GWCT are very pleased that Scottish Government have published new CAP greening guidance which allows farmers to voluntarily plant unharvested bird seed mixes and wildflower mixes on EFA features such as fallow land, buffer strips or grass margins. CAP greening requires farmers to have 5% of their arable land out of production to improve biodiversity. GWCT research conducted at Loddington clearly shows that conservation areas need to be managed in order to maximise the biodiversity benefits that these areas and features can provide. Buffer strips along water courses can help manage diffuse pollution and improve water quality. Being able to plant buffer strips with crops which provide nectar for our declining pollinators or wild bird seed for farmland birds allows for multiple benefits to be gained. We are very supportive of making the edges of the field work hard for wildlife whilst the centre of the field is maximised for food production.
For further details about CAP greening in Scotland please see the CAP 2015 website.