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Why are we funding this package?

Corncrakes bred throughout Britain in the 19th Century, but with changes in farming practices their numbers and distribution declined greatly. Widespread declines have also occurred throughout their world range. In Britain, Corncrakes are now only found in the Western Isles, the Argyll Islands, Orkney, Skye and a few mainland sites. In recent years, many farmers and crofters in these areas have managed their land with Corncrakes in mind, resulting in a significant recovery in numbers. Much of this has been undertaken through previous agri-environment schemes and this package will help to build on this success story.

The Corncrake is a Biodiversity Action Plan priority species.

What will this package achieve?

This package will help to maintain or increase the Corncrake population within its current range and to encourage Corncrakes to expand their range into suitable areas nearby. It offers a range of Options for managing your farm or croft land to benefit Corncrakes. ( Information on the current distribution of Corncrakes)

Corncrakes require tall vegetation (greater than 20 cm in height) from when they arrive in the country (late April) until they depart (September). Clearly, hay and silage fields provide this tall vegetation in mid-Summer so the time and manner of cutting of these fields is key to Corncrake Survival. Many hay and silage fields will be grazed well into Spring, so this package also aims to provide sufficient vegetation cover for Corncrakes both earlier (late April to June) and later in the year (August to September).

What you can 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.

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

Other support available under SRDP

There are other options available under the SRDP that can help Corncrakes. Several options available under the Land Managers' Options scheme could complement and support your proposals. They include:

  • Biodiversity cropping on in-bye
  • Wild bird seed mix/unharvested crop.

Crofters might find that the Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme, administered by the Crofters Commission, can provide useful additional support.

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