Stocker, Phil; Hewlett, Kathleen and Brighton, Robbie (2008) Wildlife and Biodiversity: integration and management of farming and wildlife for their mutual benefit. Institute of Organic Training and Advice, Craven Arms, Shropshire, UK.
This review summarises key research findings regarding the beneficial integration of wildlife and bio-diversity within organic farming. In an ecological and agricultural context bio-diversity would ideally include the diversity of livestock breeds and crop species and varieties, their effect on wildlife habitats, and their role in supporting natural habitats and landscapes. However this subject area is outside the scope of this review and although the presence of such diversity on organic farms will have impacted on the research findings studied, little specific research has been conducted.
The objective of this review is to provide information to advisors, based on peer reviewed research, to increase the scope and abundance of wildlife and bio-diversity on organic farms, with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the organic farming system – practical and beneficial integration of wildlife, bio-diversity and organic farming.
By 2008 the majority of organic farms in the UK were relatively new to organic farming, having been encouraged to register as organic because of either beneficial market opportunities or agri environment programmes encouraging conversion. Clearly a proportion of farmers have entered organic farming with a good understanding of the farming system but many are still operating relatively conventional systems organically without in depth understanding of the principles and foundations of organic farming. The agri-environment schemes that encourage and support organic farming have been developed from schemes designed largely to encourage intensive chemical based farming to adopt some beneficial practices. The organic schemes tend to adopt similar prescriptive practices rather than encourage a completely holistic approach and the result is that farmers often fulfil environmental prescriptions to gain points rather than understanding how habitat management can work in harmony with, and improve the farming system.
|Keywords:||Farm structure and factors leading to biodiversity; insect, bat and bird specific factors, farming practices, sensitive field margin,hedgerow management,creation of non-crop habitats, small field size, spring sown cereals, crop rotation, mixed farming|
|Subjects:|| Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions|
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
|Research affiliation:|| UK > Institute of Organic Training and Advice (IOTA)|
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
|Deposited By:||Measures, Mr Mark|
|Deposited On:||09 Apr 2009|
|Last Modified:||12 Apr 2010 07:31|
|Additional Publishing Information:||Research Review for Advisors|
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