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The Glastir Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (GMEP) provides a robust, comprehensive programme to establish a baseline against which future assessments of Glastir can be made. GMEP has used methods from past surveys so results can be evaluated within a longer-term perspective and national trends also reported. The use of models and farmer surveys provides early indicators of the likely direction, magnitude and timing of future outcomes and are presented here. The results indicate variable changes in farmer behaviour and modest benefits to those natural resources for which models are available. Opportunities to improve these outcomes include simplification of the woodland scheme, better targeting of other scheme offerings, and consistent support through time across all schemes to allow for lags in ecological responses.

The approach used in this work is to use computer models of pollutant emissions from agricultural land and the effect of changes in land management to provide a complementary intermediate between result and impact indicators by forecasting the potential long-term impact of GLAS management interventions in advance of long-term environmental monitoring for impact detection. Computer models are used to quantify the proportion of the baseline total pollutant load that is managed by farms in scheme, that part which is potentially controllable by the selected management interventions, and the likely reduction in load on the assumption of best practice.