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Environmental Management

British blackcurrant growing on a field scale is a long established method of fruit production that relies on traditional field patterns with smaller enclosures than many other farm crops and demands careful husbandry of both the crop and its environment. The requirement to establish and retain the crop in a particular area for up to 15 years gives opportunities for environmentally friendly activities both within the crop and in the surrounding hedges and field margins. The hedge is an asset to the blackcurrant grower providing shelter and protection for the crop. The hedge is also one of the most vital environmental features in the farmed landscape and provides food, shelter and breeding sites for our wildlife. The retention of hedgerows helps the countryside to thrive and contributes to the beauty and managed appearance of the landscape.

British blackcurrant growers are grasping the new opportunities to help wildlife as well as any sector of UK agriculture; their management practices contribute to this. As with most production, intensification has taken place but this has not changed the basic techniques of fruit production and the less friendly use of plastic and artificial shelters has not been introduced. With the longevity of the crop there is the major advantage of continuity for wildlife - in addition, most major British blackcurrant growers are operating an individual FARM PLAN scheme which takes standards of environmental and wildlife care to new levels.

The blackcurrant crop is an established and important sector of UK agriculture that will continue to plays its part in UK food production and the well being of the countryside.