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Annexe 36 - Etude de cas Exmoor

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120 pages
University of Gloucestershire, UK EVALUATION DES MESURES AGRO-ENVIRONNEMENTALES AGRI/ G4/ 2004 ANNEXE 36 : ETUDE DE CAS EXMOOR Novembre 2005 Janet Dwyer and Peter Grey, Countryside and Community Research Unit, University of Gloucestershire Dunholme Villa, The Park, Cheltenham. G50 2RH Etude de cas - Exmoor TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. CONTEXT OF AEM IMPLEMENTATION IN THE CASE STUDY AREAS: EAST ANGLIA AND EXMOOR, ENGLAND............................................................................................................... 1 1.1. Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 1 1.2. Arable Stewardship Case Study, East Anglia................................................................ 1 1.3. Characterisation of the Area........................................................................................... 2 1.4. AEM in the Area .............................................................................................................. 4 1.4.1 Basic structure of the Arable options added into CSS from 2002............................................... 4 1.4.2 Management Measures................................................................................................................ 5 1.5. History of the development of the arable options.................................................. ...
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University of Gloucestershire, UK









EVALUATION DES MESURES
AGRO-ENVIRONNEMENTALES


AGRI/ G4/ 2004








ANNEXE 36 : ETUDE DE CAS EXMOOR









Novembre 2005







Janet Dwyer and Peter Grey, Countryside and Community Research Unit, University of Gloucestershire
Dunholme Villa, The Park, Cheltenham. G50 2RH Etude de cas - Exmoor
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. CONTEXT OF AEM IMPLEMENTATION IN THE CASE STUDY AREAS: EAST ANGLIA AND
EXMOOR, ENGLAND............................................................................................................... 1
1.1. Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 1
1.2. Arable Stewardship Case Study, East Anglia................................................................ 1
1.3. Characterisation of the Area........................................................................................... 2
1.4. AEM in the Area .............................................................................................................. 4
1.4.1 Basic structure of the Arable options added into CSS from 2002............................................... 4
1.4.2 Management Measures................................................................................................................ 5
1.5. History of the development of the arable options.......................................................... 7
1.5.1 Scheme Uptake in the area .......................................................................................................... 7
1.6. The Exmoor ESA Case Study, SW England.................................................................. 8
1.6.1 Environmental importance .......................................................................................................... 9
1.7. Farming in the ESA........................................................................................................ 10
1.8. Threats to the environment from agricultural change ............................................... 10
1.9. Population in Exmoor .................................................................................................... 11
1.10. ESA objectives and structure ........................................................................................ 12
1.10.1 AEM Measures.......................................................................................................................... 13
1.11. Monitoring ......................................................................................................................14
1.11.1 Scheme Uptake in the area ........................................................................................................ 15
2. PRÉSENTATION OF THE FARMER INTERVIEWS............................................................ 16
2.1. GLOBAL ANALYSES................................................................................................... 16
2.1.1 AS Cambridgeshire farmers summary....................................................................................... 16
2.1.2 Exmoor ESA farmers summary................................................................................................. 20
2.1.3 Discussion ................................................................................................................................. 24
3. ANSWERS TO EVALUATION QUESTIONS....................................................................... 25
3.1. Theme nº 1: Environmental impacts of agri-environmental measures - Sub-theme nº
1: biodiversity ............................................................................................................................. 25
