In the UK, 75% of crop plants require pollination by insects and animals, and Britain alone has more than 1,500 species of pollinating insects. It is nearly impossible to emphasise the importance of the service pollinators such as bees and butterflies provide us. The estimated economic value of pollination by bees in the UK is estimated to be over £650 million per year. In 2014, the UK Government set out a National Pollinator Strategy which consisted of a ten year plan to help ensure these pollinators are able to thrive and survive.
Farmers and land managers work hard to provide habitats and food for these pollinators, predominantly through the Countryside Stewardship scheme and associated options. Farmers and land managers within the first year of their scheme, and yet to establish flower-rich margins and plots (AB8), must do so before the 15th of October. The AB8 mix must contain both grasses and perennial flowering plants. For those who already have established margins and plots, 90% of the area can be grazed or cut, leaving a plant height of between 10cm and 20cm from the 15th August to 31st October.
At Brown & Co, we offer a variety of Countryside Stewardship management packages, which can be individually tailored to your needs, in order to help you make the most of the scheme. Our services can include: the submission of your annual claim form, monthly reminders of work required, farm visits to assess scheme options and assessment of the quality of your areas, to ensure they are meeting the required standards.
Our Environmental Advisors are always on hand to answer any Stewardship related queries and can be contacted through our website or by calling Norwich office on 01603 629871.