Belgium

Country Infos

 

Result-based payments for botanical grassland development

Overview

 

Scheme

Beverhoutsveld is a unique area, which has been used by farmers as common land for centuries. It is owned by the municipality of Beernem and is designated as a“valuable agricultural area” on the regional plans. In 1995 a nature development plan for Beverhoutsveld was approved by the council. Some plots have been taken out of lease to do nature development. These plots require specific management. Because the Beverhoutsveld is an agricultural area, it is evident that the farmers and horticulturists also participate in the management of these plots.

In the spring of 2012, some farmers set up an agri-environmental management group, supported by Boerennatuur Vlaanderen. The municipality has concluded an agreement with this management group to manage these plots for a fee. Together with this local group of farmers Boerennatuur Vlaanderen developed a result-based payments approach in which farmers are paid according to the botanical value of their grassland.

Botanical grassland development in Beverhoutsveld
Grassland management

Location of the scheme

one region

Beverhoutsveld (Beernem)

Duration of the scheme

Since: 2012
Until: Still running

Objective(s) of the scheme / project

  • Biodiversity
  • Landscape amenities, including recreation, tourism

Biodiversity (botanical)

Cultural Heritage

More multifunctional nature-inclusive agriculture

Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?

  • Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))

Which indicators are used?

  • Habitats (incl FFH and BD)

Presence and abundance of key indicator species are used.

Design of scheme / project

  • Pure Result Based Payments
  • Stepwise increasing Result Based Payments

By which fund(s) is the scheme / project implemented?

  • Others

Local funding by the municipality who owns the land

How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?

  • Based on the costs of management actions

Via a tender contract, that is renewed every 3 years, the municipality pays the group of farmers every year a fixed ha-payment. With the advise of Boerennatuur Vlaanderen 3 payment levels were developed and agreed up by the farmers to distribute this money amongst the farmers based on the level of botanical grassland development of the fields. These payment levels correspond both to the increase in botanical grassland biodiversity and the decrease in hay value of the grassland as animal feed.

Is there a top up in case of reaching the goals?

  • No

How many hectares are in the scheme (year 2020)?

  • Less than 100

How many farmers take part in the scheme?

  • Less than 50

How are participating farmers supervised/advised?

  • Advisors visits (obligatory)
  • Advisors visits (optional)
  • Information meetings/workshops (voluntary)

Every 1-2 years the fields are visited and scored for their botanical value by the local farm group advisor of Boerennatuur Vlaanderen together with a grassland specialist of the regional landscape organisation.

On a regular basis, the local advisor of Boerennatuur Vlaanderens meets with the local group of farmers and discuss about results of the evaluation, findings and experiences of the farmers and new initatives and projects that could be undertaken.

Website

https://www.boerennatuur.be/beverhoutsveld/

Contact person

Sven Defrijn, Diestesevest 40, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, Boerennatuur Vlaanderen, sven.defrijn@boerennatuur.be

Korneel Verslyppe, Diestesevest 40, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, Boerennatuur Vlaanderen, korneel.verslyppe@boerennatuur.be


Showroom