3.1.1 Q 1: To what extent has biodiversity (species richness) been maintained or enhanced by agri-
environmental measures? ....................................................................................................................... 25
3.2. Thème nº 1: Environmental impacts of Sub-theme nº
3: Landscape............................................................................................................................... 32
3.2.1 Q 8: to what extent have rural landscapes been maintained or enhanced by agri-environmental
measures? ............................................................................................................................................... 32
3.3. Theme nº 2a: Institutional and contextual issues which determine the success of
agri-environmental policy.......................................................................................................... 38
3.3.1 Q 9: To what extent have institutional structures and working methods at all levels in the
Member states facilitate/hindered the construction of good quality agri-environmental programmes and
measures?......................... 38
3.3.2 Q 10: To what extent is funding for agri-environmental programmes and measures adequate
(e.g. in the EU contribution, Member states budget, Regional budget, payment levels for farmers, etc.)
and how has the level of funding influenced uptake and programme quality ? ..................................... 44
3.3.3 Q 11: To what extent is the monitoring, evaluation and control of agri-environmental measures
in place in the Member states adequate to the task? To what extent have the results of monitoring and
Etude de cas - Exmoor
evaluation been used to improve programmes? What lessons can be learned from best practices on
monitoring, evaluation and control?....................................................................................................... 45
3.3.4 Q 12: To what extent have other implementation or contextual factors (such as the attitude
towards/knowledge about agri-environment at all levels in the Member states, the level of GFP, other
CAP/EU measures, minimum 5-years contracts, farmers as the only beneficiaries, etc.) influenced
programmes uptake and environment effectiveness? ............................................................................. 46
3.4. Theme nº 2b: Economic efficiency of measures. Payment mechanism...................... 47
3.4.1 Q 13: What differences are there in the budget spending and the administrative effort of
different measures having similar environmental outcomes? How could less efficient measure be
improved? What lessons can be learned from very efficient measures (best practices)? ....................... 47
3.4.2 Q 14: Is the present way of applying payment mechanism (based on costs incurred plus income
foregone plus an incentive where necessary) suited to achieving the desired environmental outcome?
Do payment reflect costs incurred and income foregone? Are incentive payments when used, being
justified? Can any improvements be suggested to the payment mechanism, which would maintain
compatibility with WTO rules? .............................................................................................................. 49
3.5. Theme nº 3: The socio-economic impact of agri-environmental measures............... 51
3.5.1 Q 15: To what extent have agri-environmental measures provided farmers with opportunity of
a gainful activity (provision of environmental services)? To what extent have they contributed to
enhancing the image of agriculture as a provider of services to society?............................................... 51
3.6. Theme nº 4: Objectives and targeting of agri-environmental measures ................... 54
3.6.1 Q 16: To what extent agri-environmental measures designed with clear environmental
objectives? To what extent have Member states and Regions chosen to target their agri-environmental
measures to areas and topics covered by Community environmental legislation or objectives? ........... 54
4. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMANDATIONS ..................................................................... 55
APPENDICES ........................................................................................................................ 57
Annex 1: List of key contacts for the case studies ................................................................... 57
Annex 2: Bibliography............................................................................................................... 58
Annex 3: Farmer interviews - completed survey forms.......................................................... 59
Interview guide for farmers .................................................................................................................... 59 ers 64 ers................ 70 ers 75 ers................ 81
Interview guide for farmers 87 ers................ 93 ers 99 ers.............. 105 ers .................................................................................................... 111

