Biodiversity is the basis of agriculture. It has enabled farming systems to evolve ever since agriculture was first developed some 10,000 years ago. Biodiversity is the origin of all species of crops and domesticated livestock and the variety within them. It is also the foundation of ecosystem services essential to sustain agriculture and human well-being. Today’s crop and livestock biodiversity are the result of many thousands years of human intervention.

To deliver on their 2020 Challenge for Scotland’s Biodiversity, the Scottish Government runs the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS) which promotes land management practices which protect and enhance Scotland’s magnificent natural heritage, improve water quality, manage flood risk and mitigate and adapt to climate change.


Video: Improving habitats for farmland birds

Agricultural consultant Paul Chapman explains how farmland birds have shown significant population declines in Scotland, and across Europe, since the 1970s. In this video, he visits Hopewell Farm near Tarland…

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Soil Phosphorous Management

Dr Bill Crooks describes a new approach to managing phosphorous in your soil. Low levels of soil phosphorous can be very detrimental to grass and clover in the sward and…

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Video: Getting to know the Muirburn Code

This video highlights key points from the Muirburn Code. A new version of the Muirburn Code was produced for the Scottish Government by Scotland’s Moorland Forum and launched in November…

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Podcast: Muirburn on Common Grazings

This podcast is an interview with Alastair Culbertson Chairman of the Sleat General Grazings. It explores how the group have proactively organised muirburn in their grazings. This is to reduce…

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Case Study: Balancing the needs of cattle and corn buntings in Aberdeenshire

Case Study: Balancing the needs of cattle and corn buntings in Aberdeenshire

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The multiple benefits of water margins on an upland farm

At least 2 km of watercourse have been fenced off as part of the agri-environmental management at SRUC’s Kirkton & Auchtertyre Farms. Dr. John Holland an Upland Ecologist who’s been…

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