Agricultural Change And Intensification In Britain Environmental Sciences Essay

Published: 2021-09-30 14:15:04
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Category: Environment, Cultural Change

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Throughout the past century, the British agricultural system has experienced considerable changes in footings of direction patterns and attitudes to environmental protection. The most dramatic and influential alterations occurred in the late fortiess, with post-war mechanization. Following World War 2, concerns over nutrient security grew, motivating the Government to promote increased nutrient production. Emphasis was placed upon the usage of modern and intensive agricultural patterns to increase end product, ensuing in enhanced mechanization, enlargement and intensification ( Dobbs and Pretty, 2004 ) .
However, a move to big scale agri-business resulted in profound and inauspicious effects on rural biodiversity and farming area home grounds with the over-exploitation of their valuable resources. Habitats underwent considerable debasement, peculiarly with hedge remotion to suit larger machinery, destructing extremely good nutrient beginnings and engendering home grounds for wildlife.
Additionally, technological promotions led to the widespread execution of man-made chemical weedkillers and pesticides to increase outputs, which resulted in terrible damaging effects to flora, zoologies and H2O quality. Furthermore, the debut of larger and more sophisticated agricultural machinery and cultivated land procedures resulted in significant decreases to dirty quality, through compression and eroding. With 75 % of UK land classed as agricultural, cumulatively these damaging effects sparked major concern ( Montemayor et al. , 2010 ) .

