Seeds of Light Foundation
It's official! A new report shows that organic farms support a greater diversity of wildlife than conventional farms. While this may come as no surprise to most of us, it could have a significant impact on policy decisions affecting organic conversion in this country.
The new report "The Biodiversity Benefits of Organic Fanning" published by the Soil Association, reviewed nine independent research studies and gives comprehensive evidence for the first time that there is much greater abundance and variety of species on organic farms compared to conventional farms.
There are five times as many wild plants, 1.5 times as many insects with three times as many non-pest butterflies and many more bird species. Some of the endangered species which were only found on the organic farms have been targeted under the governnicnfs national action plan on biodiversity.
Patrick Holden, Soil Association Director said "A key factor is that even the centre of fields on organic fanns support a good level of wildlife whereas on conventional farms wildlife is now mainly limited to field margins." The findings clearly show that organic farming could have an enormous impact on preserving the fast disappearing hiodiversity of the UK. However as only 3% of agricultural land is currently under organic management, WWF-UK and the Soil Association are lobbying government to increase funds to help farmers convert to organic farming methods. They point out that organic farming provides a very cost efficient means of increasing biodiversity. The Organic Food and Farming Targets Bill, supported by 221 MPs, set a target that 30% of UK farmland should be organic or in conversion by 2010.
Soil Association, Bristol House, 40-56 Victoria Street, Bristol, BSJ 6BY
Tel: 0117 929 0661
Web site: http: www.soilassociation. org
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