Butterfly Conservation Wales Response

  • Farmland is a vital habitat for butterflies and moths with over half of all species depending on it for their survival. Many of our threatened species, for which we have international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity, breed on flower-rich semi-natural habitats that are maintained by traditional, low input farming.
  • Properly focused Agri-environment Schemes (AES) have been shown to be highly successful at conserving some of Britain’s most threatened butterflies. The recent State of UK Butterflies report (Fox et al, 2015) shows that they have helped reverse the long term decline of species like the Pearl-bordered Fritillary. Where correctly targeted they have also helped conserve populations of the Marsh Fritillary, a European threatened species, which relies on low intensity cattle grazing (Bourn et al, 2013; Prescott, 2012).
  • Many other studies have shown that AES have helped halt and reverse the decline of butterflies and moths (e.g. Alison et al., 2016; Brereton et al., 2005, 2007, 2011; Davis et al, 2006; Taylor and Morecroft, 2009).
  • AES have also helped to conserve species at a landscape scale, helping to reverse the fragmentation of habitats and enable long term conservation and resilience to climate change (Ellis et al, 2012). A key ingredient of these successes has been the specialist advice given by Butterfly Conservation staff and other advisors.
  • It is vital that the positive lessons learned from delivering AES are implemented in future to maintain the diversity of Britain’s wildlife.  Future schemes need to be robust and outcome focused. This is a unique opportunity to redistribute support payments so that they are only paid where there are clear public goods, such as biodiversity improvement, flood prevention, clean water, carbon sequestration etc.
  • The conservation of biodiversity requires a long term investment in land management. Many farmers have already made great commitments to achieve this under existing AES so it is especially important that a successor scheme is in place quickly to provide continuity of management and allow farmers security of income. Support for agriculture should ensure that farming continues to thrive, with restoration of the environment as a central feature of agricultural policy. A critical mechanism to enable this is an improved and expanded AES alongside maintaining Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC).
  • Butterfly Conservation has also called for an equitable distribution of CAP resources to the devolved administrations to enable the delivery AES benefits across the UK. This is a unique opportunity to have flexible schemes that suit local conditions rather than constrained by the uniformity of a pan Europe scheme.
  • There needs to be consideration of the transition from current support schemes to new systems. If the transition led to the loss of farmers and the land management skills they have, particularly on marginal land, it would be difficult for a new system to deliver its objectives.


A full list of references is available here: http://butterfly-conservation.org/3114-13397/improved-green-farming-schemes-are-vital-to-save-butterflies-when-we-leave-the-eu.html



Why the contribution is important

It will ensure public money is focused on supporting progressive, innovative farmers and land managers to meet diverse environmental challenges such as the restoration of species and habitats,   storage of atmospheric carbon and the natural management of flood risk and drinking water and in doing so ensure the best use of the land in Wales for everyone. 

See: https://senedd.dialogue-app.com/eich-syniadau-your-ideas/a-new-approach-to-sustainable-land-management-in-wales

by rhobson on October 14, 2016 at 11:23AM

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  • Posted by CelynMenai February 23, 2017 at 14:02

    Diolch i chi am rannu eich syniadau a sylwadau!

    Mae eich blaenoriaethau a syniadau yn cael eu defnyddio i helpu’r Pwyllgor i ysgrifennu ei adroddiad ar sut y gallwn ddatblygu egwyddorion sy'n sail i bolisi amaethyddiaeth a datblygu gwledig newydd i Gymru. Am ragor o wybodaeth, plîs cysylltwch â fi ar celyn.cooper@cynulliad.cymru. Mi fyddai’n sicr o ddiweddaru’r tudalennau hyn a’r sgwrs fel mae hyn yn datblygu.

    Mae eich syniadau a’ch blaenoriaethau hefyd wedi bod o gymorth i’r Pwyllgor wrth iddo wahodd sefydliadau a chyrff cynrychioliadol i’r Senedd i roi tystiolaeth ar lafar ar ddyfodol amaeth yng Nghymru.

    O ddiddordeb , mae'r Pwyllgor yn cynnal nifer o ymgynghoriadau newydd ar hyn o bryd. Mae croeso i chi gysylltu yn uniongyrchol, neu ymweld â wefan y Pwyllgor am fanylion pellach: http://www.assembly.wales/cy/bus-home/committees/Pages/Committee-Profile.aspx?cid=444

    Diolch o galon i chi gyd eto!


    Thank you for sharing your idea and comments!

    Your ideas and priorities are now being used to help the Committee write its report on how we can develop principles to underpin a new agriculture and rural development policy for Wales. For more information, please do contact me @ celyn.cooper@assembly.wales. I’ll also make sure to update the pages and this thread to keep you updated as this progresses.

    Your ideas and priorities have also been a great support for the Committee as it invited representative organisations and bodies to come to the Senedd and give oral evidence on the future of agriculture in Wales.

    Of interest, the Committee is also undertaking a number of other inquiries at the moment that may be of interest. You're more than welcome to contact me directly, or visit the Committee's webpage for more information on how to get involved: http://www.assembly.wales/en/bus-home/committees/Pages/Committee-Profile.aspx?cid=444

    Thank you again for all your contributions!

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