Study

Monitoring and Evaluation of Agri-environment Schemes

  • Published source details Parish D., Hirst D., Dadds N., Brian S., Manley W., Smith G. & Glendinning B. (2009) Monitoring and Evaluation of Agri-environment Schemes.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Pay farmers to cover the costs of bird conservation measures

    A replicated paired sites study on farms across Scotland under two agri-environment scheme prescriptions (Countryside Premium Scheme and Rural Stewardship Scheme) in spring-summer 2004-2008 (Parish et al. 2009) concluded that the schemes had little impact on farmland biodiversity. Whilst 280 agri-environment scheme farms had more birds of more species than 193 non-scheme paired farms (averages of 140 birds of 23 species on 105 Countryside Premium Scheme farms vs. 108 of 20 on paired non-scheme farms; 108 birds of 19 species on 88 Rural Stewardship Scheme farms vs. 86 of 17 on paired farms), trends did not vary between scheme and non-scheme farms, and scheme farms had higher species richness and abundances before entering schemes. Differences held for all species and for nationally threatened species. Time since entry into the Countryside Premium Scheme did not appear to affect the number of species or bird abundance, except for a small decline in the abundance of tits Parus spp. In addition, no evidence was found for differing effects of schemes in different regions of Scotland, or on different farm types.

  2. Pay farmers to cover the cost of conservation measures (as in agri-environment schemes)

    A replicated paired sites study on farms across Scotland under two agri-environment scheme prescriptions (Countryside Premium Scheme and Rural Stewardship Scheme) in spring-summer 2004-2008 (Parish et al. 2009) concluded that the schemes had little impact on farmland biodiversity. Whilst 280 agri-environment scheme farms had more birds of more species than 193 non-scheme paired farms (averages of 140 birds of 23 species on 105 Countryside Premium Scheme farms vs 108 of 20 on paired non-scheme farms; 108 birds of 19 species on 88 Rural Stewardship Scheme farms vs 86 of 17 on paired farms), trends did not vary between scheme and non-scheme farms, and scheme farms had higher species richness and abundances before entering schemes. Differences held for all species and for nationally threatened species. Time since entry into the Countryside Premium Scheme did not appear to affect the number of species or bird abundance, except, for a small decline in the abundance of tits Parus spp. In addition, no evidence was found for differing effects of schemes in different regions of Scotland, or on different farm types. There were generally more plant species and individuals and higher plant diversity on farms managed under the Countryside Premium Scheme than non-Countryside Premium Scheme farms (e.g. for one agri-environment scheme option there were 20 plant species on scheme farms vs 15 on non-scheme farms), but very limited evidence of significant differences in plant species richness, abundance or diversity between Rural Stewardship Scheme and non-Rural Stewardship Scheme farms - where there was a difference there were more plant species or higher diversity on the Rural Stewardship Scheme farms. There were no significant differences in butterfly (Lepidoptera) species richness or abundance between Countryside Premium Scheme and non-Countryside Premium Scheme farms, and no significant differences in the number of ground-active beetles (Coleoptera) between Countryside Premium Scheme or Rural Stewardship Scheme and conventionally managed farms. Plants, ground-active beetles and butterflies were already generally more abundant or more species rich on Rural Stewardship Scheme sites when they joined the scheme (during first survey year 2004-2005).

     

Output references

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