Increasing biodiversity

Nick Sheron's picture
Submitted by Nick Sheron on 3rd September 2021 at 04:09

Hello folks, we have 16 acres of unimporved and semi improved pasture outside Upottery managed with a grazing agreement with a local farmer under a mid tier stewardship. The UK has lost more than 90% of its wildflower meadows since the first world war and our priority is to manage the land sustainably and increase biodiversity. In the two years we have been here we are already seeing a notable increase in our cuckoo flowers, red clover, birdsfoot trefoil and bog pimpernel as a result of moving from intensive grazing to an annual hay cut. The current mid tier agreements have no provision for increasing biodiversity and this is not currently subject to any capital grants. However this may change with the new funding structures and it may be possible to apply for funds for example for seeding with yellow rattle (currently £500 / kg) and in time harvesting wild flower seeds (potential rattle yield 40kg / hectare). With the increasing demand for wild flower seed for domestic gardens and the strict limitations of current supply, this is something that could add an additional income stream to small farms with very little detriment to livestock use, as has been ably shown by Goren Farm (https://www.facebook.com/goren.farm/) in the Blackdown Hills.

We would be interested to hear from any of you with similar interests or plans, as a larger collaborative application would be more likely to suceed.

We also brew very fine beer, which always facilitates a conversation...

Nick and Lisa Sheron

Replies

Submitted by Mark Edwards on 3rd September 2021 at 11:09

Hi Nick 

Assuming land you have is within the AONB you may be able to benefit from the  Farming In Protected Landscapes Scheme which might help further some of your aspirations, can also offer you some thoughts on what might work for you to.

Mark (FiPL Adviser/Farmer) 07800 916427

 

 

Nick Sheron's picture
Submitted by Nick Sheron on 3rd September 2021 at 12:09

Thanks Mark, yes Gavin mentioned the FiPL scheme, and suggested that it would be better putting together a combined application. Perhaps we could have a chat about it at some stage, In would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Nick

07943 764482