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Improving the Success of Agri-Environment Initiatives: the Role of Farmer Learning and Landscape Context

Traditional farming in Europe produced landscapes which supported a high variety of plants and animals, but technological intensification of farming over the 20th century led to huge declines in wildlife. Agri-environment schemes (AES) encourage farmers to carry out management which should lead to increases in wildlife. However, AES do not always give the desired results.

This failure has been linked to both social and ecological problems. Firstly, if farmers have poor understanding of the science and aims of AES, they may not carry out the best management. Secondly, management may create the environments that certain plant and animal species need, but their ability to colonise these habitats may be limited by both the rarity of these species in the landscape, and obstacles to movement in modern landscapes.

This is a five year study of how well wildlife habitats are created under AES, and whether training of farmers leads to creation of better habitats. This will be linked to studies of how farmer’s attitudes to wildlife-friendly farming may be shifted by training. Secondly, we will analyse how the distribution of species and habitat types in wider landscape affects colonisation of new habitats. This will lead to improved methods for wildlife-friendly farming

  • Outputs (5)