TABLE OF TABLES

Table 1. Basic structure of the ASPS options offered 1998-2000............................................................. 4
Table 2. Uptake figures for ASPS area in East Anglia.............................................................................. 7
Table 3. Areas in agreement by Option (ha).............................................................................................. 8
Table 4. Table 4. Area and number of beneficiary farmers, Exmoor ESA, 2003................................... 15
Table 5. Table 5. Uptake by tier as at July 2005, Exmoor ESA.............................................................. 15
Table 6. Table 6 East Anglia Pilot Area – partner involvement in delivery............................................ 39





Etude de cas - Exmoor
TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1. Map of the Area........................................................................................................................... 2
Figure 2. Landscape of the East Anglia AS area ........................................................................................ 4
Figure 3. Map of the Exmoor ESA area ..................................................................................................... 9
Figure 4. Landscapes of the Exmoor case study area ............................................................................... 10
Figure 5. Diagram of ESA measures and how they interrelate................................................................. 14

GLOSSARY

AAPS Arable Area Payment Scheme
AE Agri-Environment
AEM Agri-Environment Measure
AES Agri-Environment Scheme
BAP Biodiversity Action Plan
CAP Common Agricultural Policy
CBD Convention on Biological Diversity
CCRU Countryside and Community Research Unit, University of Gloucestershire
CEQ Commision Evaluation Questions
CSS Countryside Stewardship Scheme (England)
Defra Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs, UK and England
ERDP England Rural Development Programme
ESA Environmentally Sensitive Area
FWAG Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (NGO)
GAP Good Agricultural Practice
GFP Good Farming Practice
GIS Geographic Information System
HLS Higher Level Scheme (part of the new England Environmental Stewardship scheme)
LFA Less Favoured Area
MAFF Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, England/UK (replaced by Defra, 2001)
MTE Mid Term Evaluation
N2K Natura 2000
NGO Non-governmental organisation
NNR National Nature Reserve
NSA Nitrate Sensitive Area
NVZ Nitrate Vunerable Zone
OAS Organic Aid Scheme
OFS c Farming Scheme
PI Performance Indicator
PO Project Officer
PROW Public Right of Way
PSA Public Service Agreement
RDP Rural Development Programme
RDR Ruralopment Regulation 1257/1999
RSPB Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (NGO)
SAM Scheduled Ancient Monument
SPA Special Protection Area for birds under the EU Birds Directive
SSSI Site of Special Scientific Interest
SQW Segal Quince Wicksteed consultants
UAA Utilised Agricultural Area
WWF WorldWide Fund for Nature

Etude de cas - Exmoor
1. CONTEXT OF AEM IMPLEMENTATION IN THE CASE STUDY
AREAS: EAST ANGLIA AND EXMOOR, ENGLAND
1.1. Introduction
For this case study, which focuses upon the delivery of biodiversity and landscape benefits in agri-
environmental schemes in England, it was decided to choose two specific micro-regions in England
in which to examine this issue. The two main schemes in England up to December 2004 were:
- the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS), which is available throughout England and which
targets a broad range of biodiversity and landscape benefits through a standard menu of
management measures; and
- the Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheme (ESA), which applies locally-tailored menus of
management measures within 22 designated areas of the English countryside.

Thus, to provide a contrasting picture of the way in which the schemes work and the evidence of
their effects, we selected one ESA and one specific area where CSS has been particularly
thoroughly monitored, which would also represent two quite contrasting types of landscape and
farming area. In addition, it was hoped that the monitoring data from each area would provide a
contrasting focus for the study, in that the ESA area has had a particular focus on landscape while
the CSS area has heavily emphasised biodiversity. The selected areas are:
- The ‘Arable Stewardship’ area in East Anglia, a fairly typical arable farming area in eastern
England where a new package of measures to promote environmental gains in arable
landscapes under CSS was developed through a localised ‘Arable Stewardship’ pilot scheme’
(AS) which was launched in 1998, following which this package was integrated into the main
CSS menu of management measures in 2002. Being the precise location for a pilot scheme, the
potential impacts of the arable pilot agreements upon farmland biodiversity were the subject of
specific monitoring and evaluation exercises, in addition to the ongoing CSS monitoring and
evaluation processes;
- The Exmoor ESA, which covers most of the Exmoor National Park, a picturesque upland area
of high natural value, in south-west England, where this whole-farm ESA, which was launched
in 1993, has had a high level of local uptake and is focused upon achieving the protection and
enhancement of the moorland landscape and its constituent habitats and features, in particular.

For ease of reading, these two areas/schemes are presented sequentially for the first part of this
report, and where the information is specific to one or other area, it will also be reported on
sequentially in the later parts of the report, when responding to the Evaluation questions.
1.2. Arable Stewardship Case Study, East Anglia
To help farmers to re-create and enhance wildlife habitats in arable areas, Defra introduced new
arable options into the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in 2002. The new arable options were
based on conclusions reached following the operation of the Arable Stewardship Pilot scheme,
which was launched in two pilot areas in East Anglia and the West Midlands in 1998. One of these
areas – the East Anglia one – has been selected for this case study because it illustrates how the
CSS scheme, as it has developed, has increased its potential to deliver important benefits for
biodiversity in more intensively farmed landscapes.

