More than 50 people recently enjoyed a farm walk at one of the North Sea Region (NSR) Interreg PARTRIDGE project’s demonstration sites in the Netherlands.
On Thursday July 13th, NSR PARTRIDGE partner organisation, Brabant Landschap, showed visitors round Oude Doorn where more than 7 per cent of the farmed area is being managed with optimal habitat for partridges such as wildflower strips or blocks and beetle banks since spring 2017.
Farm walk participants enjoying the sight of one of the new PARTRIDGE wild flower strips, established to recover grey partridges and other farmland wildlife
Both measures are new to the Netherlands and have been introduced based on research and practical experience obtained from various projects run by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), who is leading the Interreg project.
The local Dutch PARTRIDGE team’s project coordinator, Jochem Sloothaak, explained the purpose of the new habitat measures established to the visitors from Brabant, Utrecht, Gelderland and Limburg.
Dutch project coordinator Frans van Alebeek from BirdLife Netherlands demonstrating the use of wildflower mixes for insects
The team also stressed the importance of the project’s monitoring scheme which surveys several bioindicators such as the grey partridge, brown hare and farmland songbirds during the breeding season. This is because the project aims to provide evidence across the North Sea borders that the measures implemented will deliver a 30% increase of biodiversity at each of the 10 PARTRIDGE demonstration sites by 2020.
“We are very happy with how our project is progressing at this early stage,” said Jochem.
“The visitors of our event left with lots of inspiration and enthusiasm, not only because we could marvel at some beautiful new wildlife habitats; we even managed to catch a glimpse of two partridge pairs along one of the newly-established flower blocks and beetle banks!”
Oude Doorn demo site coordinator Jochem Sloothaak explaining the PARTRIDGE project to his interested farm walk audience
During his pre-event visit on the same morning, Jochem managed to see a very healthy looking partridge brood – the perfect indication that our pioneering project is on best possible course.
A brood of grey partridges searching for insects in one of the newly established PARTRIDGE habitat measures at Oude Doon.
Written by Francis Buner and Jochem Sloothaak, photos: Jochem Sloothaak.