The aim of this research and development programme is to inform current and future agri-environment policy and scheme development.
|RP0194||Diversification of grassland through the manipulation of plant-soil interactions and the identification of indicators of restorability||The aims of this project are to: confirm association of high fungal-to-bacterial ratios with species-rich grasslands; quantify the impact of key plant species in the development of fungal dominated soils; identify mechanisms that influence plant species on fungal-to-bacterial ratios and soil biota influences on vegetation; evaluate other potential indicators for targeting grassland enhancement and creation. Defra funded project1451.||Steve Peel|
|RP0196||Testing of modified management of agricultural grassland to promote in-field structural heterogeneity, invertebrates and birds (Phase 2)||Phase 1 tried reducing grazing pressure and ceasing grazing. Reduced grazing increased invertebrates but not bird usage. No grazing increased invertebrates but caused unacceptable sward deterioration. A separate study tested mowing and forage harvesting to reduce skylark nest losses. These were potentially successful but difficult to incorporate into modern farming. Phase 2 is testing modified techniques. Defra funded project BD5207.||Pete Stevens|
|RP0201||Wide scale enhancement of biodiversity: effects on other resources||A moderate increase in plant diversity has the potential to deliver multiple benefits including (1) increased diversity and abundance of fauna; (2) improved soil structure, nutrient retention and water infiltration; (3) improved forage quality and livestock production. This project aims to provide further evidence to support new options for Environmental Stewardship suitable for intensive beef/sheep farms. Defra funded project BD5208.||Steve Peel|
|RP0278||Effects of hedgerow management and restoration on biodiversity||To examine the effects of simple cutting management regimes promoted by Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) on the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat, and food resources in hedgerows; and identify, develop and test low-cost, practical options for hedgerow restoration and rejuvenation applicable at the large-scale under both ELS and HLS. Defra funded project.||Emily Ledder|
|RP0420||Developing a method for reporting & monitoring the direct & cumulative impacts of Environmental Stewardship on the maintenance & enhancement of Landscape Character & Quality.||The aim of this 3-year research and development project is to develop and test a robust, repeatable and comprehensive evaluation framework for reporting and monitoring the direct and cumulative impacts of Environmental Stewardship on the maintenance and enhancement of landscape character and quality at a variety of scales, and using a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques. Defra funded project BD5303.||Sarah Manning|
|RP0421||Improving effectiveness of grassland restoration and creation options: development of a methodology for setting indicators of success and assessing progress||To develop and test a rapid methodology to assess the progress and timescales that restored or re-created grassland swards take to develop into BAP priority grasslands. The methodology will be used primarily for monitoring the progress and outcomes of HLS agreements under grassland options HK7 and HK8 (Restoration and creation of species-rich semi-natural grassland) and to assist in setting indicators of success. The methodology will utilise floristic, structural and possibly soil-based attributes. DEFRA funded Project BD5101.||Richard Jefferson|
|RP0449||SHINE into HLS: Development of a cost effective and timely way of capturing information and advice from Historic Environment Records to inform delivery of HLS||This project involves the further development of the SHINE protocols (Selected Heritage Inventory for Natural England) that were developed for ELS, to enable local authority Historic Environment Records (HERs) to attach management advice to verified historic environment features for the purposes of informing HLS applications and agreements. Defra funded project BD5305||Victoria Hunns|
|RP0635||Restoration of blanket bog vegetation for biodiversity, carbon and water||Defra-funded project from the ES R&D programme looking at management techniques to reduce dominance of heather on blanket bog as part of restoration to active condition and the impacts on biodiversity, carbon and water.
|RP0636||Restoration of Purple Moor Grass and rush pasture and associated fen habitats||The aims of this project are: review and summarise information from the European literature and other primary and secondary data sources to identify the habitat conditions required for the existence, restoration or re-creation of fens, 'purple moor-grass and rush pastures'. For more information see the Defra project description. Defra funded project BD5103.
|RP0637||Setting Indicators of Success for Species-rich grassland||The aim of this project is to develop a decision framework that can be used by field surveyors with a range of expertise to identify appropriate indicators for measuring the success of management of species-rich grassland, in particular allowing the monitoring of progress within timescales appropriate to the length of agri-environment scheme agreements. For more details see Defra funded project BD5101.
|RP0638||Developing a multi-functional arable agri-environment option: enhanced fallow||Research to support development of Environmental Stewardship options. Defra funded project BD5203||Mike Green|
|RP0639||Improving the management and success of arable plant options in ELS and HLS||Project to support Environmental Stewardship options. Defra funded project BD5204.
|RP0640||Managing Grassland Diversity For Multiple Ecosystem Services||The overall aim of this proposal is to assess the potential for UK grasslands to deliver multifunctional objectives of carbon sequestration, nutrient retention, pollination and biodiversity conservation, while maintaining economically viable levels of production. The main focus of the project is soil carbon sequestration. For more information see Defra funded project BD5003.
|RP0641||Provision of ecosystem services in Environmental Stewardship Scheme||This project will inform Environmental Stewardship policy and will greatly enhance our knowledge of how to manage the land for ecosystem services. Dissemination of the results and training and demonstration will ensure Natural England and Defra staff can implement the findings and stakeholders can make best use of the project outputs. Defra funded project BD5005.
|RP0920||Lapwings on agri-environment scheme fallow plots: research to improve lapwing breeding success (BD5211)||The aim of this project is to assess whether breeding success on fallow plots established under ES is higher than on spring crops without agri-environment measures. It will also determine whether breeding success and, in particular, chick survival is sufficient to maintain stable or increasing lapwing populations at a landscape scale. If this is not the case, it will identify which management and landscape factors have most influence on productivity, to facilitate future targeting and ensure that future management of plots maximizes breeding success. Defra funded project BD5211 part of the ES R&D programme.
|RP0921||Effects of winter-long provision of seed-rich habitats on seed-eating farmland birds (WM5210)||The primary aim of the study is to test whether the provision of seeded ryegrass can fill the late-winter hungry gap for farmland birds. It will do this in a pastoral landscape (North Wales) where other sources of winter seed are lacking. We aim to provide seed-rich habitat at the target scale of 2% (as per the Farmland Birds Package for arable landscapes) of the suitable habitat within designated intervention tetrads. The project will assess the impacts of seed provision on winter foraging and body condition, as well as impacts on overwinter survival and population size. It is funded by Defra as part of the ES R&D Programme.
|RP0987||BD5214 - Understanding the combined biodiversity effects of the component features of hedgerows.||Hedgerows are of considerable importance to biodiversity within farmed landscapes providing habitat, food, breeding opportunities, shelter and movement corridors. Hedgerows usually have one or more of the following components: woody shrubs, mature trees, banks, ditches and herbaceous margins. However, the way in which these components act together to support wildlife is poorly understood. This research projects addresses this gap in our knowledge and is intended to increase the effectiveness of conservation measures. The results will be used to improve hedge management advice and options delivered through Environmental Stewardship.