A practical appraisal of on-farm costs of Environmental Stewardship and other influences on farmers' adoption of it.

Author Stoate, C. & Jarvis, P.E.
Citation Stoate, C. & Jarvis, P.E. (2006). A practical appraisal of on-farm costs of Environmental Stewardship and other influences on farmers' adoption of it. Aspects of Applied Biology, 80: 3-9.

Abstract

Environmental Stewardship (ES) is the key mechanism for achieving the government's environmental targets. We assess the costs of implementing Stewardship habitats within the context of our farm business and present the results of a survey of East Midlands farmers. Countryside Stewardship annual payments exceeded costs, except for 'recreating grassland', but payments for capital works were lower than costs incurred. This has positive implications for acceptability of Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) to farmers, but less positive implications for Higher Level Stewardship (HLS). ELS was more widely acceptable to surveyed farmers than was (HLS). 'Payment rates' and 'wildlife' ranked highly as influences on farmers' participation in ES, but only 'landscape' was associated with participation in the higher level scheme. Improved communication of economically viable habitat management techniques is essential to both schemes, while compatibility with farmers' landscape and other cultural interests and economic objectives is another consideration for policy makers.

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