. Crowdy Reservoir ( copyright SWLT)
In this job we are always learning, and a slight change from the normal this week was undertaking some temporary pond creation at Crowdy Reservoir for South West Lakes Trust. The work was part of Buglife’s Marvellous Mud Snails project. And yes Mud Snails were new to me as well, though they did bring to mind Desmoulin’s Snail, which was briefly a cause celebre when they held up major works to upgrade the Newbury by-pass back in the 1980s. Continue reading
Tottiford Wood, Dartmoor
Our blog in September highlighted how tree planting can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere and reduce the future impacts of climate change. This month we consider the effect of inevitable changes in our climate on sensitive habitats such as ancient woodlands. Continue reading
Many of our clients at Land and Heritage are farmers and landowners dealing with the myriad of day to day issues involved with managing their land. For many years we have helped farmers with agri-environment schemes and then more recently with all of the planning requirements of farm diversification and development in rural areas. We have previously discussed the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), Continue reading
Rewilding on the Knepp Estate, West Sussex
Climate change is rarely out of the news these days, and tree planting is one of the solutions put forward to take carbon out of the atmosphere. It can certainly work in the short term; a good conifer plantation grows at over 20 cubic metres per hectare per annum, which is awful lot of carbon. Native species such as oak are slower growing, usually less than 10 cubic metres per hectare per annum.
I have been asked to write a blog about the new farm support grant, the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). This is due to replace the current Basic Farm Payment Scheme, aims to incentivise farmers to achieve environmental enhancement and protection and restore and improve natural capital and rural heritage.
Trial for ELMS schemes have just started and will run until 2022. Pilots will then run until 2024 with the scheme currently planned to roll out from 2025. Given the current political uncertainty, and the lack of information being put forward by Defra, there is not a lot one can definitely say on the subject. Six years seems a very long lead in period for a scheme which was first muted back in 2015. I think however that it is well worth considering some of the consequences that this long gestation might have.
I am the newest member of the team at Land and Heritage Ltd. When I was asked to write an article for our regular blog spot, I was a bit stumped – I’ve not been here that long, and having relocated to Cornwall from the East Midlands, I am still finding my feet in the South-West. So I’ve gone back to basics – my remit for the business is to expand the services offered to include Landscape Architecture, so for the benefit of past, present and future clients I will pose the simple question: Continue reading
Castell Powys, or Powis Castle as the English know it, is a wonderful, striking medieval fortress and country mansion, sitting high on a hill overlooking the River Severn. Once know as the ‘Red Castle’, it is internationally recognised for its high red terraces and battlements, which are clothed in enormous and ancient clipped yew topiary. Continue reading
Wildflower meadow on Cornwall housing site
Over the past few years we have seen a number of milestone reports leading to shifts in Government policy which aim to halt the decline of biodiversity across the UK. The first inkling of change was the Lawton report “Making Space for Nature: A review of England’s Wildlife Sites and Ecological Network” published by Defra in 2010 which identified that the existing system of protected sites and reserves was inadequate and insufficient to halt the rapid decline in UK wildlife. Some of the recommendations of this report passed into policy In 2011 within the Government White Paper “The Natural Choice – securing the value of nature”. Last year saw the publication of the 25-year Environment Plan which makes it clear that all future industrial, residential and infrastructure development is dependent on improving conditions for wildlife. Continue reading
The only certainty for farmers and landowners over the next few years is uncertainly. For over 70 years individual farmers have benefited from price support and more recently from area payments for owning or farming land. In leaving the EU it is likely that the Government will move towards a system of payments which require landowners for providing a range of public benefits based on ecosystem services. Michael Gove has announced a pilot ELMS (Environmental Land Management Scheme) to start in 2021, with the intention of it becoming national and replacing the current Basic Payments Scheme, and indeed Countryside Stewardship, in 2024. How the detail will come about and whether Brexit will slow things remains to be seen, but we will all benefit from this policy which over time, which will improve air and water quality, reduce flood risk and enhance wildlife. Continue reading
South Hooe Peninsula, from the Cornwall bank
We have recently been working on a contract for a private client, funded through Natural England, undertaking a feasibility study into the restoration of species rich grassland and also freshwater wetland habitats. The Tamar Valley AONB is helping facilitate the work and it also involves the Environment Agency. Add in to the mix that the landowner is a former Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group advisor and you have a rather nice group of people to work for! Continue reading