Centre for Rural Economy


SUPER-G: Sustainable Permanent Grassland Systems and Policies

The existence and management of permanent grasslands (PG) is key to the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (ES) across Europe. However, PG maintenance and functions are under threat from sub-optimal management of inputs, cultivation in higher output farming systems and abandonment in remote and marginal areas. The overall objective of the SUPER-G project is to co-develop sustainable PG systems and policies with farmers and policy makers that will be effective in optimising productivity, whilst supporting biodiversity and delivering a number of other ES.

SUPER-G applies a multi-actor approach, working with farmers; land owners/managers and their advisers; third sector and civil society groups; non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and researchers, policy and business communities to achieve:

1)    better understanding of the importance and functioning of PG;

2)    benchmarking of PG performance across Europe;

3)    co-development of integrated approaches for profitable and sustainable PG management;

4)    co-development of tools and policy mechanisms, which are inclusive of stakeholder and citizen priorities, to support the maintenance and sustainable management of PG.

WP4 (involving CRE staff) investigates methods for securing PG performance. This includes formulating policy options for supporting PG management in each region. Activities work across five case study countries (UK, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic and Switzerland) to assess the extrinsic and intrinsic value of ES to determine the overall value of what farmers can deliver for society, as well as societal preferences and values for preserving or enhancing the ES associated with PG. Tasks also aim to better understand farmers’ behaviours and intentions and how policy should be implemented to secure PG performance. Policy instruments and financial mechanisms such as ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ (PES) will be assessed with the collaboration of policy stakeholders, non-governmental organisations, as well as supply chain actors, to help define viable integrated approaches to PG management.

Contact: Professor Lynn Frewer: 0191 208 8272, lynn.frewer@ncl.ac.uk

Homepage: https://www.super-g.eu/