In September 2012 the Government introduced ‘The Environmental Stewardship Scheme’ which is basically actions Farmers and Landowners can take to help preserve, conserve and attract more nature back into that environment.
With an ever increasing population to feed, for quite some years fields have become bigger and hedgerows have disappeared.
All in all this has led to a frightening decrease in creatures and plants making many birds and other wildlife become endangered.
In a kind of ‘points make prizes’ the scheme promotes Farmers to make certain changes to the way they farm in the hope this will improve things.
One of the biggest incentives and one which appears to be working very efficiently is to form a buffer around fields. Whereas many before would sow their crops right to the edge of the field, under the scheme they are leaving a 12 meter gap for natural plants to grow.
The pictures above show the scheme in action. My home is sandwiched between two fields; at the back the Land is owned by a Farmer who has not joined the scheme and on the right, the Farmer has. You can instantly see the difference this is making.
This may not seem of great importance but being a Nature Watcher I can assure you that the Field on the right, after two years in the Scheme, is alive with Poppy’s, Butterflies and one of the most important things to our future…Bees and other Invertebrates.
The field has attracted both Skylarks and Fieldfares, both on the RSPB Red Status alert and in danger of extinction.
The Field not the scheme has next to nothing wildlife wise.
Extra ‘points’ are given to Farmers for many other things such as scattering wild flower seeds and bird feed within the Buffer.
Obviously Landowners would not give up a percentage of their crop earnings for nothing, the Scheme funds Farmers to do this. Hence ‘points make £’s’. But why not, all’s fair in love and war and the battle is to save our wildlife and our heritage in tune with a desire toward a better future for our families to come.
A tad complicated but full details can be found on the Government Environmental Stewardship Scheme Web Site