Stewardship agreements cover 2.5 million hectares and there are around 14,000 English farmers with ELS agreements. Wildlife ‘crops’ are now part of the modern farming business. The emphasis is now shifting to quality delivery of the right habitats.
We offer a wide range of Wild bird seed mixtures, Buffer strip mixtures and Nectar Rich mixtures to provide Nectar and pollen and seed throughout the growing season.
Wild bird seed mixture
A key option in ELS scheme as modern farming leaves little residue seed for birds. So, growing a few areas of crop especially for birds will increase their chances of survival. Probably more than any other option this one is likely to produce the best pay-back in terms of wildlife in the shortest possible time. Indeed, if farmers choose to get all their ELS points with this option alone, the benefits for birds will be considerable.
These mixtures will provide important food resources for farmland birds, especially in winter and early spring, on arable and mixed farms. The aim is to maximise the production of small seeds suitable as bird food in either annual or annual/biennial mixtures, while also providing a source of invertebrates for birds.
Buffer strips protect and enhance important features such as streams, ponds, ditches and woods. They can also be used to reduce soil run-off and may therefore be part of a soil management plan. In the right places too they can provide additional nesting cover for game and animals like hares. Although normally sited around the edges of fields, they can also be used within fields, for example to protect a group of in-field trees.
But they are not a panacea, and it would be a huge lost opportunity if these strips were the sole option on any farm.
Nectar Rich Mixtures
Sowing an area of flowering plants into the farmed landscape will boost the availability of essential food sources for a range of nectar-feeding insects, including butterflies and bumblebees.
These mixtures provided valuable benefits to wildlife at a landscape scale and are ideally suited to larger blocks and small fields. They contain diverse range of grasses, legumes and wild flowers that will boost the availability of essential food sources for a range of nectar-feeding insects, including butterflies and bumblebees.
In order to meet with the increasing demand for conservation mixtures, we can offer twelve mixtures, each designed to recreate a particular habitat. The wildflower used in the Wild Flora range are guaranteed to be of native UK origin.
To discuss your requirements please phone the seed office to discuss.
DISCLAIMER: Any Information provided on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If you would like any further advice please contact your local Natural England Advisor.