This is a trial of an innovative approach to environmental land management that will reward farmers for any improvements they make to habitat connectivity and to enhanced biodiversity along the Llŷn coastal belt. The proposed “Payment for Outcomes” system is a result-based scheme where farmers are paid for identifiable and measurable environment gains as opposed to the approach in standard agri-environment schemes where farmers are paid for prescriptions which may or may not deliver the stated outcomes.
Unlike other results based trials, the scheme will take a whole farm approach. This will ensure that improvements in management in one area do not lead to declines in habitat quality elsewhere on the same farm. We are also keen to discover whether taking a whole farm approach will lead to a willingness to among participating farmers to review the profitability and long term suitability of their existing farm enterprises.
Location of the schemeone region
Llyn, North West Wales, UK
Duration of the schemeSince: March 2019
Until: February 2022
Objective(s) of the scheme / project
Expansions of priority habitats and improvement of existing habitats are a key focus. Allied to this is the objective of achieving farm sustainability where nature forms an integral part in not just delivering biodiversity improvements, but how it can play an important role in achieving an improvement in farm economics. This will be done by betterment of grazing opportunities, understanding carrying capacity of farm, soil health improvements, and how whole farm costs can be reduced by improving the above, and proving how key habitats can reduce feed and bedding costs and vet and med costs.
Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?
- Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))
- Deliver High nature status on all 3 farms
- Expand and improve key priority habitats to deliver a more robust and resilient suite of interlinked habitat types
- Illustrate how working with nature can achieve a more economically sustainable farm holding
Develop farmers knowledge of habitats and best practice to achieve biodiversity gains and farm sustainability
Which indicators are used?
- Habitats (incl FFH and BD)
Habitat Types – Coastal Mosaic, Coastal Grassland, Heathland, Species Rich Meadow, Semi Improved Grassland, Improved Grassland, Arable and Woodland
Design of scheme / project
- Pure Result Based Payments
The scheme has been designed following exhaustive collaboration with numerous similar trials including the Burren Programme and the Yorkshire Dales trials (YDNP and NT).
The scheme has been developed to target the key issues found in a coastal location with a varied habitat composition including significant % of improved land.
The scheme has been developed to address issues on a whole farm basis.
By which fund(s) is the scheme / project implemented?
- National governmental financing
How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?
- Based on the costs of management actions
Via a combination of payments made via similar PfO schemes, existing Welsh Gov agri-environmental schemes, NT own calculations on actual costs of habitat restoration, and sense checks with the farming community.
Is there a top up in case of reaching the goals?
How many hectares are in the scheme (year 2020)?
- 100 – 500
How many farmers take part in the scheme?
- Less than 50
How are participating farmers supervised/advised?
- Advisors visits (optional)
- Advice by telephone
- Information documents (pamphlets, reports, etc.)
- Information meetings/workshops (voluntary)
The farmers receive 4 formal visits per annum for the team to give guidance and advice.
They can discuss the trial and management options with the team at any time in addition to the formal discussions.
Training is provided on habitat assessments, best practice, soil analysis and vet and med advice.
Are there any evaluation results (2020)?
Andy Godber, Llyn Countryside Manager, Craflwyn, Beddgelert, Gwynedd