|Another 'hedge' being flailed into oblivion, |
near Great Shefford, West Berks
Of course such hedgerow mismanagement is terrible PR for the farming industry at large and an indictment of the Common Agricultural Policy, particularly the Cross Compliance requirements which do nothing to prevent inappropriate hedgerow management, while the Entry Level Stewardship scheme just allows farmers pretty well to carry on with what they have done before, whether good or bad.
The good news is, that, by restoring good hedge-management some of the farmland birds currently continuing to decline will return - such as Yellowhammer and Bullfinch, especially if at the same time farmers maintain and restore good-sized areas of flower-rich habitat.
Good hedge management isn't rocket science but those who continue to do the opposite should be outed and, under CAP reforms, such individuals and businesses should (in my view) lose their eligibility to receive any taxpayers' money to keep them in farming. There are plenty of others willing to take their place who would love to farm and manage our countryside in ways that are in harmony with the landscape and nature.
Link to hedgelink