Strategically placed buffer strips in the agricultural landscape can effectively mitigate the movement of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides within farm fields and from farm fields. When coupled with appropriate upland treatments, including crop residue management, nutrient management, integrated pest management, winter cover crops, and similar management practices and technologies, buffer strips should allow farmers to achieve a measure of economic and environmental sustainability in their operations. Buffer strips can also enhance wildlife habitat and protect biodiversity.

Under new EU regulations, known as greening, farmers must ensure 5 per cent of their land is set aside as an Ecological Focus Area (EFA), instead of being used for farming.

To ensure that farmers are able to continue their essential work of growing food, improving the environment and boosting the rural economy, Defra has chosen a package of options which give farmers flexibility over how they comply with the rules.

Farmers will be able to choose how to meet the EFA requirement from a list which includes land lying fallow, buffer strips, ‘catch and cover crops’ used to manage soil fertility and quality, Nitrogen Fixing Crops such as legumes and hedgerows.

Organic Mixtures available.