In the first year of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, beginning in September 2021, there were:
- 16 expressions of interest
- 4 applications were approved
- £33,769 was committed to projects, which is 100% of the first year’s fund
In the second year of the programme, £233,654 was paid in completed projects. For year three of the programme, by June 2023, £22,229 has been committed to project spending
Across the programme as a whole so far, the following projects were approved in the Suffolk & Essex Coast & Heaths National Landscape, with full details outlined:
Project Case Studies
Reedcutting in North Suffolk
For Year 2 of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, £16,925 was awarded to Paul Eldridge Conservation.
The funds were used to purchase new equipment which will enable an increase in the amount of reed cut for thatching, and manage/maintain the reedbeds more effectively to ensure a wide range of environmental benefits.
Staverton Woods and The Thicks
For Year 2 of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme, £73,723 was awarded to Wantisden Hall Farms.
The funds were awarded for an exciting project to future-proof and manage these woodlands which are internationally recognised sites of great biological and historical significance.
Footdrain creation on the Suffolk Coast
£4,999 was awarded to the Coast & Heaths Nature Recovery team for the Suffolk Wader Strategy Footdrain Creation Project.
The project was a collaborative piece of work, managed by the RSPB’s Wet Grassland Advisor who is part of the RSPB Ecology and Land Management Team and 50% of the cost was provided by the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Suffolk Wildlife Trust and East Suffolk Internal Drainage Board.
Sandlings Orchard project
£57,226 was awarded to farmers in the East Suffolk Farmer Group to create 16 new orchards in the Sandlings area of south Suffolk.
This project was enthusiastically received by the panel as traditional orchards are part of a rich landscape, and are designated as a Priority Habitat because of their biodiversity value.
Clearance of invasive rhododendron in Rookyard and Fredericks Woods
Brick Kiln Farm in East Suffolk was awarded £7,924 towards clearance of invasive plant species to allow restoration of the native woodland.
Dark and thick Rhododendron bushes which had taken over 2.8 hectares of ancient mixed native deciduous woodland. The landowner worked alongside Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Natural England who supervised the contractors to cut and clear rhododendron, and burn new growth in selected open areas, away from mature trees to avoid damage.
Managing field margins and small meadows in the Blyth Valley Cluster
Hall Farm in Wenhaston was awarded £22,078 towards the purchase of haymaking equipment for the Blyth Valley Cluster farms to use for cutting, baling, and carting hay on margins and small meadows.
The trailer allows the midi-baler to be transported between the farms, where it is attached to the farmer’s own tractor. A grant of £614 has also been provided to make a video to share methods of use and best practice.
Enhancing habitat and protecting birdlife at Easton Marshes
A grant of £20,702 was provided to Easton Bavents Ltd to increase the suitability of this coastal site for nesting birds and other wildlife.
The project was to remove old, broken down, hazardous fencing and replace it with 1,622 m of new sheep fencing and gates along pathways and boundaries. The Easton Marshes site is an important one for a wide range of birdlife and so their nesting sites need protection.
Crimper cultivator to support regenerative farming methods
A grant of £20,240 was provided to Raven & Sons towards the cost of a
Horsch Cultro double crimper roller and harrow.
This equipment will allow cover crops and weeds to be destroyed ahead of direct drilling, without the use of glyphosate or cultivation.
Dodnash Orchards: Regeneration
Dodnash Fruit Farm was awarded £5,949 in 2021, and £23,653 in 2022/23 to
help rejuvenate their orchards.
Some fruit trees on the farm are old and completely unproductive as they are so over-grown, meaning the orchards get little sunlight.
The project aimed to regenerate the old orchards at Dodnash Fruit Farm through thinning and pruning to enable a commercially viable crop to be harvested, and see the orchards preserved in the landscape.
Control of American mink
Over the period 2022-2024, a grant of £51,807 is being provided to Waterlife Recovery East to control the invasive American mink in the Coast & Heaths waterways to protect native wildlife.
American mink are accomplished predators which are not native to the UK. Without control, they would breed and numbers would quickly grow so that they would decimate populations of native wildlife.
Through the project, smart mink rafts are used as a more humane way of trapping the mink.
Year One (2021 / 2022)
CH01 - Dodnash Orchards
Total cost: £9,915
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £5,949
Project Description: To regenerate old orchards at Dodnash Fruit Farm through thinning, pruning and soil improvement to enable a commercially viable crop to and the orchards to be preserved in the landscape. The orchards are a valued local feature and important wildlife habitat.
CH02 - Cliff Farm Black Poplars
Total cost: £3,821.50
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £1,021
Project Description: To plant a set of native Suffolk black poplar trees, making the landscape more resilient to climate change and flooding and increasing biodiversity.
CH03 - High House Fruit Farm
Total cost: £2,538
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £2,538
Project Description: To communicate to visitors to the farm the activities the farm is undertaking for the benefit of wildlife and the environment.
CH04 - Sandlings Orchards
Total cost: £57,226
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £24,500 (Year 1)
Project Description: Establishing a series of small orchards on 16 farms. In the first year the project will installation deer fencing to protect the young trees and in year two the trees themselves will be planted.
Each orchard will comprise 20 heritage fruit and / or nut trees of a single or mixed varieties. Each orchard will be managed and maintained by its respective landowner, who will maintain the trees themselves.
