The need for robust scorecards to assess the quality of a habitat is critical to the successful implementation of results-based approaches. There can be difficulties with designing and developing scorecards that accurately assess the quality of a given habitat, but which are also easy to implement, monitor, assess and disseminate to various stakeholders. There has however, been substantial investment in Ireland and the EU in the design of Results-Based Payment Schemes over the last 10 years, and we are now in a position to design and/or adapt a range of scorecards that have been tried and tested for a range of habitats.
Below are rapid assessment habitat scorecards for some of the dominant habitats encountered on farms:
FARM-ECOS grassland scorecard (Excel)
Tall and wide hedgerows are better for biodiversity and carbon storage than short, narrow over-managed hedgerows. Appropriate management can be incentivised by results based approaches