Always Leave a 1 metre strip uncultivated by any field boundary (e.g.,hedge, wall, ditch).
TryTo Leave a wide strip uncultivated alongside any significant watercourse or important wildlife area.
Avoid Excessive cultivations which are damaging to the soil structure.
Ploughing permanent grassland. If this proves impractical, wherever possible plough in spring and reseed or plant immediately.
Try to Drill winter crops as soon as possible after cultivations.
Use firm seed beds to assist in the control of slugs.
Drill slug pellets with winter wheat seed rather than broadcast them if an attack is anticipated.
Avoid Leaving treated seed on the soil surface.
Leaving slug pellets on the soil surface.
Always Target application accurately.
Check and calibrate machinery regularly.
Match soil requirements more exactly to nutrient requirements by regular soil analysis.
required treatments at the optimum time for uptake by the crop.
Use pneumatic spreaders or if not available use deflector mechanisms at
the edge of the crop.
Avoid Exceeding recommendations.
Applying to field boundaries, watercourses, uncropped buffer zones and areas not improved for agriculture.
Applying nitrogen after August or in conditions when leaching or runoff is likely.
ANIMAL MANURES (refer to the Code of Practice - Prevention of
Environmental Pollution from Agricultural Activities 1995. - PEPFA code)
Always Ensure sufficient storage capacity (6 months).
Ensure storage areas have sufficient safety bands and over-spill
Try to Use injection or low-level boom application of slurry.
Avoid winter spreading but if necessary apply light applications at more frequent intervals during dry periods.
Apply only to actively growing grass crops or if spreading on stubble, plough in immediately.
Avoid Applying near to field boundaries or within 10 metres of watercourses.
Applying slurry when ground is frozen or waterlogged.
Application on steep slopes.
Always Follow the regulations laid down by the FEPA/COSHH Code.
Read carefully and follow the instruction on the product label. Choose varieties for their known disease resistance.
Inspect the crop to assess the need (if any) for crop protection measures.
Ask your supplier how the product might affect wildlife.
Choose the products which show greatest safety to the natural environment.
Spray only when and where necessary - on grasslands use spot treatment in preference to spraying over a wide area.
Spray only when conditions are right.
Calibrate the sprayer frequently. Use the correct equipment and spray accurately.
Make use of the bee-keepers' warning system.
Drill slug pellets with the seed where problems are anticipated. When an unexpected attack occurs, broadcast slug pellets only to affected area. Use a standard method of assessing slug populations.
AND CONTAINERS (See PEPFA code)
Always Ensure the safe storage and disposal of pesticides, containers and
washings by meeting the legal requirements and the guidance given in the FEPA/COSHH Code.
Consult Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on best methods of disposal in the locality.
Dispose of diluted pesticides and tank washings by selecting one of the following:
i) Using a soakaway approved by SEPA
ii) Using a small area of arable land as a disposal area for non-persistent pesticides
iii) Using a water effluent treatment plant
As a last resort applying to an area of uncultivated and uncropped land
of minimum wildlife value (seek advice from SEPA and FWAG). This is the least
satisfactory method of disposal
Uncropped land always has wildlife value.
v) Think ahead. Spray the last full tank at slightly reduced concentration, then use the tank washings to spray the same land a second time to empty sprayer
vi) Leave at least part of the headland until last to accommodate washings.
Wash out empty containers and dispose of them by either:
vii) Depositing in a licensed land-fill site (Local Authority can advise)
viii) Burning paper sacks and suitable plastic containers (seek advice from Local Authority and/or HM Industrial Air Pollution Inspectorate)
ix) Burying at
least 0.8m deep on a marked site that will not result in the contamination of
ground or surface water. Consult
SEPA for advice.
Calculate the right amount of pesticide needed to do the job.
Never Contaminate ponds, watercourses or other sites of wildlife value.
Allow accumulation of surplus pesticides in one area where concentration will build up.
Dispose of surplus pesticides or washings on public rights of way.
Always Allow escape routes for wildlife by harvesting in sections rather than working in from the field edges.
Take care to avoid spray drift onto field boundaries and buffer zones when burning off or desiccating crops.
Use insecticides in stores only when necessary.
Keep records of all insecticides used on stored grain and avoid
Try to Put grain in a hygienic store. This will reduce potential problems.
Consider joining Scottish Quality Cereals (SQC - Contact Scottish Agricultural College)
Leave a 1 metre buffer zone alongside field boundaries.
Try to Watch out for and avoid ground nesting birds and other animals when making silage or hay.
Allow escape routes for wildlife by cutting hay and silage crops from the centre outwards or in sections not working in from the field edges.
ANIMAL HEALTH PRODUCTS
Always Check the active ingredients and label instructions before using sheep
dip chemicals. Organo-chlorine insecticides (e.g., dieldrin) are illegal.
Read and follow label recommendations.
Consult SEPA on disposal of sheep dip.
Try to Avoid organo-phosphorus sheep dips
Dispose of spent dip by spreading it at a rate of 0.2-1.5 litre per square metre over suitable level ground - either arable land or pasture from which livestock are excluded for 1 days. Consult the PEPFA code.
Mix spent dip with slurry before spreading. This should speed up bacterial breakdown.
Avoid Using soil soakaways - no longer recommended by SEPA.
Spreading spent dip in wet or waterlogged conditions.
Spreading spent dip on areas such as rough grazing which are important to wildlife.
recently dipped sheep to walk through streams.
To use a treatment which avoids any non-target species.
Avoid using organo-phosphorus compounds where possible.
Always Read and follow label recommendations.
Always Read and follow instructions on the product label.
Make sure rodenticides are not accessible to other species of wildlife e.g., barn owls and also domestic animals.
Call in professional help where rats are resistant to anticoagulants.
Try to Ensure low rat populations by "good housekeeping", regular trapping or by using a few permanent bait sites.
Restrict major rat control operations to the autumn/winter months.
Avoid Using rodenticides in buildings where barn owls are known to roost or breed.
Using rodenticides during spring and summer along field boundaries used by hunting birds of prey.
Zero Budget Options are suggestions which are made in an effort to enhance the conservation value of the farm without incurring any cost to the farm business. For example, not cutting the hedges on an annual basis, leaving dead timber in situ, and keeping fertiliser and chemicals away from field margins. Other options are highlighted in the workguide earlier in this text.
Many of the suggestions included with this report can be facilitated under the Rural Stewardship Scheme. This is the Scottish Executives principle agri-environment scheme and is designed to encourage farmers to undertake certain measures to enhance and protect the conservation value of their property by offering financial incentives for both capital and management operations. Entry to the scheme is competitive with each application being subject to a ranking scale. The number of points necessary to gain entry to the scheme is set by SEERAD. Applicants are expected to sign up to the scheme for an initial 5 year period with the expectation that they will re-sign at this point to carry out the scheme for a further 5 years.
Small scale tree planting may be eligible for funding under the Borders Tree Grant Scheme which is designed to assist with tree and hedge planting on a scale which does not qualify for Forestry Commission Grant Schemes.
Larger scale plantings could be eligible for grant under the Woodland Grant Scheme and the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme.
Details of these schemes are included later in this plan.