We’re now working with more than 50 farmers through our Countryside Stewardship Fund. The fund is set up to focus on natural flood management and help local farmers and land managers to use techniques which improve soil structure, reduce sediment transport into waterways and slow down the flow of water through the river system. Using these techniques on a landscape scale will benefit the wider local community directly by improving water quality and reducing flood risk to their homes and businesses.
In an area that in recent years has experienced increasing pressure from urban development, the members are working together to improve biodiversity by connecting habitats and allowing wildlife interaction.
As part of the fund we’ve set up and run practical workshops on soil, precision farming, natural flood management and woodland creation – all with the aim of helping farmers to reduce pollution and ultimately improve water quality.
The steering group consists of 8 farmer members who come together regularly to suggest ideas for workshops and discuss issues affecting farms over the whole area. They represent the three geographical areas covered by the fund: Newcastle and Ponteland, North Tyneside and Corbridge so we are able to focus our efforts at a local level and work together to resolve matters of local concern.
The Trust’s Operations Director, Douglas Phillips says “We are delighted by the enthusiasm of local farmers and landowners to become members of the group and get actively involved. I am hopeful that the enthusiasm will spread into the wider local community over time and that we will be achieve a really joined-up approach and through cooperation and deliver a vibrant landscape area we can all enjoy for years to come.”
Although the Facilitation Fund group is now well underway, farmers and land managers are encouraged to get involved. If you are interested please contact Danielle Anderson-Walker on 01434 636906 or firstname.lastname@example.org