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Title of the project

Set-asideThe environment and wildlife


French national hunting organisations (FNC and ONCFS) proposed to the authorities (in 1993) the creation of a category of set-aside especially meant for wildlife and preservation, with appropriate regulations.

This involved an Environment and wildlife set-aside contract, to be concluded between farmers and hunters.
In theory, farmers can manage with more respect for biodiversity, notably forbidding any crushing to the covers during period of wildlife reproduction as well as by choosing an appropriate mix of covers’ types, and hunters can contribute either financially or by supplying seeds.
At its peak, those contracts accounted for 36 000 ha in France, set up by more than 10,000 farmers.
Since the abolition of compulsory set-aside in the CAP, the known surfaces are about 12 000 ha.
Federations continue to subsidize these fallows, which are now facing pollinators with an interest in bees. The French government has incorporated into its regulations the ban on grinding of 40 days and fallows are recognized as topographic features that meet the compliance requirements of the CAP, and they will be transferred into the greening measures in 2014.
Before, the system required the approval of the French agricultural administration, which signed the contracts. Those contracts are now private.


Environmental set-aside has several positive effects:- It provides non crushed covers for the reproduction of numerous wildlife species- It supllies a big amount of nourishment to fauna in general- It provides rare cultivated shekter, available after the harvest, and until the end of winter- It contributes to the diversification of the agricultural landscape- It reduces soil erosion and can play a positive role in ensuring good ground wtaer and surface water qualitySpecies such as Grey partridge (Perdrix perdrix), Sky lark (Alauda arvensis), Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Brown hare (Lepus europeanus) have more successful reproduction and an increase in adults' survival rate. There is a larger number of invertebrates and when the vegetation is short, they can be used by woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), Lapwing, European badger (Meles meles) and Red fox (Vulpes vulpes).


Country France
Level National

Starting date


Habitat Types



Species Caracteristics Huntable species, Abundant species
Species Type Birds, Mammals (other than large predators), Generalist predators
Name(s) of main species Grey partridge (Perdrix perdrix), Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis), Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Brown hare (Lepus europeanus), Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), European badger (Meles meles) and Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Conservation action(s)

Management of habitats and wildlife (e.g. conservation and restoration activities)


Leading partners ONCFS - Office nationale de la chasse et de la faune sauvage(National Office of Hunting and Wildlife) http://www.oncfs.gouv.fr/Fédération Nationale des Chasseurs de France (FNC - French Hunters' Federation) http://www.chasseurdefrance.com/
Other partners Several Departmental Hunters' Federations (see the map)Farmers

Estimation of the budget (total or annual)

The overall budget provided by the Departmental Federations of Hunters for grants and seed supplies was more than 1, 5 million per year since 1993. Since the decrease in the area, this budget has decreased and reach € 800,000 in 2012.