NEW FUND WILL HELP FARMERS TO IMPROVE LOCAL RIVERS
Tyne Rivers Trust has successfully bid to set up and run its second Farming Facilitation Fund which will see both the environment and farmers in the South Tyne benefit from incentives to slow the flow of water into the river system and improve water quality.
The new fund will focus on the South Tyne’s mainly hill farming catchment stretching from Lambley through to Alston and Garrigill. This follows the Trust’s successful Ouseburn fund which has more than 50 members covering the urban fringe catchment of North Tyneside to Hexham.
The funding which comes from Natural England as part of its Countryside Stewardship Fund will allow Tyne Rivers Trust to support farmers on a landscape scale in measures that will improve biodiversity and through land management techniques; help reduce downstream flood risk, soil loss and sediment movement into rivers to improve water quality.
Farmers that sign up to Tyne Rivers Trust facilitation fund will be eligible for extra points when applying for a Countryside Stewardship scheme to access money to improve wildlife and habitat on their land.
Hugo Remnant, Chairman of Tyne Rivers Trust says: “This is excellent news for farmers, the environment and the wider community. By tackling diffuse pollution on a landscape scale we will be able to directly benefit the wider community by improving water quality and reducing flood risk to their homes and businesses.
“Our Ouseburn fund has been such a success that we are already seeing the benefits with farmers looking to install more environmentally friendly ways to deal with surface water from clean and dirty water separation tanks to rainwater harvesting and buffer strips preventing fertilizer getting into rivers.”
Farmer, Chris McDonald whose Baysleap farm at Heddon-on-the-wall has been involved in the Ouseburn fund says: “It’s important that as farmers in the catchment we all work together to make a difference. None of us want to see pollution going into the river and if we just make a few changes it can make a huge difference to the environment.
“It’s been a very positive experience for my farm. I’m currently in the process of converting to organic and I’ve found the workshops on soil management particularly useful – I’d definitely recommend the scheme to farmers in the South Tyne.”
Farming Minister George Eustice says: “This fund is contributing to an important step change in nature conservation by encouraging and supporting people who bring farmers, foresters and other land managers together to improve the local natural environment at a landscape scale.”
Farmers in the South Tyne catchment wishing to get involved in the South Tyne facilitation fund should contact Tyne Rivers Trust on 01434 636 900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org