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Biodiversity encompasses all the variety of life on Earth from genes to species, populations, communities and ecosystems. In ecological and environmental sectors, we mostly refer to the biodiversity of plant and animal communities within particular habitats.

A high level of biodiversity usually indicates a richness of species which in turn is likely to reflect a diverse and healthy habitat. Hence biodiversity can be seen as a measure of the health of our ecosystems. This is important not only for species conservation but also because healthy ecosystems provide us humans with all the raw materials, food, medicines, ecosystem services, knowledge, inspiration and everything else we need to survive and flourish. Biodiversity is the natural capital on which we all depend and so its continuing degradation through processes such as unsustainable land use, climate change, pollution and invasive species, is a material threat to humankind.  

In the UK the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) recognises that a significant proportion of the potentially best wildlife habitat in the country is currently in unfavorable condition and that this reflects a serious decline in biodiversity. It has been estimated that populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians in the UK may have declined by as much as 70% since the 1970s. No wonder then that the UK sits within the bottom 10% globally and ranks lowest amongst the G7 nations in terms of biodiversity. Successful reversal of this trend will require enormous efforts and importantly will require targeted partnerships between conservation NGOs, farmers, landowners, scientists and government. 

The concepts of biodiversity net gain (BNG) and rewilding are potentially important tools for nature recovery in the UK.

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Rewilding is an approach to restoring biodiversity and ecosystem health by working towards returning habitats back to their natural state. Rewilding is commonly misrepresented as the reintroduction of large and glamorous wild animals and the removal of people and human activity from the landscape, but this is very rarely the case.  

Are environmental benefits (carbon, biodiversity...) best served by sharing agricultural land with nature, or by maximising yield in some areas to spare tracts of land exclusively for nature in other areas?  

RSK is a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions. Our family of over 150 environmental, engineering and technical services businesses works together to provide practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges societies have ever faced.   

A new Field Lab from Innovative Farmers investigating how farmers can better harness the power of flowers to fight pests.

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Strategic BBSRC & NERC programme with CEH & Rothamsted  - Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems,

A website that summarises the documented evidence for the effectiveness of conservation actions. This resource is designed to support anyone making decisions about how to maintain and restore biodiversity.

regenagri is an international regenerative agriculture program for securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it.

ADAS Natural Solutions brings together various in-house services to deliver a bespoke solutions based on the requirements of your business. Whether you are looking to increase your biodiversity or achieve net zero, our dedicated team can work with you to create, restore and manage both natural and modified ecosystems. 

If you are a farmer seeking extra revenue for good environmental work on your land, we could help you to access funds.

Land of Plenty is WWF's blueprint for how the agriculture and land use sectors in the UK can help fight climate change and bring nature back to life.

One of the schemes of ELMs

Providing accurate measurements that enable nature based solutions

Introducing Naturestimeline and Tony William Powell. Benchmarking Birds. A Freelance Contractor offering clients bespoke Avian conservation monitoring projects.  

Paper by Andrew Balmford (Cambridge University) in Journal of Zoology on the relative value of la

Help us collate the knowledge sources, organisations and initiatives out there that are seeking to improve the farmed environment

FABulous Farmers is a European project supporting farmers in the transition to more agroecological practices on their farms. Soil Association are delivering activity in 3 UK pilot regions – South West England, West Midlands and Wales, with the National Trust leading activity in the East England. The project aims to reduce reliance on external inputs, like chemical fertilisers and pesticides, by encouraging the use of methods and interventions that increase the farm’s Functional AgroBiodiversity (FAB). These are targeted measures of biodiversity in and around the field to improve pollination, pest management, soil and water quality on the farmland.

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The SUPER-G project is a European wide project aiming to work with farmers and policy makers to develop sustainable & effective permanent grassland systems.

CEH

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

As custodians of the landscape all farmers have responsibility to the wildlife and nature on their farms.  There are many networks, organisations, advisors and initiatives seeking to help farmers enhance wildlife and biodiversity. Increasingly this is being supported by Defra through ELMS and Local Nature Recovery schemes 

Environment Digest is a quarterly publication that provides a synopsis of recent news, reports and other materials that are of interest to the farming community. With a particular focus on how agriculture links with the environment, each issue focusses on articles across sustainable food production, climate change, water and waste management, soils and biodiversity. Environment Digest principally focuses on stories and policy changes that are relevant to England and/or the UK with a slant towards the arable sector.

The concept of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is an important component of the UK Government's ambitions to reverse biodiversity loss. It provides a framework for ensuring that development and land management activities leave habitats in a measurably better state than beforehand. 

Natural England provides an exciting opportunity for the farming community to decide the future for sustainable food production and thriving nature. In Birmingham on 28 November.

Tilhill offers farmers a professional one-stop forestry service for woodland creation, management, selling woodland generated carbon units, and timber harvesting.

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