The programme is aimed at farmers and land managers in England's protected landscapes (AONBs & National Parks), and is for one-off farming projects that can demonstrate benefits to climate, nature, people and place.
Applications continue to be invited for funding in years two (2022/23) and three (2023/24), and projects must be completed by March 2024. For more information about the progamme and how to apply click here.
Click on the links below to read summaries of projects in the Shropshire Hills that have recieved a grant to date:
Lawn Farm: Recovery and restoration of area of River Clun
- Grant of £26,834.70 awarded November 2021, total project value £30,884.70, 2021-23
The grant will support a series of woodland and hedgerow habitat restoration activities on a farm in the Clun catchment. Riparian (river) woodland will be enhanced by carrying out tree surgery on diseased, leaning or fallen trees and by replanting the riverbank with suitable trees as needed. The area (approx. 0.4 ha) will be stock fenced to allow a wide riparian woodland corridor to establish. Hedgerow enhancement, including fencing, is also being supported through coppicing, planting up gaps and restoring historic hedge-lines which will create valuable wildlife corridors across the farm.
Tregodfa: Hedgerow restoration
- Grant of £5,424.60 awarded November 2021, total project value £5,424.60, 2021-22
The project is reinstating the hedgerow network on a small upland farm. Restoration will include laying, coppicing and gapping up, as well as planting new hedgerow trees. The hedges will be fenced to protect new growth and to encourage regeneration of ground vegetation. Hedgerows have many benefits for wildlife as a food source, shelter and as a safe space to move around. They also act as barriers, helping to reduce soil erosion and water runoff after heavy rain. Historically, hedgerows were a key feature of upland farms, dividing the land into small fields and this project seeks to enhance this key feature of the Shropshire Hills landscape.
Lower Treverward: Fencing to protect valuable habitat
- Grant of £3,733.80 awarded November 2021, total project value £3,733.80, 2021-22
The project is to erect 762 metres of protective livestock fencing to safeguard newly layed hedges from livestock damage. The hedges will provide vital habitat for local birds/wildlife and insects, ensuring a greater area of wildlife rich habitat. The fencing will be erected 1.5 metres from the centre of the hedge to ensure the hedges can grow up to 3 metres wide, ensuring a strong, thick hedge to provide essential wildlife corridors for threatened species notably the dormouse, bats, and the great crested newt. Hedges also provide other benefits to the landscape by acting as carbon sinks, reducing soil erosion and improving the visual character of the area.
Stag’s Head: Field barn repair
- Grant of £7,074.50 awarded November 2021, total project value £8,792.50, 2022-23
This project is repairing a 19th century field barn/shelter in a field which is being managed for long-term conservation. The building is present on the Shropshire Historic Environmental Record as an ‘unnamed field barn’ of post-Medieval date. Built with local mudstone and a simple internal timber structure this building is typical of field shelters in the Clun Forest. The barn will be used to provide shelter at public events such as guided walks and visits by interest groups, and for storing woodland/coppice products from the site. A local builder is being employed to do the repairs using local materials.
Graig Farm: Hedgerow restoration and rotational grazing
- Grant of £18,961.80 awarded October 2021, total project value £18,961.80, 2021-23
The project will divide a 15ha field to better enable managed rotational grazing and to improve the grazing management and extension of two Local Wildlife Sites. This will be done by rejuvenating and restoring 440m of currently unfenced ancient hedgerow through coppicing, gapping up, hedgerow tree planting and fencing as well as new stock fencing to encourage expansion of the species rich Local Wildlife sites.
Little Hobarris: New broadleaf woodland
- Grant £4,370.20, total project value £4,370.20, 2021-22
The grant will support the planting of 645 native species trees within three strips of land amounting to 4065sq.m in total. The strips will be end-to-end and thereby form one belt which will be across three fields. The project will deliver new broadleaved woodland comprising as wide a variety of native species as possible, taking into account the site’s characteristics (eg soil, topography, prevailing wind). The new woodland will be good for carbon sequestration and enhance the character of the landscape as a significant percentage of the broadleaf trees in the valley below the planting site are ash (with dieback evident in many of them) so the new planting will help to offset the eventual losses.
Bog Farm: Hedgerow creation and water course protection
- Grant of £5,079.84 awarded November 2021, total project value £5,079.84, 2021-22
This project is creating a 140m buffer strip between a brook and grazing land to prevent cattle from damaging the watercourse. The strip will be planted with species commonly found on riverbanks such as alder, willow, downy birch, hazel and hawthorn. This buffer strip will help to reduce soil erosion and water runoff into the brook and is linking two areas of woodland to improve habitat connectivity. A pasture pump is being installed to provide water for the cattle. The project is also creating a further wildlife corridor by restoring a hedgerow, which links woodland to another hedgerow and area of woodland.
