Better water management can protect and increase biodiversity on your farm.
- Constructed farm wetlands to manage water quality can attract wildfowl and, in some cases, be stocked with fish increasing sporting opportunities.
- Reducing poaching around watercourses not only reduces erosion risk and protects farmland, but allowing vegetation to grow can provide habitat for insects; food for both birds and aquatic insects/fish
- Buffer strips can protect water quality by intercepting runoff, but also provide habitat and corridors for a number of different species, grasshoppers, buntings, frogs, water voles and otters.
- Reducing soil and bank erosion can reduce sediment deposition in river beds, preserving air spaces in gravels for fish eggs and other invertebrates.
The Scottish Farm Advisory Service has a webpage dedicated to buffer strips for biodiversity. You can find out more about support for biodiversity measures via the SRDP Agri Environment Climate Scheme; details of all SRDP funding schemes are here.
It is important to manage invasive plant species which may colonate on riparian areas. Invasive plant species have an ability to grow quickly, outcompeting native plants and breeding at a faster rate. It is a legal requirement for landowners to manage such plants to prevent their spread. "The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA) provides the primary controls on the release of non-native species into the wild in Great Britain and it is an offence under the act to ‘plant’ or ‘otherwise cause to grow in the wild’ a number of non-native plant species". Find out more from Technical Note (TN697): Invasive plant species: Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, Giant Hogweed and Skunk Cabbage.