MAFF tells English farmers how to plant woodlands for birds

The Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS) pays farmers to plant new woodlands. Now, a booklet has been published advising farmers on the best methods to create woodlands that particularly attract birds.

The advice contained in Farm Woodland for Birds was prepared by Ecoscope Applied Ecologists on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). The booklet is available to all farmers, but specifically supports farmers who have received or who are applying for funds under FWPS.

The scheme works by providing farmers who agree to plant a new woodland on land previously used for farming with annual payments for 10 to 15 years to make up for lost income.

Payments to farmers in England under FWPS for 1998-99 totalled £5.3 million. Since FWPS began, in 1992, MAFF has approved more than 5,000 applications for planting on agricultural land in England and more than 21 million new trees have been planted.

Ecoscope Applied Ecologists have undertaken a variety of projects for government ministries and agencies, including:

  • An ornithological survey and assessment of 45km of the Inner Tidal Thames Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Production of guidelines for the monitoring and assessment of habitats and species for the UK Statutory Nature Conservation Agencies
  • Preparation of wetland management plans for sites in South Yorkshire, the Cotswolds and Shropshire

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