The Pilot Arable Stewardship Scheme (AS) was established by MAFF in 1998 to test the
effectiveness of a range of arable management options in maintaining and enhancing biodiversity.
The initial concept of the scheme was developed by MAFF working closely with nature
conservation interests, particularly the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB – the UK
member of Birdlife International). A specific driver of the scheme was the need to trial the
effectiveness of management solutions to reverse the clearly documented decline in populations of
many key species associated with farmland. This includes the decline in the farmland bird index,
1 Etude de cas - Exmoor
the reversal of which has been adopted by Defra as a public service agreement (PSA) target. AS
was piloted in two areas of lowland England, East Anglia and the West Midlands, for 3 years
(1998-2000). A large variety of precise management options were available to farmers, grouped
under five broad headings:
- overwintered stubble (ie leaving the crop residue in the field over the winter rather than sowing
an autumn cereal immediately after harvest);
- undersown spring cereals (sowing a spring cereal crop with a grass mix, so that once the crop is
harvested the grass is already established for the following year);
- conservation headlands (leaving broad margins of arable fields unsprayed with fertilisers or
pesticides to encourage arable flora and invertebrates, in particular);
- creating grass margins around crop fields, beetle banks across the middle of fields and leaving
uncropped wildlife strips in or around fields; and
- using wildlife seed mixtures to colonise uncropped areas of the field such as margins and/or
beetle banks.

Prior research by both RSPB and the Game Conservancy Trust (another NGO) had found that these
practices could be beneficial in providing feeding and breeding opportunities for a range of
farmland bird species. Specific bird targets for the pilot scheme included the provision of seed food
and breeding sites for particular groups of declining species.
1.3. Characterisation of the Area
2The AS area in East Anglia is a block of 2,200 km including 180,000 ha of mainly arable farmland
located in the counties of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Essex. It was selected for the
pilot scheme because it was not already subject to any kinds of special area designation, it was not
an ESA and it did not have many CSS agreements already in existence prior to the launch of the
arable pilot scheme. Thus it was seen as fairly typical of a large proportion of lowland farmland in
southern England, particularly in the east of the country.
Figure 1. Map of the Area


The region’s landscape is not of particularly high value, with undulating but not particularly
dramatic topography and a relatively low density of traditional field boundaries and other
2 Etude de cas - Exmoor
landscape features, as well as public rights of way. However, areas of small woodland and small
ponds or streams are a conspicuous feature of this kind of East Anglian landscape and in that
context, any remaining field boundaries can provide important linking networks for wildlife.

The East Anglia (EA) pilot area matches that suggested by English Nature (the government’s
nature conservation agency in England), the Game Conservancy Trust and RSPB in the original
development of the Arable Stewardship Pilot Scheme. It represents a predominantly arable farming
area with concentrations of key bird species and rare arable plants.

Farms are larger than average, utilising heavy soils, of which over 80% are cultivated. The total
number of holdings is around 1,650, of which only 52% are classified as ‘full-time’. The area has
characteristically large fields and a declining area devoted to spring cropping, now that winter
cereal production has become the dominant style of arable production in England. The soils are
mainly calcareous, and are mostly heavy clays and medium loams.

The region’s economy is relatively buoyant – the area is centrally located between London and
Cambridge in a part of the country that has experienced significant population and economic
growth in recent years. The bulk of its population works in urban centres but there is a strong
tradition of commuting, meaning that rural communities are growing and rural unemployment is
relatively low. Whilst the area includes some of the more profitable of England’s farming types, the
contribution of farming to the local economy in rural areas is likely to be very small, as a
proportion of total economic activity in the area.

The main trends in the area in recent years will have included farm enlargement and specialisation
and a gradual decline in the biodiversity value of the farmed area. This is due to a combination of
neglect and inadequate, time-saving management of interstitial features on farms (hedgerows,
ditches, etc) as well as more intensive, input-rich and mechanised management of the in-field
cropped area. There is now much less grassland within the arable rotation than would have been
seen 20-30 years ago. In addition, cropping diversity has declined and now concentrated on a
narrow range (most commonly wheat, barley, oilseed rape, peas and beans), when historically,
other crops would have been much more important (eg root crops and brassicas, grown as ‘break
crops’ within a rotation, as well as oats and fibre crops). Other landscape features such as small
orchards would traditionally have been more common, and the main arable crops would have been
sown in spring, whereas today the vast majority is autumn-sown.

