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Talking Environmental Issues at Grassland & Muck 2011
2011-05-18

Natural England advisers will be on hand at this week’s Grassland & Muck 2011 event at Stoneleigh (18-19 May) to give straightforward advice and information on how Environmental Stewardship (ES) schemes can benefit farm businesses.

Lapwing
photo North East Wildlife

Lapwing

In the Manure and Nutrient Management Centre on the Showground (Stand 900) visitors to the event will be able to find out more about Natural England’s ES schemes and hear the latest environmental news from a range of organisations.

Natural England advisers will be on hand throughout the two-day event alongside representatives from the Environment Agency, Catchment Sensitive Farming and Campaign for the Farmed Environment, providing farmers with a one-stop spot at the show to get the latest information and have their questions answered.

Ian Fugler, Natural England’s Director of Land Management said: “It’s vital that farmers are given common sense advice and practical information about Environmental Stewardship and other conservation initiatives. At Grassland & Muck 2011, advisers from Natural England and other organisations are providing a single information point for farmers and will be happy to answer any questions from visitors to the event. This is a great opportunity for us to discuss the benefits of Environmental Stewardship schemes with farmers and we look forward to supporting this flagship event in the farming calendar.”

Livestock grazing is essential for the management of many of England’s most important wildlife habitats. Grassland, heathland, wood pasture, floodplain and coastal marshes all require some grazing to maintain the natural habitats on which many species of birds, mammals and insects depend.

Natural England has produced three new conservation guides which illustrate how management of grasslands can help provide healthy habitats for wildlife, such as bumblebees, skylarks, snipe, lapwings and barn owls. The key to providing the ideal conditions for these birds and other wildlife is to get the sward structure right at key times of the year and the practical guides describe and illustrate the most suitable conditions during the farming year.

The three new guides are:

  • Illustrated guide to managing farmland for lapwings (ref TIN090)
  • Illustrated guide to managing lowland wet grassland for snipe (ref TIN089)
  • Illustrated guide to managing neutral pasture for wildlife (ref: TIN088)

Designed to help farmers make the most of their ELS agreements by benefiting both them and the environment, the guides will also be of interest to anyone wanting to know how these wildlife habitats can best be looked after. The guides are free and can be downloaded from Natural England’s website at www.naturalengland.org.uk.

Natural England will be present alongside other agencies at several national farming events this year, where advisers will be happy to answer queries and provide information and advice. Visit us at:

· Beef Expo: 26 May – Newark Showground

· Cereals: 16-17 June – Boothby Graffoe, nr Lincoln

· Dairy and Livestock Show: 6-7 September – NEC Birmingham

link Committee on Climate Change Too Cautious on Biofuels says CLA
link Springtime Tips for Farmers in Stewardship Agreements
link Whither Agriculture?

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