Fund for farmers to connect wildlife habitats

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest locally based environmental charity, alongside Business Partner Severn Trent Water, is delighted to be supporting farmers to enhance wildlife habitats across the landscape in the county with the appointment of a new Farming and Wildlife Officer.

Severn Trent’s Great Big Nature Boost fund aims to create and improve habitat features as part of the UK’s Nature Recovery Network. When combined with the Wildlife Trust’s local knowledge and contacts the fund has real potential to contribute towards nature’s recovery.  

A key aim of the fund available to farmers via the new project is to create nature corridors through farmland, working alongside farm businesses. With 70% of the land in Nottinghamshire being farmed, the Wildlife Trust believes that it is essential to work with farmers to create and improve wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity. 

This landscape-scale biodiversity project, creating Nature Recovery Networks in Farmed Landscapes is being led by a small team which includes a new Farming and Wildlife Project Officer based at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and funded by Severn Trent Water (STW). The aim is to work with farmers to create a range of appropriate habitats to connect existing areas of wildlife value. These include creation of new ponds and pond restoration, reedbeds, watercourse improvements, creation of woodland, planting new hedgerow trees, new hedgerows and hedgerow restoration, species- rich grassland, new wetlands, pollinator habitat and planting to provide wild bird feeding areas. Even small initiatives will create important stepping stones for wildlife and the Trust can also provide tree sparrow nest boxes, owl boxes and feed hoppers for farmland birds.

Lisa Channing, the Trust’s recently appointed Farming and Wildlife Project Officer commented, “As part of a local farming family with 3 generations, I am delighted to be able to collaborate across the farming and conservation sectors. Linking important habitats for wildlife including nature reserves across farmland and other green spaces by creating wildlife corridors to help deliver The Wildlife Trusts ambition of 30% of land supporting nature’s recovery by 2030 is very exciting .We are facing climate and ecological crises and I look forward to making a positive impact by helping to create a positive legacy for the future of wildlife which people can enjoy and benefit from, including my own young family.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust anticipates delivering hundreds of hectares of enhanced and new habitats, 20 ponds, improvements along 5km of watercourse and a whole host of other beneficial features for wildlife in four key parts of the county across a 5000ha of ‘search area’.

We are facing climate and ecological crises and I look forward to making a positive impact by helping to create a positive legacy for the future of wildlife which people can enjoy and benefit from, including my own young family.
Lisa Channing, Farming and Wildlife Project Officer
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

The Farming and Wildlife Project Officer will work with and support farmers and landowners, providing information on grants and funding streams available to make positive and sustainable environmental decisions. These may include looking for opportunities to safeguard against flooding risk as well as enhance biodiversity in terms of planting or benefitting insects and could include activities such as tree planting to pond creation.

The Trust believes that the role will provide an important bridge between the needs of individual businesses and wider public interests and will also help develop a better understanding of the challenges that face communities. as we plan for the future needs of the environment and work to adapt and change in the face of the global climate and ecological crises.

Dr Jodie Retting, Catchment Management & Biodiversity Lead at STW said, “We are delighted to be able to focus this funding on a specific industry with key aims for real results, hopefully leaving a real legacy for the future for both water quality and wildlife.”

Head of Nature Recovery (North) at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Janice Bradley states, “There are four key areas we are working in within Nottinghamshire aligned with Idle Valley, the Sherwood Forest area and the Erewash Valley and South of Nottinghamshire.” Janice continued, “Having worked in these areas over a number of years we hope this new initiative and focus working alongside farmers and providing funding for the habitat work, will produce practical solutions on the ground and contribute towards the ambition of a Nature Recovery Network.”

This is a three year partnership project between Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Trent, with the fund available to farmers and landowners within the four target areas. For further information for farmers in the areas, contact Lisa Channing by email on lchanning@nottswt.co.uk.

Lisa Channing, Farming and Wildlife Project Officer

Lisa Channing, Farming and Wildlife Project Officer at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust by one of the farm ponds.