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’.