SUCCESSFUL FACILITATION FUNDS DRAW TO A CLOSE
Since 2017, Danielle Anderson Hire, our Farms Liaison Officer, has delivered three Defra funded Countryside Stewardship facilitation funds covering the rivers Ouseburn, South Tyne, Don, Team and Derwent.
This 3-year fund, (so good we ran it three times) brought famers and land managers together to improve the natural environment at a landscape scale, organised workshops and training events on a variety of subjects such as; water quality, natural flood management, soil health and habitat creation. An impressive 120 farmers/land managers signed up to the fund, which covered an area of 35,000Ha (11% of the Tyne catchment). 112 meetings/workshops were held, as well as 29 steering group meetings. Members had the opportunity to highlight knowledge gaps and liaise with partners such as the Environment Agency, Northumbria Water, RSPB and the Wildlife Trust. They also gave feedback to Defra on the new Environment Land Management Scheme (ELMs) and had the opportunity to meet with the then farming minister George Eustice.
As a result of the fund, Tyne Rivers Trust has endorsed 20 Countryside Stewardship applications from members. This ensures environmental good, such as reducing inputs to land, fencing off watercourses to reduce pollution and creating new wildlife habitats is carried out, which is integral to how the land is farmed and managed.
Although the three funds have drawn to a close, we are committed to continuing to work with members and providing support as and when future opportunities arise.