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New study offers ‘win win’ for farming and wildlife
“Optimum farmland composition typically depends on whether to maximise production or biodiversity. But we have shown this doesn’t have to be the case."

Increased efficiency supports both production and conservation

A new study offers a framework for British farms to produce more food, whilst also supporting wildlife.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) joined forces with Edinburgh Napier University and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, to design different feed rations for a model dairy herd.

The team explored how different mixtures of crops affected farmland wildlife, especially spiders and plants.

Using complex statistical models, they discovered it was possible to increase land efficiency by manipulating the crops needed to meet the dietary requirements of the herd. This freed up land which could be used for additional production or promoting biodiversity.

According to findings published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, biodiversity was greatest when the efficiency of the system was increased and spare land devoted to species-rich grassland.

Interestingly, biodiversity gains were also seen when the spare land was used for additional crop production. The largest gains were achieved when these extra crops supported different wildlife species.

Dr Patrick White, lecturer in conservation biology at Edinburgh Napier, said: “Optimum farmland composition typically depends on whether to maximise production or biodiversity. But we have shown this doesn’t have to be the case.

“Greatest ‘win-wins’ can be achieved by making productive land cover more diverse and selecting crops that complement each other in the species they support.”

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Registrations open for overseas veterinary professionals course

News Story 1
 Registrations are now open for the RCVS CPD course for overseas veterinary professionals, which covers an introduction to the UK veterinary professions.

The course is aimed at overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses during their first two years of working in the UK, in addition to those considering working here. It provides graduates with the key information and skills required to practice in the UK, as well as helping them understand their legal duties as veterinary professionals.

For more information and to book your place please click here. The course will be held at Belgravia House, London, on Wednesday 12 June.  

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News Shorts
BVA launches award to celebrate young vets

A new award has been launched to celebrate inspirational young vets who are making a difference in their day to day work.

Nominations are now open for the BVA Young Vet of the Year Award, which is the first of its kind. It is open to all vets registered with the RCVS in the first eight years of their careers, working in any veterinary sphere, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics. Organisers are looking for an ‘exceptional young vet’ whose work has benefitted the veterinary community or the workplace.

The awards are open for self-entry and nominations by 1 August 2019. The winner will be announced at London Vet Show on 14 November 2019, where a £1000 cash prize will be awarded, alongside a ‘career enhancing experience’ with Zoetis.