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Derbyshire

Value in Meadows

A Derbyshire Wildlife Trust project, working with FWAG and Natural England amongst others, across the Peak Fringe Natural Area. This project is concerned with targeting areas of wildflower rich grassland for restoration and enhancement.

Semi-natural grasslands are those with a high proportion of native grasses and wildflowers. They have not been substantially agriculturally improved by cultivation, fertilisation or herbicides and have usually been managed either as low intensity pasture or hay meadow. A product of agricultural management over many years, semi-natural grasslands are wildlife havens, attractive landscape features and an important part of our rural and industrial heritage.

The objectives of the project, which started in March 2006, are to manage, restore and create semi-natural grasslands by:

  • Identifying and surveying the best examples of ancient pastures and meadows in the Derbyshire Dales;
  • Securing their long term future by providing support to landowners in overcoming barriers to their sustainable management, particularly by establishing a Local Grazing Scheme;
  • Establishing a local seed scheme identifying suitable donor meadows and making seed available to local grassland creation projects;
  • Raising public awareness and understanding of the value of semi-natural grasslands, and the role of farming in sustaining them;
  • Demonstrating the link between conservation and the local economy by exploring ways in which grassland owners and graziers can derive economic benefit from the management of grasslands;

Transforming the Trent Valley

A long-term vision to create a wildlife corridor along the Derbyshire Trent Valley and restore this area to a rich variety of wetland habitats, reconnecting the river, the floodplain, the wildlife that depends on them and local communities.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust is leading the project, which is focussed on a series of Trust reserves including Willington, Hilton Gravel Pits SSSI and Golden Brook Storage Lagoons.

Priority habitats include ancient and species-rich hedgerows, standing waters, reedbeds, swamps and mires, wet woodland and floodplain grazing marsh. The Trent Valley is of enormous importance both for its biodiversity and its rich history and archaeology.

The objectives of this project, for which the Trust is seeking funding, are:

  • Protect and enhance existing wetlands, for example, improve habitat and species management on existing nature reserves in the Trent Valley; and establish as nature reserves the newly secured sites at Willington and Drakelow.
  • Encourage creation and restoration of new, high-quality wetlands in addition to reserves already mentioned - building partnerships with aggregate extraction companies and other landowners to secure maximum biodiversity gains.
  • Involve local communities in taking action through practical conservation and training opportunities - implement volunteer conservation activities, including monitoring work for wetland species.
  • Provide educational and recreational opportunities - implement an educational programme for local schools and a programme of public walks, talks and presentations.

Water for Wildlife in the Dove Valley

A Derbyshire Wildlife Trust project, working with partners such as Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the National Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority to restore wetland habitats and species in the Dove Valley.

The Dove is an iconic fishing river and magnet for tourists. It has populations of many important species such as water vole and otter, and much of it is designated as SSSI or Local Wildlife Site. However its wildlife and landscape is at risk from invasive species, inappropriate management and climate change, and action is needed to create a robust network of wetland habitats along the length of the river.
The project objectives are:

  • Target known sites of high biodiversity value and secure the long term future of these by providing support to landowners in overcoming barriers to their sustainable management;
  • Create new areas of wetland habitat in strategic locations to link and/or extend the existing resource, resulting in large scale connected areas of high quality habitat;
  • Raise public awareness and understanding of the value of wetlands, and the role of landowners in sustaining them;
  • Generate information and experience to support future action in Derbyshire and assist the development of similar projects elsewhere;
  • Protect vulnerable water vole populations by controlling American mink.

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Protecting Wildlife for the Future