Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) enhance the landscape with their richly coloured flowers. By means of a written survey of 4000 households and 500 farmers in Switzerland, we investigated how EFA are rated in comparison with conventional meadows and crops, and what their impact is at the landscape level. For this, standardised photographs of landscape elements at various stages of development (March to October) and standardised landscape photos with differing percentages of EFA (see sample questionnaire) were used.
On average, the general public preferred species-rich, structurally diverse and/or colourfully blooming landscape elements. These could be crops at the flowering stage (oilseed rape) or a flowering dandelion meadow. Biodiversity promotion areas, however, meet these requirements more frequently and over a longer period.
The preference values for the individual landscape elements form the basis for developing an indicator for the inclusion of landscape in the SALCA life-cycle assessment method.