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Latest news

Read on to find out what the Nature Partnership and its Partners have been up to recently. News for the current year is below and news from previous years can be found using the links on the left hand side.

New Countryside Stewardship offers open for applications

The 2018 Countryside Stewardship application window has now opened for agreements to start on 1 January 2019.

A range of modifications have been made to the scheme this year in a bid to encourage more farmers and land managers to apply.

Mid Tier has been enhanced to include eight options which were previously only available through Higher Tier. These options include:

  • BE4 Management of traditional orchards
  • BE7 Supplement for restorative pruning of fruit trees
  • GS6 Management of species-rich grassland
  • GS9 Management of wet grassland for breeding waders
  • GS10 Management of wet grassland for wintering waders and wildfowl
  • SP9 Threatened species supplement (only for corn bunting and brown hair streak butterfly)
  • WD4 Management of wood pasture and parkland
  • WT3 Management of ditches of high environmental value

There are strict eligibility criteria for these options and applicants will need Natural England approval before including them in their applications. Specific requirements for each option are included in the Mid Tier manual.

Another modification is the addition of four new offers: Arable, Lowland Grazing, Upland and Mixed Farming. These schemes are non-competitive and all farmers who meet the eligibility requirements can get an agreement to deliver as few as three options, up to as many as 14, depending on the offer applied for. Applications for the Arable offer can be made online from 20 February.

More information on all the options available can be found here.

17 January 2018

Get to know your farmland birds

A Farmland Bird ID day will take place in Lincolnshire on 2 February.

The event has been organised by Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust in the lead up to the 2018 Big Farmland Bird Count to help equip farmers and landowners with the knowledge needed to take part.

The ID day will take place at Hall Farm near Scunthorpe and will include a presentation by RSPB Conservation Advisor Chris Tomson prior to a farm walk to practice some bird identification.

At the end of the training it is hoped participants will be able to recognise the top 20 bird species likely to be seen on farmland during the winter and a colour ID guide will be provided for some of the harder to identify species.

The Big Farmland Bird Count itself will take place between 9 to 18 February. To take part, participants are asked to spend 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen on one particular area of the farm, ideally somewhere with a view of around two hectares.

For more information on attending the ID day or taking part in the count, visit the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust website.

3 January 2018