Project aims/ background:
LEAFS vision is ‘a global farming and food system that delivers Climate Positive action, builds resilience, and supports the health, diversity and enrichment of our food, farms, the environment, and society’ https://leaf.eco/about-leaf/what-we-do
Cornwall Environmental Consultants Ltd (CEC) were commissioned on behalf of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) to undertake an ecological walkover and recommend habitat management advice on two areas of land known as “Former Pond” and “Gorse Hill” at a working dairy farm. The report provided an assessment of the current habitats, their condition, and species composition. It also assessed the site for its potential to support protected species, and how habitats and site in general could be ecologically improved.
What CEC did/ delivered:
Ecologists at CEC created a management plan for the dairy farm that included advice on scrub management, tree planting strategies, grassland enhancement, installation of nesting bird, owl and bat boxes, ride and glade creation. The management plan also included details of reinstating a historical pond at the farm and stream management to encourage growth of amphibians and reptile populations on site.
A grazing programme was suggested to increase the structural diversity of field sward and encouraging natural return of wildflowers and a wider range of invertebrate species to the meadows. Hedge management practices and recommendation of planting new hedges were documented to increase invertebrate interest on site and increase nesting birds and bat roosts. Planting new hedgerows was recommended to increase connectivity of the site for bat foraging and commuting routes.
Outcome for client:
The creation of comprehensive management plan by CEC identified and documented how to achieve ecological outcomes specifically for the commercial dairy farm. The management plan outlined what works were recommended to be carried out, at what times of the year and over what time frame. The management plan identified what species and habitats would be enhanced and restored if works were to be carried out as set out in the management plan. In following the management plan the farmers would work to achieve their LEAF marque certification