CCRI was sub-contracted to work with the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) on a study commissioned by the Agriculture and Rural Development Directorate-General of the European Commission, into the relationship between the CAP and farmland biodiversity. Matt Rayment from GFK Consulting Ltd. was another contributing partner to the study, which began in late 2010 and reported in September, 2011.

Professor Janet Dwyer, supported by Jane Mills and Dr Julie Ingram, provided CCRI’s input to the work, which included examining the linkages between farming, biodiversity and the wider rural economy (for example, how general rural decline can affect the way in which farming activities influence biodiversity, or how certain biodiverse farming systems are able to provide direct economic benefits through local marketing and branding initiatives). They also examined the socio-economic barriers and opportunities to biodiversity management that arise from farmers’ attitudes towards different policy mechanisms, including agri-environment schemes and environmental regulations.

The study involved seminars in Brussels and a contribution of recommendations for the CAP beyond 2013, which fed into new draft regulations.