Good, professional advice always pays off. The person who is most often in contact with the farmer on matters of how to manage and protect biodiversity should be a professional agri-environmental advisor. He or she is trained to select the appropriate agri-environmental programmes that are best suited to the farm.
He or she also has the knowledge to select an appropriate farming method that is conducive to maintaining biodiversity. If the farmer, in consultation with the advisor, identifies habitats on the farm that have the potential to be valuable in terms of nature or, for example, habitats of endangered bird species, they should ask an expert botanist or ornithologist to carry out an expert assessment and draw up a nature file. The nature expert makes recommendations on how these areas should be used and draws up a list of indicator species whose maintenance is important for the protection of biodiversity. The nature dossier is an annex to the agri-environmental plan and is the basis for applying for subsidies under package 4 – valuable habitats and endangered bird species in Natura 2000 areas and 5 – valuable habitats outside Natura 2000 areas. Thus, expert advice is an important part of the development of the farm’s business plans.