Year Two (2022 / 2023)
CH04 - Sandlings Orchards
Total cost: £34,476
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £34,476
Project Description: Year 2 of this project involves planting of the 16 new orchards.
CH06 - New Reed Cutter Header Unit
Total cost: £26,866
Farming in Protected Landscapes Grant: £16,925
Project Description: To purchase new equipment which will enable increase in the amount of reed cut for thatching, and manage/maintain the reed-beds more effectively which ensures a wide range of environmental benefits.
CH10 - Rhododendron Control at Brick Farm
Total cost: £10,471
Farming in Protected Landscapes grant: £7,924
Project Description: To control invasive growth of rhododendron plants in Rookyard and Fredericks woods. This will allow the native plants to thrive again and ensure the natural habitat for a range of woodland wildlife.
CH11 Wantisden Hall Farm - Staverton Park & The Thicks Futureproofing Management
Total cost and amount awarded by Farming in Protected Landscapes: £73,323
The project will create a tree nursery to produce up to 650 trees for planting and replacing losses in this important ancient woodland.
- Protect naturally regenerating saplings.
- Tree planting x 150 + maintenance and loss replacement.
- Manage bracken to establish natural regenerated and planted trees, and to reduce the risk of fire.
- Retrenchment of young trees planted within the last 50 years to create well-formed pollarded trees.
- Retrenchment of 15 severely declining oak trees within Staverton Park.
- Produce a report on the retrenchment findings.
- Undertake approximately 1 ha of rhododendron control in Staverton Park.
- Give a minimum of 2 talks or guided walks to local community groups and conservation organisation members e.g., CLA, RFS, LEAF, NFU, AONB, NE, ATF, Field Study Council etc.
- Organise and run a minimum of 3 AONB volunteer workdays each year.
CH12 Dodnash Fruit Farm – Orchard Improvements
Total cost: £9,888
Farming in Protected Landscapes grant: £5,933
Following on from last year’s work, there was a small but successful harvest at the orchards and this project will take this work further, preserving these beautiful orchards in the landscape and offering the farm a viable future:
- Bramley Orchards second year of major pruning
- Worchester Orchards detailed pruning
- Coppey Orchard first year of major pruning of remaining trees
- Spaces created by removing trees filled with traditional local varieties of apple, plum, gage and cherry.
CH14 Waterlife Recovery Trust
Total cost: £60,807
Farming in Protected Landscapes grant: £18,718 awarded for Year 2 and £33,089 for Year 3
This project is for control of American mink in and near the Coast & Heaths AONB. It follows on from similar projects in the Norfolk Broads and North Norfolk Coast AONBs.
Work involves the deployment and management of smart mink rafts in the catchment of rivers that pass through the AONB, with the objective of depressing mink numbers to near zero and thereby enhancing the survival of native water-linked wildlife such as water voles, kingfishers, sand martins, amphibians and fish.
CH16 East Suffolk Farmers Group
Total grant: £10,064
A feasibility study on nature-based solutions initiative.
CH17 Easton marshes
Total grant: £20,702
Work to enhance the habitat for wading birds.
CH18 Hall Farm, Wenhaston
Total grant: £20,702
Provision of equipment to manage meadows and margins to improve bio-diversity within the Blyth Valley Farmer Cluster.
CH19 Dodnash Fruit Farm
Total grant: £17,721
Felling of 52 over-grown Poplar trees (to be replaced with native species) and fencing to protect the orchards from deer.
CH22 Dingle and Hollesley marshes
Total grant: £4,200
Footdrain creation and wader project.
CH23 J R Keeble & Sons
Total grant: £1,684
Hedge restoration project.
CH24 Raven & Sons
Total grant: £4,900
Creation of a wildflower meadow enclosed with fencing and hedging.
Total grant: £4,999
Together with match-funding, project will create footdrains on wet grassland on the Alde/Orr estuary to benefit habitat to wading birds.
Year Three (2023 / 2024)
CH26 Blyth Valley Farmer Cluster
Total grant: £614
A training video and demonstration for the Blyth Valley Farm Cluster to explain hay making techniques using a midi-baler to access corners, small meadows and field margins.
CH29 Raven & Sons
Total grant: £20,240
Funding towards the purchase of a crimper roller to allow cover crops to be destroyed ahead of direct drilling. This will support regenerative farming and soil health by expanding the area of cover crops and reduce the use of glyphosate, ploughing and diesel on the farm.
CH30 A & R Jellicoe
Total grant: £1,376
Funding towards purchase of a draw bar to aid use of a midi-baler for wild-flower meadow maintenance.
CH31 Waveney Bird Club
Total grant: £14,189
Funding was awarded towards the construction and erection of a swift nesting tower at Eastbridge.
CH32 R Wrinch
Total grant: £17,505
Funding was awarded for the enhancement of wet grassland marshes to enhance the habitat for breeding wader birds.
CH33 Iken Hall Farms
Total grant: £19,200
Funding was awarded to buy and install a solar pump system which will retain the water levels on the marshes.
CH37 Walberswick Common Lands Charity
Total grant: £14,133
Funding was awarded to Walberswick Common Lands charity for the installation of water control structures to help with cattle grazing and habitat for breeding wader birds.
CH39 R Raven & Sons
Total grant: £6,575
Funding was awarded to R Raven & Sons for creation of a new wildflower meadow and hedges.