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Farmers to tackle flooding and benefit wildlife

News > Farmers to tackle flooding and benefit wildlife

20/06/2017

Date of issue: 19 June 2017

Farmers with land in the Long Preston Deeps area have set up a new group to look at natural flood management measures that they can implement on their land. The Ribblesdale Farmers Group also aims to make the farmed landscape better for wildlife and farming, as well as helping to prevent flooding and improving water quality. 

Richard Frankland, the Group’s chairman who farms in the area, said: “The project is all about involving farmers and organisations to work cooperatively together to bring about environmental benefits that fit in well with farmers’ land management objectives. For instance, we plan to run soil workshops and demonstration events to illustrate the importance of good soil structure and nutrient management, both of which have a positive impact on the farm business.”

The Group has received three years of European Union funding from the Countryside Stewardship Scheme’s Facilitation Fund. The successful bid was developed by Clapham-based charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT), in conjunction with local farmers and the Ribble Rivers Trust. It builds on the success of the Long Preston Floodplain Project, which has carried out works to enable the Ribble to take a more natural course and to reconnect it with its floodplain, as well as restoring wetland habitat for wading birds whilst also providing benefits to landowners. Adrian Shepherd, YDMT’s Long Preston Floodplain Project Officer, who will support the Group, said: “This is a great opportunity for local farmers to share knowledge and experience, to work together to improve the sustainability of their farms and to enable better access to funding for capital works”.

Twenty-five farmers have so far joined the Group but there is scope for more to join. Adrian added: “The collaborative approach taken by the Ribblesdale Farmers Group is increasingly likely to be one that farmers need to embrace in the future, and so I would encourage more farmers to join the Group now while it’s in its early days to get the most benefit out of it”.

Landowners have until 6th July to register their interest by contacting Adrian by telephone on 07818 048747, or by emailing adrian.shepherd@ydmt.org

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