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Farmland Waders

Why are we funding this package?

Five species of breeding wader commonly nest on farmland in Scotland: Lapwing (Peewit), Curlew (Whaup), Oystercatcher, Redshank and Snipe. Lapwing and Oystercatcher nest on both arable and grassland fields, while Curlew, Redshank and Snipe are restricted to grassland and moorland. Lapwing and Curlew have declined in recent decades, not only in Scotland but across the UK and North-West Europe. They are both listed as Biodiversity Action Plan priority species.

What will this package achieve?

This package will help to maintain and increase populations of farmland waders. It highlights Options for managing your farmland to make it more attractive to breeding waders.

Farmland waders are associated with fields that have areas of damp or wet ground. These may be due to a flood, a spring or flush, a broken underground drainage system or surface drains and ditches. Swamps, mires and raised bogs can also provide suitable conditions. Farmland waders often select wet areas for nesting. They also move their chicks to damp places, because these are good feeding sites.

Different waders prefer different kinds of sward structure. Lapwings and Oystercatchers use short-cropped grassland, often in bare/stony areas. Both will often nest on spring-sown arable land, on bare plough or fields where the crop is just coming through, or on fallow plots with sparse vegetation and bare ground. Redshank also prefer to nest on short grassland, but often with tussocks and with pools nearby that are easily accessible to their chicks. Snipe and Curlew nest in tussocky vegetation if the sward is short, or in taller grass in meadows, or on surrounding moorland.

Waders depend on agricultural management to provide the right conditions. It is easier to provide these in extensively-managed fields, but you can also achieve suitable conditions on more intensively-managed sites with some careful planning.

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 achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances:

Other support available under the SRDP

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

  • Improvement of rush pasture for wildlife
  • Biodiversity cropping on in-bye
  • Summer cattle grazing
  • Management of moorland grazing