The Cool Farm Biodiversity metric quantifies how well
farm management supports biodiversity

Communicate the positive impacts of supporting biodiversity

The Cool Farm Tool Biodiversity allows farmers to score points to demonstrate the good they are doing.  Scores build as you go — the more positive actions, the higher the score.

See which species groups are benefiting

Biodiversity assessments provide scores along four dimensions and eleven species groups. Farmers can see which species groups are benefiting from their practices and how they might increase and expand these benefits.

Credit where credit is due

For example: field margins sown with perennial flowering seed mixes, gives you three points for helping beneficial insects and three points overall but no points for species that aren’t known to benefit like woodland or wetland flora.

Employ a wide range of management practices

Bird nesting boxes, set asides of hedges or trees, leaving un-mown strips or using selective crop protection products to spare beneficial insects are examples from the wide range of practices that score points.

Quantify baseline impacts

By using the tool, farmers and buyers in the supply chain can quantify baseline impacts on biodiversity, and measure and track improvements over time.

Evidence based

The tool boils complexity into series of multiple choice questions. These are scored based on expert opinion, with additional points being awarded when documented scientific evidence supports the answer selected.

Expanding to other agricultural biomes

The current version of the Cool Farm Tool Biodiversity metric applies to the Temperate Forest biome (e.g. northern Europe, eastern North America) and the Mediterranean and Semi-Arid biomes (e.g. the Mediterranean basin, California, central Chile, western South Africa and similar regions). The CFA is busy expanding the metric to include Tropical Forest biomes. This will cover biodiversity management in most of the major agricultural production regions of the world.

Data Inputs

  • The total area of the farm, including non-productive land.
  • General information about crop protection management, green manure crops and soil cultivation.
  • Area (ha), OR length and width (m), of small or linear habitats including:
  • Grassy verges along roads or tracks
  • Field corners and margins managed for wildlife
  • Hedgerows
  • Solitary trees, widely spaced avenues of trees or woodland patches
  • Water courses (including ditches, field drains, streams)
  • Ponds and pools
  • Area (ha) of any larger pieces of semi-natural habitat managed for nature conservation (woodland, grassland or heath, or wetland areas greater than 1 ha).

* These different types of habitat are more or less important to different elements of biodiversity, and therefore score differently in the tool. For example, hedgerows are important for woodland birds but not for arable flora. The areas are used to calculate the total area of each broad habitat type on your farm, as a proportion of total farm size. In the future, as evidence develops for area thresholds for habitat types, areas will also affect scores.

Start using the Cool Farm Tool to measure biodiversity:

Create an account
The user guide provides tips and advice on using the tool and interpreting the results. Following this guide can help you to get the most out of the tool.

Biodiversity User Guide thumbnailDOWNLOAD HERE