NATUREMAN - The Farmer as a Manager of Nature: aiming at a favourable conservation status for Natura 2000 sites by making nature management a sound branch of farming

LIFE16 IPE/DK/000006

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Contact details:

Contact person: Jrgen BIDSTRUP
Tel: +4572543724
Email: jobid@nst.dk

Project description:


For many years, developments within farming in Denmark have aimed at specialisation and economies of scale in cattle and pig farming, and in arable farming. In combination with the generally easily-farmed topography of Denmark and extensive drainage, these developments have resulted in a countryside characterised by many small and disconnected natural areas, dispersed among cultivated farmland. Natural areas are disconnected because they are small and physically isolated, or as a consequence of the landownership structure of earlier times with many small plots. In addition to this physical fragmentation, general specialisation and intensive farming render these areas marginal, superfluous or useless for many landowners. Consequently, the main threats for achieving a favourable conservation status for the habitat types alkaline fens, petrifying springs and grasslands are frequent overgrowth due to lack of management; boundary impacts from adjacent farmed areas; and drying out due to drainage. Furthermore, isolation prevents the spread of species. Therefore, achieving a favourable conservation status for these habitat types will typically require active and continuous conservation efforts


The overall objective of LIFE IP NATUREMAN is to create and test the incentives required to develop nature management into a separate branch of farming. The aim is to make it financially attractive for farmers to include natural areas with grazing or harvesting of biomass in their farming activities, through the development of high-value specialty products. The project focuses on 11 Natura 2000 network sites in central and northern Jutland (Denmark) and targets the following habitat types of the Habitats Directive: petrifying springs (7220*), alkaline fens (7230) and grasslands (6120*, 6210 and 6230). The project aims at a better integration of initiatives under the Habitats Directive and the Water Framework Directive, while contributing to a more holistic approach to nature and water management.

Expected results: The actions of LIFE IP NATUREMAN are expected to result in:

  • A number of agreements, for example, on nature management, habitat restoration, establishment of grazing associations and land reparcelling, as part of the implementation of the Prioritised Action Framework (PAF) for Natura 2000, and Habitats and Birds Directive obligations, to reflect the many types of necessary nature management initiatives;
  • Agreements with farmers tested on the basis of newly-developed, output-based support schemes;
  • Training for farmers on specific natural assets and how they can be preserved and improved;
  • Establishment of around 80 km of fencing, 30 shelters, 50 drinking water facilities, 10 catch pens, 50 cattle crossings, and 100 self-closing gates;
  • Establishment of appropriate hydrology on approximately 200 ha of alkaline fens;
  • Management for selected species and clear-cutting of invasive alien species on approximately 100 ha;
  • Harvesting of biomass on around 600 ha;
  • Implementation of compensation for approximately 500 ha of natural areas and 70 ha of arable land;
  • Completion of 6-8 demonstrations of new technology and the testing of 4-7 techniques in relation to new technologies for managing grazing animals;
  • Establishment of at least 15 km of nature trails; and
  • Production of some 1 500 animals for slaughter from nature management activities sold at a premium of at least 25%.

In addition to the IP budget, the project will facilitate the coordinated use of 9 444 333 of complementary funding from the Rural Development Programme (RDP), the European Marine and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), private funds and other EU funds.



Environmental issues addressed:


Biodiversity issues - High Nature Value farmland
Habitats - Grasslands


nature conservation‚  management contract‚  voluntary measures‚  grassland ecosystem‚  grazing‚  Agriculture

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Water
  • Directive 2000/60 - Framework for Community action in the field of water policy (23.10.2000)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Danish Nature Agency
Type of organisation National authority
Description The Danish Nature Agency, under the Ministry of Environment and Food, has responsibility for managing around 200 000 ha of national forest and other nature protection areas. Its mission is to create the greatest possible value for society in terms of outdoor recreation and the protection of nature.
Partners Jammerbugt Municipality, Denmark Mariagerfjord Municipality, Denmark Randers Municipality, Denmark Rebild Municipality, Denmark Skive Municipality, Denmark Vesthimmerland Municipality, Denmark Viborg Municipality, Denmark Aalborg Municipality, Denmark The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Denmark Danish Agricultural Agency


Project reference LIFE16 IPE/DK/000006
Duration 01-OCT-2018 to 31-MAR -2026
Total budget 17,417,232.00 €
EU contribution 10,450,090.00 €
Project location Midtjylland(Danmark) Nordjylland(Danmark)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: Technical report Det Retlige Grundlag: Regler og tilskudsordninger ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version