The key environmental importance of areas such as these in England is largely because they
constitute such a significant proportion of total farmland in the south and east of the country and
thus provide the home for a large proportion of native species. Arable farmland has been shown to
be a critical habitat for farmland bird species in decline, and for other taxa including butterflies,
small mammals (dormouse, hare, etc) and many now rare species of arable flora which were once
widespread across England. The reasons for declining biodiversity in these landscapes have been
intensively researched in the past 2-3 decades and can be attributed to both in-field crop
management changes as well as the impacts of gradual farm enlargement and specialisation upon
land use diversity and the condition and density of traditional field boundaries.
3 Etude de cas - Exmoor
Figure 2. Landscape of the East Anglia AS area

1.4. AEM in the Area
The main AEMs implemented in this study region were the Countryside Stewardship Scheme
(CSS) 1992-2004, and the Arable Stewardship Pilot (AS) scheme, 1998-2002. The main focus of
this case study is on the measures specifically targeted at arable farming systems that were piloted
under AS and then added into CSS, in slightly modified form, from 2002. However, farmers in this
area could and can still contract any other complementary measures from the full list of CSS
options, as part of their agreements (these are detailed in the main UK report, annex 4).

For the purposes of reporting on the effectiveness of the scheme, most of the extant monitoring and
evaluation data relates only to the AS scheme and its measures.
Table 1. Basic structure of the ASPS options offered 1998-2000
Option Supplement Description
1 Overwintered stubbles
A As 1 preceded by cereals/linseed with limited herbicide
B As 1 followed by spring/summer fallow
A+B As 1 wth combined supplements A and B
C As 1 followed by a spring crop
A+C As 1 with combined supplements A and C
2 Undersown spring cereals
A As 2 preceded by overwintered stubble
B As 2 followed by a grass ley
A+B As 2 with combined supplements A and B
3 Cereal margin with no summer insecticide
A Conservation headlands
B Conservation headlands with no fertiliser applied
4 4A Grass field margins naturally regenerated or sown
4B Beetle banks
4CUncropped wildlife strips
5 Wildlife seed mixtures
1.4.1 Basic structure of the Arable options added into CSS from 2002
The arable options fell into three categories:
- wildlife mixtures
- overwintered stubbles
- conservation headlands.

4 Etude de cas - Exmoor
These options were made available from 2002 onwards, alongside existing Countryside
Stewardship options (e.g. arable grass margins, beetle banks, hedgerow management, etc). The new
options were available only on land registered for the Arable Area Payment Scheme (AAPS) and
for which there were records of cultivation or set-aside for the previous five years. Wildlife
mixtures were strips or blocks of land taken out of conventional arable production for the period of
the agreement. Overwintered stubbles and conservation headlands were rotational, meaning that
they could move around the farm with the normal arable rotation. On the application form farmers
were required to identify the fields which would be eligible for these options and the annual area of
each option. Each spring, DEFRA then requested information about the precise fields in which
each option was located, to enable compliance checking.
Environmental aims
The wildlife mixture options were to provide sources of seed, nectar and pollen, and cover for
insects, birds and mammals. Overwintered cereal stubbles provided feeding and breeding sites for
birds, and encouraged rare arable plants. When followed by a low input spring cereal or a fallow,
additional wildlife habitat benefits were also anticipated. Conservation headlands, where the use of
insecticides and herbicides (and for option CH2, fertilisers) was limited, were to allow the build up
of predators of pests, and provide insect and bird habitats, at the edges of arable fields.

