Western Stara Planina (Bulgaria)
High Nature Value farmland: Case study report
The Western Stara Planina is a high mountain range which forms the northern half of Bulgaria’s border with Serbia. The five municipalities in which the workshop was located stretch from the valley bottoms and piedmont area to the border peaks.
Most of the uplands is designated as both an SPA and an SCI under European Directives. Both forests and farmland are of High Nature Value. Farmland is dominated by pastures, and communal pastures are particularly significant. Some is natural (primary) grass vegetation (alpine or high mountain pastures, riparian meadows, stony and rocky terrains), the rest is of semi-natural character (secondary grasslands), shaped by man after the removal of forest cover.
The low proportion of land declared for CAP support was a cause of concern in the workshops. While large tracts are abandoned, only 18% of the non-abandoned land was declared. Various issues were raised, including the interpretation of ‘forest’ (which cannot be declared) and of the cross-compliance rules prohibiting the expansion of unwanted vegetation in the context of recently abandoned or semi-abandoned land. The key role of communal pastures and of the mechanisms by which they are let out and of things such as minimum stocking rules for CAP schemes were highlighted.
Some key messages:
- CAP payments are increasingly area-based; the role of local government in the allocation of communal land is key
- The CAP ban on claiming agricultural support payments on forest can be very subtly applied. This is crucial especially where there has been widespread scrub invasion in recent years.
- Innovative use should be made of CAP and other instruments for the reinstatement of pastures on recently abandoned land, even land which is currently not eligible for area-based support
- High Nature Value farmland “Traditional Agriculture for Nature – European Recognition of Southern and Eastern Europe Landscape”: Western Stara Planina (Bulgaria)
- High Nature Value farming in Western Stara Planina Koen De Rijck, expert, WWF-DCP (.ppt, 9.949 KB)
- "Opportunities for funding of farmlands with High Nature Value [BG]" Veselka Ignatova, expert, Ministery of Agriculture (.ppt, 8.656 KB)
- State of stock-breeding and plant-growing sectors on the Western Stara Planina territory Grigorii Dimov, advisor, Regional Agricultural Advisory Service Montana (.ppt, 563 KB)
- High Nature Value farming concept – international agreements Yulia Grigorova, expert, WWF-DCP (.ppt, 3.381 KB)
- Study, analysis and classification of HNV farmlands in Western Stara Planina [BG] Stoyan Stoyanov, biologist, Institute of Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (.ppt, 7.770 KB)
- Making the HNV farming concept work Gwyn Jones, expert, EFNCP (.ppt, 8.372 KB)
- Feedback on workshop Gwyn Jones, expert, EFNCP (.ppt, 3.298 KB)
- Sanitary-hygiene requirements in the field of milk and diary production Grigorii Dimov, advisor, Regional Agricultural Advisory Service Montana (.ppt, 608 KB)