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 this area was approved by the council. Some plots have been taken out of lease for realising this plan. Because Beverhoutsveld is an agricultural area, it was the wish of the municipality that the farmers could play a role in the management of these plots and create synergies between farming and nature development.
In 2011, with the support of Boerennatuur Vlaanderen, local farmers set up an agri-environmental management group (in dutch: 'agrobeheergroep'). After a tendering procedure, the municipality made an agreement with Boerennatuur Vlaanderen that this group of farmers could manage these plots according to the nature development goals. Together with the farmers Boerennatuur Vlaanderen developed a result-based payments approach in which farmers are paid according to the botanical value of their grassland.
Location of the schemeone region
Duration of the schemeSince: 2012
Until: Still running
Objective(s) of the scheme / project
- Landscape amenities, including recreation, tourism
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?
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?
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.
Sven Defrijn, Diestesevest 40, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, Boerennatuur Vlaanderen, email@example.com
Korneel Verslyppe, Diestesevest 40, 3000 Leuven, Belgium, Boerennatuur Vlaanderen, firstname.lastname@example.org