass, scrub Trees Water bodies

  15. Type 1: 100% semi-natural 100% Type 2: Mix of semi-natural and crops Semi-natural vegetation Type 3: More intensive crops and grass Not HNV 0% Intensity of use (of land, livestock, nitrogen, biocides)

  16. Not farming Type 1 HNV Type 2 Not HNV

  17. EU and national commitments on HNV farming • Identify HNV farming in each country. • Support HNV farming and its positive function for biodiversity. • Monitor approximate extent of HNV farming as one indicator of RD Programme effects.

  18. Identifying HNV farming (1) • Describe main characteristics, in terms of land cover and how it is used. • Biodiversity values and relationship to farming practices. • Socio-economic situation: • Is it viable? • Can it be made viable? • What support is needed?

  19. Identifying HNV farming (2) • Purpose of identifying HNV farming is: • To know how many hectares HNV there are, for monitoring over time • To be able to target support at it. • This means indicators must be defined to distinguish HNV farming from non-HNV farming. • For example, proportion of land under semi-natural vegetation, livestock densities…

  20. Monitoring HNV farming • EU requires all Member States to work out total hectares of HNV farming. • This should be monitored 2007-13. • Suites of species associated with HNV farmland should be monitored also. • Data for these tasks are poor in all countries, and should be improved.

  21. Developing national HNV farming indicators Typology of broad HNV farming systems, describing characteristics (agronomic, economic, conservation) Decide indicators for each HNV system using the basic criteria: 1) % semi-natural vegetation 2) farming intensity 3) mosaic Identify suites of species associated with each HNV farming system Local case studies for ground-truthing HNV baseline quality : Status of populations of these species. HNV baseline quantity: Calculate ha of farmland meeting the chosen indicator values.

  22. Maintaining HNV farming • Aim is to support across large areas, not just in protected sites. • Two approaches are needed: • Economic support for the broad types of farming that have been identified as HNV. For example, grazing <0.2LU / ha. • Locally targeted schemes to tackle specific problems (economic, agronomic, conservation).

  23. Developing HNV support measures Analyse economic situation and support needed to maintain HNVfarming Local case studies for ground-truthing Analyse conservation needs for habitats and species associated with the farming system National consultation to develop suppport measures for HNV farming systems Local projects with farmers involved, to tackle specific issues (economic, agronomic, conservation) National payment scheme for broad farming types meeting the chosen HNV indicator values

  24. Outline of presentation: • What is HNV farming and why is it important? • What do EU and national commitments for HNV mean in practice?

  25. Landscape diversity and species richness Peeters A., 2006. Processus écologiques et agricoles dans une diversité de situations, synthèse scientifique. Présentation au colloque Action publique, Agriculture et biodiversité, Rennes 23-25 octobre 2006

  26. Olive grove in Córdoba (Spain), with semi-permanent understorey, key for HNV

  27. HNV landscape of olives and almonds (Córdoba)

  28. Mosaic of olives groves and semi-natural patches

  29. More intensive management of understorey removes nature value

  30. Recently abandoned olive grove, biodiversity reduced…

  31. …and fire-risk increased - tree crops are quite effective as fire-breaks

  32. Small-scale mosaic with semi-natural elements

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