Webinar 1 Tuesday 26 January 2021 17.00-18.30 (UK time)
The science: what is the state of grassland biodiversity and how might it be increased?
The new UK Agriculture Act is the basis for radical change in the way grassland livestock farming is supported. In future farmers will only receive public money in return for delivery of ‘public goods’. That means, primarily, biodiversity and other environmental benefits. But do we have the science base to underpin such a policy, and can farmers apply it to deliver results at sufficient scale whilst maintaining food production and a viable business?
BSAS, BGS and Stapledon Trust have organised two webinars on Biodiversity in Grassland focused on the UK to inform and activate discussion.
This webinar will be chaired by grassland eco-agronomist Steve Peel. Dr Lisa Norton will deliver a presentation entitled - Grassland biodiversity in the UK: status, trends and prospects. The presentation will be looking at the results from the UK Countryside Survey (CS), a nationally representative survey of GB countryside which has taken place five times since 1978. Prof Robin Pakeman will present on Plants, invertebrates and birds in upland grassland: effects of grazing management, focusing on results from a long-term and large-scale experiment looking at how changing grazing management cascades through a mosaic of upland vegetation types. It will address those groups that change slowly (plants) and those that change quickly (invertebrates and birds).
Additionally, Dr Will Peach, Head of Conservation Science for England & Wales, Royal Society for Protection of Birds will discuss Management of lowland grassland for invertebrates and birds. Research carried out by Will and his colleagues shows how biodiversity can be greatly increased on improved grassland and livestock farms.