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16 March 2011
Image: Andy Hay
Scottish farming shows much variation across the country. Arable and vegetable production is concentrated in the east and south of the country, with barley being the most important crop.
The majority of the farmed area (84 per cent) is included in the 'Less Favoured Area' - a European classification indicating that the farming conditions are more difficult. Livestock production (sheep and cattle) are most important in the LFA. In many of the more remote areas in the north and west, crofting is an important form of land management.
Scotland has a high proportion of High Nature Value farming and crofting – mainly livestock systems which maintain important biodiversity. Despite this, Scotland receives the lowest Rural Development allocation per hectare of farmed land in Europe. Agri-environment support is not sufficient to meet biodiversity objectives. Farming activity in HNV area is declining – often with further negative impacts on biodiversity.
The RSPB in Scotland is working for: