Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Damage to fragile environments: sustainable management of farming in East Anglia

Sustainable Management

Sustainable Methods Costs Benefits
  • Farmers paid not to farm the land
  • Least favourable set-aside, with other land farmed more intensively
  • Land used for noisy activities such as motor sports, causing conflict with neighbours
  • Increase in biodiversity
  • Reduction in food surpluses
  • Protects and improves the soil quality
  • No chemical pollution
  • Grants available
Hedgerow Incentive and Woodland Management (Grants) Scheme
  • Less efficent use of machinery
  • Land taken out of production
  • Increase in biodiversity
  • Reduction in food surpluses
  • Restores the traditional farming scenery
  • Less use of pesticides
  • Less soil erosion
  • Grants available
Organic Farming
  • Uses crop rotation
  • Does not use chemical fertilisers or pesticides
  • Does not use intensive animal rearing methods
  • Crop yields intiially fall
  • More hand labour needed
  • Shop prices for produce are higher
  • Grants available to switch to organic farming
  • Does not damage the environment
  • Sustainable
  • Limits on the amount of animals reared or particular crops grown
  • Reduced income for farmers
  • Fines for exceeding quota
  • Increase in farm diversification and associated problems
  • Reduction in food surpluses
  • Reduction in monocultures and their associated problems
Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs) and Nitrate Sensitive Areas (NSAs)
  • Farm using traditional methods
  • No chemical fertilisers
  • Maintenance of walls, hedges and traditional farm buildings
  • Reduction in farm output
  • Increase in biodiversity
  • Reduction in food surpluses
  • Grants available
  • Less use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides
  • Less pollution
  • Less soil erosion
  • Restores the traditional farming scenery
Farm diversification
  • Rural tourism
  • Golf courses
  • Farm zoos
  • Arts and crafts


  • Growing other crops means the purchase and less efficient use of a wider range of machinery
  • Farms accessible to urban areas benefit the most
  • Farmers may not have the business skills required
  • Increases traffic congestion on rural roads
  • Golf courses involve developments that destroy the countryside (e.g. carparks) and their use of fertiliser causes eutrophication
  • More employment opportunities since the new uses are more labour intensive than farming
  • More leisure opportunities