Project to improve habitats along the Nene Valley from Northampton to Peterborough launched

The launch of Farming for the Future in Oundle by Matt Johnson
The launch of Farming for the Future in Oundle by Matt Johnson

A new initiative to improve river valley habitats in the Nene Valley has been launched.

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire (BCN) has just launched Farming for the Future as part of the five-year Heritage Lottery funded Nenescape Landscape Partnership Scheme.

This initiative aims to help restore and create meadow and wetland habitats, as well as to undertake vital infrastructural improvements to tackle diffuse pollution and aid water quality.

The trust is actively looking for potential sites to work with farmers and landowners in the Nene Valley from Northampton to Peterborough.

Landowners interested in the scheme will be offered training courses on environmental farm management via Moulton College, and the trust will be gathering information and memories about the farming history of the Nene Valley to help

celebrate its important role in shaping the heritage of the valley.

Wildlife Trust Nene Valley land adviser Helena Darragh said: “Farming for the Future will undeniably contribute to the improvement of fauna and flora across the Nene Valley by working closely with local landowners and farmers.

“It’s fantastic to be part of such an exciting and meaningful project, which will not only provide environmental benefit, but also have a wider positive impact for local communities.

“We welcome any enquiries and look forward to receiving applications as the project gets under way.”

Alison Cross for Nenescape said: “We are delighted to be working with the Wildlife Trust and local landowners on this project to restore and project fragile Nene Valley habitats.

“Wildflower meadows and wetlands are part of the fabric of this landscape and we’re so pleased to celebrate them with this grants scheme and a programme to collect stories and memories.”

The river and surrounding habitats provide valuable homes to a range of wildlife such as dragonflies, birds and butterflies.

Many meadows have been lost in the past, while remaining wetland habitats can be difficult to manage - this project will offer grant funding and specialist advice.

The types of project which could qualify are:

- Arable reversion to meadow

- Restoration of species poor pasture to meadow

- Wetland restoration capital projects

- Infrastructure projects to benefit water quality

Funding will include a range of elements – from wildflower seed and fencing materials to restoring water features.

The trust has grant funding available for the work from July 2018 to December 2020.

For more information, contact Helena Darragh (Nene Valley Land Adviser) on 01604 405285, 07540 670229 or helena.darragh@wildlifebcn.org.