Following a successful application to the first round of the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund, the newly formed Arun to Adur Famers Group is now up and running. Consisting of 24 farmers covering some 8299ha, the group spans the chalk downland between the Rivers Arun and Adur. It is one of 19 successful applications across England and will receive funding for the next 5 years.
The group will be facilitated by Colin Hedley (CJH Ari-Environment Consultants Ltd), and aims to link up conservation and resource protection projects at a landscape scale. This will continue and extend the great work already underway through the various HLS and ELS schemes in the area, and look forward to further possibilities through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS). As well as the good populations of farmland birds, the area also hosts rare arable plants, priority butterflies, strange and exciting insects, not to mention a chalk aquifer that soaks up water like a sponge, so there’s a lot to consider!
The Arun to Adur Farmers Group will be delivering a range of biodiveristy and resource protection benefits at a landscape scale
Over the next five years, the fund will be used to provide specialist training, run demonstration events, makes links with other projects and showcase the good work going on. Some of these events will be open to all so keep an eye on our events listing page here for further details. Similar projects in recent years such as the Nature Improvement Areas (NIA’s) have shown how effective working across a landscape scale can be, so it looks like the Arun to Adur Farmers Group is on to a winner!
Is this something that you and your neighbours may be interested in? If so, we expect the second bidding round for the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund to open early next year.