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More room for meadows in southern Holland

More room for meadows in southern Holland

The new parts will be located in existing and promising prairie areas, such as Krimpenerwaard and Alblasserwaard. In other parts of the southern Netherlands, the county, together with partners, is also exploring the possibilities that a national resuscitation program for prairie birds will offer – the “Black-Tailed Godwit Plan of Attack”.

The central government and the province of South Holland provided funds for this expansion of the meadow bird areas. Payments were also made from the European Agricultural Policy. With the additional resources, farmers can manage their land in a way that makes it more attractive to prairie birds such as the black-tailed godwit, redshank and lapwing. Consider maintaining a higher water level in the spring and creating grasslands rich in weeds. In these places birds can search for food such as insects and worms. Postponing the first mowing to protect young birds is also an effective management measure. The knife cuts from several sides: the high water level also helps prevent subsidence. Mowing less or differently can be beneficial to many plants and animals.

Report “Where is God?”

Along with various partners, the county has been committed to farmland birds for some time. The fact that this commitment is still much needed was recently confirmed again in the report Where Is God? Accounting office. This report describes a halving of the number of black-tailed Hallows in our country in the period 2000-2020: from 60,000 to 30,000 breeding pairs. The Court of Audit concluded that creating larger, contiguous habitats is the most appropriate way to protect and conserve birds on farmland. This kind of “heavy nature management” is exactly what has already started in the south of Holland and will continue into the coming period.

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“The peat meadows of southern Holland are home to beautiful birds such as the lapwing and redshank and our national bird, the black-tailed godwit,” said MP Berend Potjer (Nature). “Unfortunately, these birds do not do well. This is why we want to improve their habitats with our farmers, conservationists, volunteers and governments. Through targeted measures in nature and agricultural areas, it is possible to turn the tide – for birds and also for more biodiversity in the lands. Cultivation. The Black-Tailed National Godwit Attack Plan will definitely help with that as well.”

Deputy Mendert Stolke (Agriculture) also sees other opportunities. “In the south of the Netherlands we are working hard on biodynamic agriculture. It is good that we can combine different tasks. For example, many farmers in our province are committed to or are planning to do agro-ecological management. In this way they provide the farmland birds with a place and at the same time contribute In combating subsidence or mitigating the consequences of climate change. This way we are killing several birds with one stone.”

Farm birds business plan in southern Holland

In 2019, the province of South Holland and various partners presented the Agricultural Bird Action Plan. It contains all kinds of measures that will be implemented until 2027 including to stop the decline of bird numbers in meadows, fields and onion fields. This concerns both measures in nature reserves and agricultural areas. The implementation is carried out in conjunction with the United Agricultural Groups of BoerenNatuur Zuid-Holland, with volunteers from prairie birds and with nature and environment organisations. Many bird species depend on the birding areas of southern Holland for their survival. In southern Holland, for example, more than 5,000 black-tailed birds breed each year.

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Black Tail Godwit Attack Plan

The Black-Tailed Godwit Offensive Plan is an initiative of former Minister Peter Weinsmeus and was presented at the end of 2020. The plan aims to achieve (eventually) more than 30 larger meadow areas for birds across the Netherlands. They are arranged in such a way that the black-tailed bird and other prairie birds feel at home. So as the water level rises during the breeding season, there are plenty of grassy pastures and targeted measures to prevent, for example, foxes, crows or birds of prey from running with eggs or chicks. The province of South Holland actively participated in the development of the Black-Tailed Godwit offensive plan and is now also the first province to begin operating in two regions. The Black-Tailed Godwit Offensive Plan fits in well with projects underway in southern Holland, such as the Farmland Birds Action Plan. In the coming years, the government wants to save a lot of money from the European agricultural policy to implement the plan of the black-tailed Godwit attack. In 2022, the province of South Holland wants to work alongside farming communities and other stakeholders to see what we can do as well as the additional space for meadows that will now be created.