Pollardine Farm: Training courses for transition to regenerative agriculture
- Grant of £2,509.50 awarded October 2021, total project value £3,585, 2021-22
This project is supporting landowners to attend two training courses to enable them to transition to regenerative management on the farm. The courses are a Holistic Management Comprehensive, 9-day course, accredited by the Savory Institute and a Conservation Grazing in Practice, 2-day course, accredited by LANTRA. The courses will help the landowners to change their farming practices to regenerate their soil, while also improving profitability and quality of life, and learning how to use livestock to achieve environmental objectives. This knowledge will be shared with other farmers/landowners.
Hill View: Wildlife pond and hedge restoration
- Grant of £4,868 awarded December 2021, total project value £10,508, 2021-23
This project is creating two ponds/wetland areas which will be fenced. Scrapes will create additional habitat and the ponds will increase connectivity with local streams and wetlands. The ponds will provide additional habitats and help to safeguard endangered species such as the great crested newt. The ponds will also act as a surface water storage, helping to reduce the flooding in winter of adjacent fields and a lane. The project is also restoring 150m of hedge by laying, coppicing and gapping up, creating more connectivity between habitats, and helping to reduce soil erosion and water runoff. These activities are helping to offset habitat losses from a local housing development on a greenfield site, and they bring both ecological and hydrological benefits to the local landscape.
Blackhurst Farm: Highland Beef expansion
- Grant of £24,241 awarded October 2021, total project value £40,402, 2021-22
The grant is supporting the expansion of the applicant’s Highland/Shorthorn Beef business, selling meat from animals grazing a wildlife-rich iconic local hill which is part Local Wildlife Site. The animals are left to forage on the heathland ground and rough pasture which maintains these habitats with various species moss, herbal grasses and wildflowers. The work includes alterations to an existing farm building - to house cold store, sorting area and customer facing area for collection of beef boxes; purchase and installation of cold store, kitchen facilities, display refrigerator etc; and purchase of refrigerated trailer – to enable safe transport of meat to and from farm, abattoir, butcher, farmers’ markets.
Westhope Estate: Enhancing existing woodland and creating new
- Grant of £27,126.04 awarded November 2021, total project value £36,801.04, 2021-24
The project is enhancing existing woodland and creating new woodland habitat. This includes removing mature laurel and replanting these areas with a range of British native species which will be managed as coppice with standards. Other areas of the woodland will be thinned to increase light levels and managed to encourage a wider range of woodland ground flora. A second area of woodland will be enhanced and managed as a wet woodland. The existing Poplar plantation and the invasive Himalayan balsam will be cleared, and the area will be planted and managed to increase native wet woodland species. A woodland corridor will also be planted to improve connectivity between these existing woodland habitats. The newly planted areas will be protected from grazing and managed as short and long rotation coppice to encourage the succession of scrub species. The work will be supported by volunteers from a local wildlife group.
Corfield Farm: River and pond restoration
- Grant of £13,918 awarded November 2021, total project value £16,918, 2021-23
This project will enhance ongoing river restoration work along the R Corve by adding riparian fencing to exclude livestock and repairing a large redundant Victorian fish pool on the farm. Electric fence posts will be installed rather than a permanent fence which is likely to be washed away in floods. New hedges will be planted along existing field boundaries for landscape character and connectivity. Standard hedgerow trees will be allowed to grow from planted hedge stock and stand alone in-field trees will be planted to improve the landscape character of the area and provide shade for livestock and farm workers. The hedgerows will help to slow down floodplain flows reducing downstream floods and improving water quality. The fish pool will be restored by repairing the breached bund and sculpting the ground levels, incorporating a reedbed to create additional wetland habitat on the farm and complimenting the river restoration habitats.
Causeway Wood: Ecological feasibility study
- Grant of £4,778.40 awarded November 2021, total project value £4,778.40, 2021-23
The grant will funds a feasibility study to report on the farm’s proposal to create a number of new pond / pool areas to hold back flood water and enhance the local environment. The shallow standing water / bog areas will improve the habitat of the farm along with increasing biodiversity in the wider landscape. The feasibility study will identify the best locations for scrapes / wetland / pool areas and provide advice on the creation of these wetland habitats and the beneficial outcomes for the farm and surrounding area. The grant is also supporting hedge restoration work, including coppicing and gapping up to create a wildlife corridor between two areas of existing woodland on the farm.
Powkesmore Farm: Soil improvement
- Grant of £18,840 awarded October 2021, total project value £47,100, 2021-22
The grant is contributing to the purchase of a direct drill in order to improve the overall soil health across the farm. This will deliver a number of benefits including improved soil structure and health, improved infiltration and drainage, increase in beneficial invertebrates and earthworms, increased soil organic matter, reduced soil erosion and improved carbon sequestration.