Lincolnshire countryside projects awarded funding

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Two Lincolnshire countryside projects - the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service and the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project - are among 37 schemes to be awarded national funding from the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund.

The fund rewards groups of farmers for coming together to work out the best ways to improve the natural environment across their land, providing large-scale habitats for wildlife and helping the conservation of important species.

The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project has been awarded more than £43,500 to run a Facilitation Fund group with farmers and landowners along the Great Eau catchment over the next three years.

They will be working together to share knowledge as to how best to deliver environmental improvements in the river catchment area, to benefit this rare and unique chalk stream habitat.

The Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service will be working with local consultants to deliver a Facilitation Fund with farmers and landowners along the Bluestone Heath Corridor.

They aim to strengthen environmental improvements, share best practice and deliver training on priorities across farms in the area, enhancing the landscape of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB.

Helen Gamble, project officer Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service said, “We’re thrilled to have been selected from many applicants from across the country. “The fund will support our work with farmers and landowners, which is vital to ensure wildlife can thrive in the Lincolnshire Wolds.”

A number of high quality applications were received in this latest funding round, which meant the funding pot was increased by £600,000 to ensure that groups with important work to deliver could access the funding to do so.

All 37 groups have now received their agreements and will be able to receive funding for working together and sharing knowledge to improve the landscape.

The addition of these groups to the scheme means that now over 450,000 hectares of holdings in England are delivering landscape-scale measures for wildlife, water management and the historic environment.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “We are delighted to welcome 37 new groups, with over 700 members, to the highly successful Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund scheme.

“This fund is contributing to an important step change in nature conservation by encouraging and supporting people who bring farmers, foresters and other land managers together to improve the local natural environment at a landscape scale.

“It is particularly encouraging to see how many high quality applications we received, which we hope to replicate across the Countryside Stewardship scheme due to simpler wildlife offers being introduced this year.”

• There are now 98 groups working across England with the common goal of better delivering environmental improvements on their land, and the land of their neighbours.