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Arable Fields and Hedgerows

Why are we willing to fund this package?

The intensification of arable cropping systems over the last few decades has contributed to a decline in biodiversity on farmed land. Some of the species that are restricted to arable farmland are now rare and threatened. Hedgerows, biodiversity cropping and arable field margins can help to arrest this trend.

Arable field margins are strips of land that run across arable fields or that lie between arable crops and the field boundary. Managed to benefit farmland biodiversity they provide food, shelter and nesting sites.

What will this package achieve?

This package will create habitats for wildlife in arable landscapes.

Field margins can support a wide range of birds such as Grey Partridge, Corn Bunting, Bullfinch or Linnet. Plants that used to be common in arable fields and have now become rare, like Purple Ramping Fumitory and Cornflower, can thrive in suitably-managed field margins. Invertebrates will benefit from the provision of plant food and the restrictions on insecticide use. Small mammals will use field margins for food and shelter. Field margins will not only support farmland biodiversity but can also reduce soil erosion and boost beneficial insects. If you can provide a variety of field margin types around the farm more species can benefit.

Well-managed hedges are among the richest wildlife habitats in Scotland. The mixture of shrubs and trees offer food and cover for a wide variety of animals, including birds, beetles, butterflies, mice and voles. Some species spend their entire life in the hedge, some only eat there, some sleep there and some shelter while passing through, using the hedge as a green corridor.

What can you do?

You should choose which of the following Options will help deliver the outcome you have selected.

We suggest the following Options may all be appropriate.

Some Options - shown in the top list - will always deliver the desired outcomes. If you choose any of these Options, you will not be expected to provide any justification for choosing that Option.

Other Options - those in the bottom list - will only help achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances. If you choose any of these, the application system will ask you to explain how you see this Option helping to achieve the outcome. You can select as many, or as few, Options as you think you will need. You must judge which Options will most effectively deliver the desired outcomes taking account of your circumstances.

These Options will always deliver the desired outcome:

These Options will help to achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances:

Other support available under the SRDP

There are other options available under the RDC that can support biodiversity in arable fields. Options available under the Land Managers' Options could complement and support your proposals. They include:

  • Biodiversity cropping on in-bye