Executive Summary
Make your own book

THEME 1 New Opportunities for Rural and Peripheral Areas
Canal Link
North SEAfaring
CO 2

Farmers for Nature
Project Aim

The aim of the project was to identify new ways to maintain and improve rural landscapes with enhanced ecological value and with preserved cultural identity. This was done in co-operation with farmers as well as regional organisations and volunteers in order to test best practices with respect to European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and other relevant EU legislation.

Project implementation and results

Pilot projects
Seven regional pilots have been carried out, which all resulted in the improvement of biodiversity and living conditions.

In Germany, the pilot project realized the implementation of the EU-Water Framework Directive in the intensely used and at the same time highly efficient agricultural area around the Lethe River. As a result, improvements were achieved both for the biological and chemical quality of the river’s water. The future observation and maintenance of the Lethe restoration is assured by the project partners.

Another main achievement was the development of a public-private model for agrarian goods. The model is of high relevance regarding EU politics on agriculture. It offers a new way of encouraging closer ties between the public and rural affairs to help financing changes in farming practice.

Moreover, an efficient production chain from cattle grazing in natural landscape to the end-product has been set up and implemented. Another focus was put on the relation between agriculture, landscape and regional identity. In Norway, a regional symbol as carrier for cultural heritage was developed and implemented. The Flemish pilot worked on a sustainable agricultural production system, which provides better ecological quality of farmland, a restored landscape and the preservation of cultural heritage. Another initiative implemented a biodiversity action plan, which in the end resulted in a positive impact on biodiversity.

Joint transnational strategy

Mode of cooperation
In co-operation with farmers as well as regional organisations and volunteers the F4N project identified and implemented seven best practices in the fields of maintaining and improving rural landscapes, enhancing their ecological value and preserving cultural identity. All findings were shared.

Through implementation of the pilot projects, integrated networks between farmers as well as governments, environmental and nature conservation institutes taking action in the fields of sustainable farming and environmental protection have been established.

Impact of the project

Long-term achievements and policy shaping
The F4N project stimulated integrated policy-making at the regional, national and international levels in Europe and contributed to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) implementation in different countries. One pilot contributed to the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.

As a final result, the project developed recommendations regarding the potential improvements of agricultural policies. These were presented to all the relevant regional, national international parties including the relevant EU commissioner. Moreover, the Versatile Europe movement will be supported by the results of the project.

All findings were shared on regional and transnational level. For instance, the findings from the German pilot were disseminated through a brochure to different German regions. Due to the active co-operation with the local and regional water management bodies, the experience of procedure and results are used for several presentations in a wider area.

Within the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group, the results will be used to highlight success of agriBAP approach and at Scottish governmental level to influence agri-environment policy.

Shetland cows – extensive agriculture


PROCLAM vzw West Vlaanderen, BE
Water Board of Oldenburg & East Frisia (OOWV), DE
Telemark Forskning, N
Province of Drenthe, NL
British Trust for Ornithology, UK
Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group, UK

Province of Fryslan

Project Manager

Ettienke Bakker
Province of Fryslân Tweebaksmarkt 52
P.O.Box 20120 NL-8900 HM Leeuwarden
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 5829 25154

Measure: 3.1

Start Date: 27 February 2004
End Date: 15 June 2008

ERDF Grant:
Total Eligible Sum:
The North Sea
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