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Climate change and biodiversity in agri-environment schemes - AC0304

Farmers and other land managers are paid under Agri-environment schemes to manage their land in ways that enhance the landscape and increase biodiversity. These schemes recognise the important impact agriculture can have on future plans to enhance biodiversity within the mixture of English landscapes, and that agriculture has to remain productive and profitable. However, it is not known what impact climate change will have on the efficacy of these schemes for enhancing biodiversity in the future, especially as agriculture itself will adapt to these changes. Research is required to develop this understanding and to identify ways to increase the resilience of the measures put in place under these schemes. This desk study will assess the potential impact of climate change on measures put in place under current agri-environment schemes and in particular Environmental Stewardship. The Entry Level Stewardship scheme (ELS) will be assessed across the regions of England, whereas, Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) will be assessed using three case studies. The case studies will focus on two landscapes (coastal and upland) likely to be most challenged by climate change and a third (Warwickshire) which is likely to be less challenged in the short term.

This desk study will use the UKCIP02 climate change scenario and focus on the time periods to 2020 and 2050 as being an appropriate time horizon for the needs of policy makers. The aims will be achieved through literature searching and wide consultation with agri-environment stakeholders, through direct contact with individuals and by a workshop with a pre-circulated agenda for discussion and agreement. The study will aim to provide insight to RDS advisors on the development of scheme interventions, and to identify future areas of research to support mitigation of the negative affects of climate change on biodiversity. The conclusions of the study will be presented in a final report to Defra.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Final Report   (357k)
• Final Report - Annex : Appendices to final report   (1923k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2006

To: 2007

Cost: £75,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Allocated - WHRI              
Climate and Weather              
Climate Change              
Environmental Protection              
Global Warming              
Peer Review              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change