SAC and RSPB team up to boost biodiversity at dairy farms

THE Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and RSPB Scotland have teamed up to make a dairy enterprise an exemplar for wildlife-friendly dairy farming.

The partners will work together to develop methods of boosting wildlife including birds, butterflies and wildflowers, at SAC’s Crichton Royal Dairy Research Farm in Dumfries.

The aim is to demonstrate measures that do not have an effect on a farm’s bottom line, and to encourage other pastoral farms to adopt the measures shown to be successful at Crichton. Farmers will be able to pick up new ideas during regular ‘knowledge exchange’ events held at the farm.

SAC’s Dr Dave Roberts, head of dairy research, said: “I am very pleased that we are building on our 10 years of very successful work with RSPB Scotland at Crichton.

“The focus of our renewed partnership will be on looking at how we can make relatively small changes to farm management practices which have a big effect on bird species and other wildlife.”

Director of RSPB Scotland, Stuart Housden, added: “Scotland’s farms are home to a wide variety of stunning wildlife, sadly some of these species such as kestrel, lapwing and yellowhammer, are in need of urgent help. 

“By working closely with  SAC we hope to develop simple low cost solutions that dairy farmers and other producers can then apply on their land, reversing the fortunes of declining birds, butterflies and other species in the wider countryside.”

The farm is a LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Innovation Centre and the partners’ work ties in with the LEAF aim of helping farmers work to high environmental standards.

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