Country Infos

Country Profile Manager:
Nika Debeljak
Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for nature conservation
Phone: +386 1 230 95 00

Unsown land for the skylark (Alauda arvensis) - USLS




The purpose of voluntary scheme is to improve the conditions for breeding and feeding of the skylark (Alauda arvensis), which will consequently lead to an increase in its population. The scheme, which is optional for implementation, protects the skylark, whose chirping is a characteristic sound backdrop of the Slovenian cultural landscape. It inhabits fields and meadows and nests on the ground. Therefore, it also avoids areas near exposed sites, such as hedges, trees, or power lines, from where predators would have a good view of its nest. The number of skylarks in Slovenia has significantly decreased - by 60% since 2008, when the Slovenian Index of Farmland Birds began to be monitored. The decline in their numbers is influenced both by the intensification of meadows and fields and by the abandonment of use and overgrowth, as they require open landscapes with areas of low vegetation. Experiments elsewhere in Europe have shown that we can help them in fields with unsown patches.

Skylark (Alauda arvensis) (Photo: Blaž Blažič)

Location of the scheme

several regions

Voluntary implementation of the measure or scheme is possible in Ljubljanska kotlina including Ljubljansko barje (SI5000014), Dravsko - Ptujsko polje, including Črete (SI5000027) and Pragersko - marsiljka (SI3000089), Pomurska ravan, including Mura (SI3000215), Goričko (SI5000009), Krško- Brežiško polje, including Vrbina (SI3000234).

Duration of the scheme

Since: 2023
Until: 2027

Objective(s) of the scheme / project

  • Biodiversity

The purpose of this voluntary scheme is to improve the conditions for breeding and feeding of the skylark (Alauda arvensis), which will consequently lead to an increase in its population.

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

  • Only birds of BD

The scheme protects the skylark (Alauda arvensis)

Which indicators are used?

  • Only BD Birds
  • Physical structures (e.g. dead wood, presence of brushwood, hollow trees, tall grass)

Design of scheme / project

  • Pure Result Based Payments

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

  • Agri Environmental Measures of CAP

The intervention is included in the Strategic Plan of the Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027 and is part of the environmental scheme 'SOPO'.

How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?

  • Based on the costs of management actions

For the implementation of the intervention or scheme, the following requirements must be met. First, patches of unplanted soil should be left on arable lands planted with cereals, oilseed rape, clover, sainfoin, or a clover-grass mixture. Second, multiple patches of unplanted soil must be ensured on arable lands, and they should be at least 5 meters away from the edge of the arable land. Third, each patch should be at least 25 square meters in size and at least 2.5 meters wide.

Fourth, on arable land up to 0.5 hectares in size, there should be at least one patch of unplanted soil. For every additional 0.5 hectares, an additional patch should be added. Therefore, on land from 0.6 to 1.0 hectares, there should be at least two patches, from 1.1 to 1.5 hectares at least three patches, and so on.

Additionally, the scheme stipulates that payment is appropriately valued based on the number of patches. For instance, for an agricultural plot of 0.3 hectares, one patch is required, while a larger plot of 0.7 hectares requires two patches. Similarly, for a plot of 1.2 hectares, three patches are needed, whereas for a plot of 1.88 hectares, four patches are necessary. If a farmer provides more patches than required on a plot, e.g., 0.7 hectares, this does not affect the amount of payment. Conversely, if only one patch is provided on a 0.7-hectare plot, payment is received only for that single patch. There is no need to register all arable lands in this scheme.

The presence of grazing livestock is considered irrelevant to this process.

How many hectares are in the scheme?

  • More than 5.000

How are participating farmers supervised/advised?

  • Advisors visits (obligatory)
  • Advice by telephone
  • Website
  • Information meetings/workshops (voluntary)

Are there any evaluation results?

  • No

Contact person

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food

Dunajska c. 22, 1000 Ljubljana