These were additional to the existing aims and focus of the scheme but fully integrated with the
wider ‘menu’ of CSS and the process by which agreements could be applied for. As the Defra
information leaflet on the new options explained:

‘Countryside Stewardship is a discretionary scheme, so not all applications can be accepted. You
should aim to have a whole farm approach to conservation and to include a range of both annual
management options (e.g. arable options) and capital work (e.g. hedgerow restoration and
planting). Arable options will be prioritised in areas where there are existing populations of key
farmland species. In addition to wildlife benefits, you could also consider how you may be able to
meet some of the other Countryside Stewardship objectives (e.g. historic features and access).’
(Defra, 2002)
1.4.2 Management Measures
The new arable options added to the full CS menu in 2002 were as follows.
Wildlife mixtures
WM1: Wild bird seed mixture – £510/ha/year
Management conditions
During your first agreement year you must establish a mixture of at least three seed-bearing crops
(e.g. cereal, kale and quinoa). Mixtures should be sown in field margin strips at least 6 metres wide,
and/or in blocks (usually less than1 hectare) within arable fields. The mixture must be managed to
provide a continuing supply of food for seed-eating birds. The mixture should normally be re-sown
at least every other year in order to maintain seed production. Seed treatments and fertilizer should
only be used where their absence will jeopardize successful establishment and seed production.
Glyphosate may be used prior to spring re-sowing; otherwise herbicide application must be limited
to the use of a weed wiper or spot treatment for the control of thistles, docks, ragwort and
pernicious grass weeds. The area should not be used for access or turning.

WM2: Pollen and nectar mixture – £510/ha/year
Management conditions
In the first agreement year, you must establish a mixture of at least four nectar-rich plants and four
non-competitive grasses in field margin strips at least 6 metres wide or blocks (usually less than 1
hectare) within arable fields. The mixture must be managed to provide a continuing supply of
5 Etude de cas - Exmoor
pollen and nectar for foraging insects. If the pollen and nectar component fails it will be necessary
to re-establish the mixture. You may apply glyphosate prior to establishment. Otherwise, herbicides
are not usually permitted unless applied via a weed wiper, or spot treatment for the control of
thistles, docks, ragwort and pernicious grass weeds. Later flowering should be stimulated on half
the area by topping at the end of June. After 15 September the whole area should be topped to a
height of 10-15 cm. Apart from this cutting, care should be taken to avoid
disturbing these areas between 15 March and 15 July. Do not apply organic/inorganic fertiliser.
You should not use this land for access, turning or grazing.
Overwintered stubbles
OS1: Overwintered stubble followed by a spring crop – £40/ha/year
Stubble management conditions
The stubble must follow a cereal crop. After harvest the straw must be baled or chopped. No
cultivation should take place until 14 February. Do not sow a cover crop. Regenerating vegetation
should not be topped or grazed. Do not apply agrochemicals, fertilisers or lime.
Spring crop conditions
At the end of the stubble period (14 February) a spring crop must be established and managed in
the usual way.

OS2: Overwintered stubble followed by a low input spring cereal crop – £125/ha/year
Stubble management conditions
As for OS1
Low input spring cereal crop conditions
After the cereal stubble, you must sow a spring cereal crop between 14 February and 20 April. You
may, if you wish, undersow with a grass or grass/legume mixture. The cereal should be sown at a
seed rate of not more than 100kg/ha. You will be able to use a limited range of herbicides (see
below). Do not apply more than 50 kg/ha of nitrogen. The spring cereal crop must not be harvested
before 31 July.

OS3: Overwintered stubble, followed by spring/summer fallow – £520/ha/year
Stubble management conditions
As for OS1, except the stubble should be retained until 1 March.

Fallow management conditions
After the cereal stubble, you must produce a false seedbed, with tines or discs to a depth of 75-
100mm, between 1 March and 20 March. Following the cultivation do not cut, top, graze, or
cultivate the regenerating vegetation. Do not apply agrochemicals, fertilisers or lime. The fallow
must be kept until 31 July.

Conservation headlands
CH1: Conservation headlands – £90/ha/year
Management conditions
Conservation headlands are only eligible at the edge of cereal crops. These must be at least 6
metres, and not more than 24 metres, wide. Do not apply any insecticides between 15 March and
harvest. You may use a limited range of herbicides (please see below). There are no restrictions on
the use of fungicides, growth regulators or fertilisers.

CH2: Conservation headlands with no fertilizer applications – £270/ha/year
Management conditions
Similar to CH1, except that you must not apply fertilizers. There are no restrictions on the use of
fungicides or growth regulators.

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