1.2 The Rise of Modern Environmentalism
As a consequence of the widespread debasement of agricultural ecosystems during the post-war period, the coming of modern environmentalism in the 1970s and 1980s focussed consciousness on the importance of extenuating the inauspicious impacts of agricultural intensification. The publication of Rachel Carson 's 'Silent Spring ' in 1962 is thought to hold been a major landmark in the outgrowth of environmental consciousness ( Dunlap, 2008 ) . Carson highlighted the considerable damaging side-effects of pesticide use, peculiarly DDT. Concern was sparked amongst ecologists over the possible for bioaccumulation of DDT within ecosystems and its harmful generative impacts, peculiarly for birds. Doctors and the general population besides feared the harmful effects of indiscriminate DDT usage, due to toxicity and carcinogenic effects ( Carson, 1962 ) . Therefore, the publication of 'Silent Spring ' instigated the modern environmental motion, and people became more cognizant of the jobs faced within the agricultural sector.
1.3 The Common Agricultural Policy
The European Union Common Agricultural Policy ( CAP ) provides agricultural subsidies to member provinces in order to advance sustainable agribusiness ( European Commission, 2010 ) . The CAP is made up of 2 pillars ; pillar 1 encompasses market support steps and direct payments for run intoing cross-compliance criterions chiefly for the environment, nutrient safety and animate being public assistance. Pillar 2 nevertheless is focussed upon rural development programmes ( House of Lords, 2005 ) . The early CAP of the 1950s was focussed upon pillar 1 steps, for increasing autonomy through the proviso of inducements to husbandmans in order to promote greater productiveness.
However, with the rise of modern environmentalism, the agricultural accent shifted towards environmental sustainability, doing a bifurcation of the function of land directors with the demand to non merely supply agricultural efficiency, but besides to integrate environmental protection ( ref ) . With increasing accent on environmental saving, and a realization of the potency of agro-ecological procedures, the United Kingdom introduced the first agri-environmental strategy in 1987, named the Environmentally Sensitive Areas strategy ( ESA ) . This was superseded by the Countryside Stewardship Scheme ( CSS ) in 1991 which was a consequence of the major CAP reforms of the 1990s, aimed at supplying for the altering demands of both the agricultural sector and the wider community ( Natural England ) . Figure 1.1 clearly illustrates the alterations to UK agri-environment strategies which took topographic point between 1973 and 2000, foregrounding the important changes to agricultural precedences.
Figure 1.1: Changes in UK agri-environment strategy subsidies from 1973 - 2000 ( beginning: Monetary value, 2003, p.122 ) .
Degree centigrades: UsersEmPicturesimg010.jpg
Since so, the demand to extenuate clime alteration has been progressively recognised, in order to restrict dirt and H2O debasement and to control the loss of biodiversity. Whilst direct pillar 1 subsidy payments still exist under the Single Farm Payment Scheme, accent has been shifted to pillar 2 policies ; redesigned to non merely crippled environmental harm, but heighten the agricultural landscape through the publicity of more sustainable agriculture patterns that will make a natural environment that is better suited to defy the impacts of climatic alteration.
1.4 Environmental Stewardship
The Environmental Stewardship ( ES ) strategy was introduced in 2005, as a agency to counterbalance husbandmans for supplying specific environmental criterions that go beyond the cross-compliance standard of the CAP. ES strategies are administered for the authorities 's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs ( DEFRA ) by Natural England, and are a cardinal constituent of the European Union funded Rural Development Programme for England 2007-2013, conveying together the old CSS and ESA strategies ( Natural England ) .
As keepers and stewards of the rural landscape, husbandmans have an intuitive ethical duty to continue and enrich farming area ecosystems ; nevertheless this is frequently non realistic in footings of fiscal viability ( ref ) . With the major challenges posed by clime alteration, and subsequent nutrient security issues, it has become progressively of import that support and counsel is made available for husbandmans and land directors. This enables the bringing of effectual environmental protection, whilst keeping premier agricultural land, to heighten the part of agribusiness to climate alteration extenuation through diminishing nursery gas emanations and bettering dirt C segregation ( Natural England ) .
Environmental Stewardship strategies are presently the primary beginning of pecuniary inducements, dwelling of Entry Level Stewardship ( ELS ) , Higher Level Stewardship ( HLS ) , Organic Entry Level Stewardship ( OELS ) and Uplands Entry Level Stewardship ( UELS ) . It is recognised that little graduated table husbandmans must stay the focal point of such enterprises, explicating the demand for 4 different multi-objective strategies.
The chief aims of Environmental Stewardship are to:
preserve biodiversity
maintain and enhance landscape quality
protect the historic environment
promote public apprehension and entree
protect natural dirt and H2O resources
( Natural England, 2010 ) ELS enchiridion )
This survey will concentrate merely upon ELS and HLS ; explained in the undermentioned subdivisions.
1.4.1 Entry Level Stewardship
The ELS strategy is a 5 twelvemonth understanding, open to all land directors in England, and offers a broad scope of options for simple yet effectual environmental direction. 30 points per hectare must be chosen from over 50 options, in order to have a payment of & A ; lb ; 30 per hectare per twelvemonth. Management options include the usage of buffer strips, assorted stocking, screen harvests, harvest rotary motion and watercourse fence ( Natural England ELS enchiridion ) . ELS is a wide and shallow, high uptake attack with environmental demands that are comparatively easy to run into without significantly changing direction patterns.
1.4.2 Higher Degree Stewardship
HLS normally builds upon ELS, OELS or UELS, offering a higher tiered direction strategy. It is more complex and demanding, necessitating well greater input, which is reflected in the higher compensation payments for direction input and capital plants. Emphasis is placed upon specialized land direction to supply important environmental addition in high precedence countries. HLS understandings last for 10 old ages, and are a competitory and discretional, narrow and deep attack with a lower application success rate. In add-on to the sweetening of ELS aims, HLS provides chances for bettering public entree and carry oning educational visits ( Natural England: HLS handbook 2010 ) .
1.5 Purposes
This research undertaking aims to supply an original penetration into the effectivity of the Environmental Stewardship strategy. While other surveies focus upon the motivations of participants and the obstructions that limit engagement, this probe will turn to an underexplored, yet extremely relevant subject which relates non merely to agricultural patterns, but to wider environmental and anthropogenetic clime alteration concerns that remain at the head of current arguments.
1.6 Research Questions
This probe aims to specifically turn to the undermentioned research inquiries:
Are the ecological benefits to vegetations and zoologies well better under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme when compared to the Entry Level Stewardship Scheme?
Is there a pronounced sweetening of flora species richness under HLS when compared to ELS?
Is H2O quality and therefore aquatic species diverseness enhanced under HLS?
Does macrolepidoptera copiousness and composing exhibit
significant sweetening under higher tiered direction
Are dirt features significantly altered under different direction grades?
2. Overall, is Environmental Stewardship an effectual manner to pull off the
rural landscape, and can the high fiscal input required be considered
cost effectual in footings of the environmental return?
1.7 Aims
To ease the scrutiny of the purposes and research inquiries the undermentioned aims will be used:
1. Identify 4 appropriate survey sites ; 2 ELS and 2 HLS managed farms in South
Devon on which the necessary research can be conducted.
2. Undertake macroinvertebrate, dirt, flora and macrolepidoptera
trying at each survey site.
3. Identify all species observed and collate informations obtained from each location.
4. Process informations utilizing appropriate graphical and statistical techniques.
5. Discourse the consequences that are obtained in order to derive a reasoned and
representative rating of the effectivity of the different Environmental
Stewardship direction grades.
In order to carry through these aims, a literature reappraisal will be undertaken to supply farther penetration into the subject, and inform the informations aggregation, analysis and treatment chapters.

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