Grazing is the most important and cost-effective form of management for coastal meadows, which represent a critically endangered biotope. The majority of coastal meadows in Finland are located in North Ostrobothnia, where approximately 4,000 hectares of coastal areas have been included in the management operations through environmental subsidies. Most are managed through grazing, and excellent results have been achieved through this type of management in improving the state of coastal meadows and their species.
Discussion regarding coastal grazing is partly critical. In particular, uncertainty about the impact on water resources from grazing is causing concern. At the same time, managing natural pastures is laborious, and farmers are concerned about questions concerning the profitability of production. It is necessary to consider coastal grazing comprehensively from multiple perspectives and communicate its significance for biodiversity, various uses and trade. The objective of the project is to develop grazing on coastal areas to make it more sustainable, effective and valued.
- Promoting the comprehensive planning and monitoring of the management of coastal areas.
- Supplementing the knowledge of the impact of grazing livestock on the hygiene and nutrient status of coastal waters and dispelling uncertainty concerning the impact on water resources from grazing.
- Finding potential solutions for the practical problems related to the management of coastal grazing.
- Communicating the significance of coastal grazing for animal welfare and trade.
- Making known the benefits of grazing to the biodiversity of coastal nature.
- Encouraging farmers to manage traditional rural biotopes and increasing the effectiveness of management by developing agreement practices and enhancing advisory services.