22 Feb 2019 MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik visits PARTRIDGE-site at Oude Doorn, Netherlands
The Grey Partridge is an iconic species of the Dutch farmlands. Unfortunately, this bird is slowly disappearing due to changes in farming practices. In the EU funded PARTRIDGE project farmers, birders and hunters alike are conserving this species and wider biodiversity on farmland. To share these experiences, FACE organised a field visit for Member of the European Parliament Annie Schreijer-Pierik.
PARTRIDGE – Protecting the Area’s Resources Through Researched Innovative Demonstration of Good Examples – is a project co-funded by the Interreg North Sea Region. The project show-cases best practice models at 10 farmland demonstration sites in four countries to show how new management solutions can improve biodiversity and ecosystem services by up 30% in four years, and how these can be transferred to other regions and countries.
The visit took place at the ‘Oude Doorn’ demonstration site in the Netherlands. The main activities include active habitat improvements through the creation of flower blocks, beetle banks, hedges and winter stubbles. In the project, a collective of farmers, the local hunters’ association and a local nature protection organisation are working together.
MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik says: “It is great what we can achieve with European funding and cooperation between farmers, nature organisations, hunters and birders. The experiences of today can, and will be used, in the European decision making on agriculture, nature, regional development and cohesion policy in Brussels.”
FACE supports these initiatives as it clearly shows how biodiversity can be improved in farmland with the help of EU funds. This is also one of the major demands of FACE in the debate on the future of the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). Hunters are aware that the CAP is a crucial support mechanism for agriculture and rural areas in Europe. However, hunters and national hunting associations are also aware of the significant impact of agriculture driven by the CAP on the environment.
The visit was organised with the project partners, Vogelbescherming Nederland and Brabants landschap, and with the Dutch hunters’ association. It was also attended by local farmers, hunters and politicians from the province Brabant.