In the first year of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, beginning in September 2021, there were:
- 16 expressions of interest
- 4 applications were approved
- £60,046 was committed to projects, which is 100% of the first year’s fund
In the second year of the programme, by March 2023, £114,245 was paid in grants. For year three, £75,627 is committed so far as of October 2023.
Across the programme as a whole so far, the following projects were approved, with full details outlined:
Project Case Studies
Cut and Collect Project – Giffords Hall Farm
For Year 1 of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, £16,480 was awarded to Giffords Hall Farm and the Stour Valley Farmer Cluster to purchase a midi baler with its associated drawbar and transport trailer.
This equipment is for use on wildflower and grass margins and field corners, which are not possible to reach with the usual large balers.
Wetland Management – Tendring Hall Estate
For Year 1 of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, £33,600 was awarded to The Tendring Hall Estate, a member of the Stour Valley Farmer Cluster to purchase a 6 tonne 360 Hyundai digger.
This equipment is for ditch management & restoration, wetland creation and water management across the floodplains and grazing marshes of the Stour Valley cluster farms.
Polstead Pond Restoration Project
For Years 2 and 3 of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, £36,709 has been awarded to farmers F&H Engleheart for restoration of historic Polstead pond.
The cornerstone of the project is the comprehensive desilting of Polstead Pond: a popular amenity for the local community and Dedham Vale National Landscape visitors, and an asset for the farm.
Ancient Woodland Restoration Project
For Years 2 and 3 of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, £22,636 has been awarded to Rivers Hall Farm Estate for ancient woodland restoration.
Rivers Hall is a set within a diverse undulating landscape with numerous small steep sided valleys running from the main Stour River valley. There are several ancient woodlands scattered through the estate the most notable is Ash Wood.
Habitat Improvement in East Bergholt
£16,066 was granted to Old Hall from the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme over the two years 2022-24.
The project will improve the wildlife value of the grounds of the community through wide hedgerow creation, tree planting and the restoration of two ponds.
Pond Restoration at Tiger Hill Nature Reserve
£4,081 was awarded for pond restoration on Tiger Hill Local Nature Reserve, at Arger Fen.
This pond had become heavily shaded and silted up since it was created 20 years ago. Work included mechanical dredging of the sediment, reducing risk of flooding, and redirecting the flow of the spring.
Hedge restoration at Bevills Farm
£5,000 was awarded to Bevills Farm Partnership for hedge restoration and coppicing over 938 metres of hedges to re-invigorate their growth from the base.
This is part of a phased long term approach to management of the 24,300m of hedge on the farm. Where spiral guards were still present on hedges planted in the past 20 years or so they were removed and disposed of responsibly as part of the coppicing programme.
Year One (2021 / 2022)
DV02 - Midi Baler – Giffords Hall Farm
Total cost: £16,490
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £12.283
Project Description: To enable the collection of mown material from field margins within the Stour Valley Farmer Cluster to reduce soil nutrient levels, improve conditions for arable plants and wildlife and benefit biodiversity.
DV04 - Roller Crimper – Bevills Farm Partnership
Total cost: £11,708
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £11,708
Project Description: To facilitate the introduction of cover crops onto the farm enabling environmental objectives relating to soil health and biodiversity, reducing nutrient loss, aiding cultivation and without the need for, or with reduced use of, herbicides such as glyphosate.
DV05 - Digging Equipment and Ecological Reports – Tendring Hall Estate
Total cost: £46,590
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £33,600
Project Description: For ditch restoration, wetland creation and water management (subject to ecological constraints) to conserve and enhance the river. This work will include bank re-alignment and backwater creation to enhance biodiversity, provide wildlife habitat and reduce flooding across the Stour Valley Farmer Cluster.
DV07 - Wetlands Project
Total cost: £4,105
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £2,455
Project Description: A group of farms within the Stour Valley Farmer Cluster working together to plan better management of wetlands
Year Two (2022 / 2023):
Approved Projects so far:
- DV02- Botanical survey following on from year 1 midi-baler project £1,750
- DV05 - Eco-consultant reports following on from year 1 wetland management project £3,060
- DV06 - Stour Valley Farmer Cluster Carbon Accounting project £34,860
- DV09 - Rivers Hall Farm Estate ancient woodland restoration project £16,596
- DV10 - Stour Valley Farm Cluster, additional farm added to Carbon Accounting project £4,194 awarded, total project cost is £4,905
- DV12 - Tunmers Farm Higham levels survey £650
- DV13 - Tunmers Farm wetland habitat improvements £8,408 and in Year 3 £3,580 awarded. Total project cost is £12,694.
- DV14 - Lawford Hall Farm Partnership. Fencing and water supply to The Marshes, Lawford Hall Farm. £2,014 awarded
- DV15 - J Engleheart desilting and improvements at Polstead Pond, this is a joint project with Polstead Parish Council and the Hadleigh & District Angling Society. £35,886 and in Year 3 £823 has been awarded, total project cost is £42,030
- DV16 - Old Hall East Bergholt – work to create wildlife corridors, plus pond reinstatement and revival. £3,593 has been awarded in Year 2 and £12,473 for Year 3.
- DV17 - Bevills Farm Partnership – Hedge conservation work. £4,999 has been awarded.
£114,322 has so far been committed to projects for Year 2.
Year Three (2023/ 2024) of the programme:
- There have been 20 expressions of interest so far as of mid-July 2022
- Four applications are two-year projects, running from year two into year three
- £75,627 has so far been committed to projects for Year 3
The budget for projects is £183,463 for Year three and £173,724 for Year four.
- DV21 – Awarded £28,627 to Stour Valley Farmer Cluster (SVFC) for creation and maintenance of turtle dove habit across a wide range of farms.
- DV22 – Hawkins Forestry Ltd has been awarded £28,939 towards purchase of a timber trailer and crane for management of woodland.
- DV23 – Awarded £5,434 to Alex Borwick for creation of wildflower meadows.
- DV24 Old Hall Farm have been awarded £3,880 towards a disc mower to help in managing field margins, to be shared within the SVFC.