High Nature Value Farming (HNV)
in South West England
European context
HNV Farming first
identified as a concept in
1990s.
Since 2006, EU Member
States have committed to
identi...
UK Context
• Type 1: Farmland with high
proportion of semi natural
vegetation
• Type 2: Mosaic of low intensity
agricultur...
Taken from:
“Measuring &
Monitoring the HNV
farmland indicators
in England” –
Geoff Radley, Keith
Porter, Stephen
Chaplin ...
What is HNV farmland/farming in UK?
• HNV farming can mainly be associated with extensive
beef & sheep farming in the upla...
Wider benefits for society ....
• Ecosystem Services - Water quality, flood risk
reduction (water storage in uplands/culm/...
Fundatia ADEPT…
protecting
Transylvania’s
unique farmed
landscapes, their
biodiversity, and
the farming
communities who
li...
ISSUES
• Restricted by climate, soils,
temperature
• Remoteness from market/
transport routes
• Fragile & vulnerable habit...
Key findings from livestock report: Dartmoor
• Significant decrease in pony numbers (currently no market value,
heritage l...
• In 2011, Cumulus Consultants (funded by EFNCP) undertook
several pilot studies in the South West to test the HNV indicat...
Blackdown Hills, Devon.
NE HNV map in red, project map in green/brown
HNV farming in Devon project findings (May 2011)
5 things the UK Gov must do now to save HNV
farming:
• Through the Common Agricultural Policy ensure that High
Nature Valu...
SW HNV workshop - Deborah Deveney
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SW HNV workshop - Deborah Deveney

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A presentation from Deborah Deveney (RSPB HNV farming Campaign Leader) at the South West High Nature Value (HNV) farming workshop
Bristol -19th June 2013

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SW HNV workshop - Deborah Deveney

  1. 1. High Nature Value Farming (HNV) in South West England
  2. 2. European context HNV Farming first identified as a concept in 1990s. Since 2006, EU Member States have committed to identify, support & maintain HNV farming as a priority under Axis 2 of the Rural Development Programme 2007-13 – action has varied across the 4 UK Countries.
  3. 3. UK Context • Type 1: Farmland with high proportion of semi natural vegetation • Type 2: Mosaic of low intensity agriculture with semi natural landscape features (hedges, stone walls, woodlands • Type 3: Farmland supporting rare species of high proportion of European or World populations
  4. 4. Taken from: “Measuring & Monitoring the HNV farmland indicators in England” – Geoff Radley, Keith Porter, Stephen Chaplin (NE) 2009 HNV farmland in England
  5. 5. What is HNV farmland/farming in UK? • HNV farming can mainly be associated with extensive beef & sheep farming in the uplands and marginal areas because of its high reliance on semi-natural vegetation for grazing (Type 1 ie moorland, upland hay meadows, blanket bog, unimproved grassland). • Examples do exist in the lowland where low input systems support a mosaic of semi-natural features (ie mixed farming – hedges, arable plants) • HNV farming relies upon sympathetic land management practices (often down to motivations of individuals) – eg low stocking rates, mowing of hay meadows, leaving areas of fallow, spring cropping, habitat restoration, etc
  6. 6. Wider benefits for society .... • Ecosystem Services - Water quality, flood risk reduction (water storage in uplands/culm/wet grassland), protection of soils & carbon storage • Cultural heritage (rural skills/practices) • Visual Landscape (retention of stone walls, etc) • Access/tourism • Maintains rural communities & supports rural economy
  7. 7. Fundatia ADEPT… protecting Transylvania’s unique farmed landscapes, their biodiversity, and the farming communities who live within them.
  8. 8. ISSUES • Restricted by climate, soils, temperature • Remoteness from market/ transport routes • Fragile & vulnerable habitats & species intrinsically linked to traditional systems (fragmentation) • Often small farms (Economic viability for families/young farmers – losing generational knowledge • Market forces & social pressures (quality versus quantity) THREATS • Often outside designated areas • Intensification • Abandonment • Knock on effects of either above = loss of biodiversity • Poverty – loss of people from the land (culture) • Loss of cattle (particularly traditional breeds) – losing money at market, increase in continental breeds • Renewable energy & afforestation
  9. 9. Key findings from livestock report: Dartmoor • Significant decrease in pony numbers (currently no market value, heritage lines being lost) • Move away from traditional breeds to continental breeds • Less hefting and shepherding on hill makes management difficult (some areas under or over grazed) – upland habitats sensitive to changes in livestock numbers • Management is linked to profitablity of livestock farming – Initiatives that support & link with farm business will have biggest effect on grazing practices • Continued management on many sites dependent on agri-environment schemes • Barriers – over winter housing, livestock health issues (ticks, liver fluke, etc) • Farms being broken up (loss of smaller farms) • Issues of commons – non active graziers http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/Final_Report_tcm9-340975.pdf
  10. 10. • In 2011, Cumulus Consultants (funded by EFNCP) undertook several pilot studies in the South West to test the HNV indicator guidelines: • South Devon (19.5% HNV farmland of study area – 33,700 ha) • Culm Grassland (15.5% HNV farmland of study area – 40,628 ha) • Blackdown Hills (10.5% HNV farmland of study area – 36,860 ha) • Dartmoor (49% HNV farmland of study area – 3.936ha) http://www.efncp.org HNV pilots in South West England
  11. 11. Blackdown Hills, Devon. NE HNV map in red, project map in green/brown HNV farming in Devon project findings (May 2011)
  12. 12. 5 things the UK Gov must do now to save HNV farming: • Through the Common Agricultural Policy ensure that High Nature Value farmers are properly rewarded for supporting our most precious wildlife and landscapes. • Prioritise spending on targeted Rural Development Programmes across the UK. • Build on what we’ve got: through valuable funding programmes such as LIFE+ and INTERREG, support local community led initiatives that encourage the continuation of sustainable grazing and land management in places of highest value. • Make progress in identifying and monitoring High Nature Value farming systems. • Invest in research on High Nature Value farming systems across the UK, including an assessment of the broad benefits they provide for society and the threats they face.

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