Achieving more for nature

Lincolnshire landscapes

Take a virtual tour of Greater Lincolnshire and discover the natural and geological features of your area, as well as local conservation projects taking place near you.

Humberhead Levels NIA

Part of the Humberhead Levels has been recognised as one of twelve Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) in England, which were announced on the 27th February 2012. At least 1427 hectares of wetland habitat will be restored through a £1.7 million action programme with £580,000 received through DEFRAs NIA funding scheme. This cross boundary initiative spans across parts of North Lincolnshire, Yorkshire & Humber, and Nottinghamshire.

Background

NatureImprovement Areas are a new name for the “Ecological Restoration Zones" proposed by the Lawton review: Making space for nature. These landscape-scale initiatives aim to ensure that land is used sustainably to achieve multiple benefits for people, wildlife and the local economy. The aims of the Humberhead Levels NIA are to:

  • Create key habitats including lowland raised peat bogs
  • Achieve sustainable water management in an arable landscape through enhancement of riparian habitats along connecting rivers and drains
  • Increase the hydrological integrity of Engalnd's largest lowland raised mire system
  • Deliver sustainable management of existing biodiversity assests through the development of the local green economy
  • Increase community links to biodviersity sites to increase volunteer support for site management, heritage conservation and interpretation

The Humberhead Levels NIA is made up of a partnership of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, North Lincolnshire Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Environment Agency, Natural England, The University of Sheffield, The University of York, Ouse and Humber Drainage Board, Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board, Shire Groups of Internal Drainage Boards, English Heritage, RSPB, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The project is also supported by Defra, DCLG, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Natural England.

Actions

Over 25 land owners so far have been engaged in habitat improvements. Other public engagement action has seen: 4300 children engaged through partner education events; 5000 people engaged across the 10 Gateway sites with 164 targeted events; and over 15,000 volunteer hours.

120ha additional habitat are being created, restored or improved as a result of NIA advice. At Oakhill and Eastrington there has been restoration of reedbed and lowland raised bog. In addition, 20ha lowland raised bog is being restored adjoining Hatfield Moor. Land purchase of 12ha Crowle Moor has been completed, which is a first for any NIA. In total the project has contributed to the restoration and enhancement of 30 ha of lowland meadows and 20km of hedgerows.