Managing field margins
Following the widespread loss of wildflower grasslands, other habitats have become increasingly important for bumblebees. Field margins can provide flower rich habitats and increase the diversity and connectivity across a farm.
Field margins provide foraging opportunities throughout the year when other habitats are not in flower, and can maximise crop yields by increasing pollinator populations. Field margins can also support nesting sites for bumblebees and a range of other wildlife.
There are many options for margin management including pollen and nectar margins, wildflower margins, cultivated margins and grass buffer strips. These are managed with controlled cutting times and can often be funded through environmental stewardship schemes.
For more information on managing field margins for bumblebees, click here to download our factsheet.
Please be aware that each site is unique and the recommended management approach will depend on local site conditions and the historical or traditional management regime. For site-specific advice, please contact your local Bumblebee Conservation Trust Conservation Officer – email@example.com.
Funding options for hedges and edges
Entry Level Stewardship (ELS)
EE1: 2m buffer strips on cultivated land
EE2: 4m buffer strips on cultivated land
EE3: 6m buffer strip on cultivated land
EE4: 2m buffer strips on intensive grassland
EE5: 4m buffer strip on intensive grassland
EE6: 6m buffer strip on intensive grassland
EE7: Buffering in-field ponds in improved permanent grassland
EE8: Buffering in-field ponds in arable land
EE9: 6m buffer strips on cultivated land next to a watercourse
EE10: 6m buffer strips on intensive grassland next to a watercourse
EF1: Management of field corners
EF7: Beetle Banks
EF11: Uncropped cultivated margins for rare plants
EK1: Take field corners out of management
EL1: Take field corners out of management in SDA
EF2: Wild Bird seed mixture
EF4: Nectar flower mixture
EF9: Unfertilised cereal headlands
EF10: Unharvested cereal headlands
Higher Level Stewardship (HLS)
HE10: Floristically enhanced grass buffer strips (non rotational)
HF12: Enhanced wildbird seed mix plots (rotational or non-rotational)
HF14: Unharvested,fertiliser-free conservation headland
HF20: Cultivated fallow plots or margins for arable plants (rotational or non rotational)
HE11: Enhanced strips for target species on intensive grassland
Organic Entry Level Stewardship (OELS)
Open to all farmers, including those in the uplands, who manage all or part of their land organically, to deliver simple yet effective environmental management. OELS agreements are for 5 years.
Glastir is a 5 year whole farm sustainable land management scheme available to farmers and land managers across Wales.
Agri-environment schemes have operated in Scotland since 1987. These schemes have now closed to new applicants however some assistance may be gained through The Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).
The SRDP is a programme, worth some £1.5 billion, designed to help develop rural Scotland. The programme is spread over six years and provides help and support to individuals, and groups, in order to help create a wealthier and fairer rural Scotland.
Some of the closed agriculture schemes will now be replaced by new 'funding packages,' operated by the SRDP. The SRDP also brings together a wide range of formerly separate support schemes in areas such as: farming, forestry, rural enterprise and business development.
The scheme is designed to help meet national economic, social and environmental targets; and it is hoped that the scheme will be of great benefit to rural communities.
Some of the SRDP schemes and initiatives include:
Crofting Counties Agricultural Grant Scheme
Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme
Forestry Commission Challenge Funds
The LEADER initiative
Less Favoured Area Support Scheme
Rural Development Contracts
Skills Development Scheme
"We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops - without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages."
Professor Douglas Kell
BBSRC Chief Executive