Farmers, authorities and nature conservationists met to discuss how to improve grassland maintenance in Dubysa regional park.
Representative from the Regional Park identified the main problems of meadow abandonment. It is small land plots, miscommunication with the National Land Service and its misleading interpretation of legal acts and maintenance problems of meadows, which are located in forests.
Other speakers talked about things that could inspire people to take care of grassland maintenance and overcome those problems. New Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 and it’s financial potential was introduced, few good practice examples from Lithuania were presented, state owned land rent procedures and possibilities for the protected areas to receive payments and maintain the meadows described. However, most of the topics received many questions and it seems that legal system and cooperation between different stakeholders should be improved.
It was agreed that protected areas have other duties to do and the land management should be left to farmers in agricultural land and to forest departments in forests. However, protected areas should help farmers to get clear information on the land loan and other issues.
Discussions continued in fresh air in Šušvė landscape reserve. Some landowners got inspired and agreed to participate in the restoration actions of the project. Hopefully, more and more farmers will be inspired and conditions necessary for their success created.