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A farmer-centred outlook to managing and to maintaining High Nature Value grasslands in Europe

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Chapter Summary

The many different types of European grassland illustrated in this book did not arise by chance. They were created by generations of farmers who, over many centuries, have modified natural plant communities through grazing, mowing, drainage, irrigation and nutrient enrichment. The social, economic and policy context is changing most rapidly in those parts of Europe with the largest remaining areas of high nature value (HNV) grassland, and decisions about grassland management may be a secondary or tertiary effect of other decisions by the farm family. This chapter presents a new farmer-centred framework of support for HNV grasslands. These include protecting the existing HNV grassland resource, implementation of rules for the protection of permanent pasture, and rewarding of farmers for flower-rich grasslands. For example, the Baden-Württemberg scheme rewards the farmers with extra payments for achieving a defined level of species-richness in their HNV grassland.

Keywords: European agriculture; farmer-centred framework; high nature value (HNV) grasslands



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