Farming in Protected Landscapes programme underway

 In Farming & land management

Last summer, Defra introduced a new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme to fund projects that support nature recovery, tackle climate change, provide opportunities for people to discover nature, support sustainable farm businesses.

As part of this programme, Blackdown Hills AONB is awarding approximately £240k this financial year (2021/22) with more funding available up until the end of March 2024. In September, a small team was recruited to Blackdown Hills AONB to support local farmers and landowners in applying for grants.

This new Farming in Protected Landscapes team has had a very busy first five months, receiving over 70 expressions of interest for grants from farmers and landowners across the AONB. From these, about 25 full applications have been developed, and work is underway for the grants that have been awarded.

Farming in Protected Landscapes summary graphicFarming in Protected Landscapes has four themes – climate, nature, people and place – and the grants awarded cover a wide spectrum of activity, all of which will help landowners enhance the special qualities of the AONB’s landscape.

Farming in Protected Landscapes funded projects are already beginning to have a tangible impact. Projects include fencing watercourses to prevent sediment affecting river water quality, creating new wildlife ponds, planting new hedgerows and restoring orchards, clearing scrub from flower-rich springline mires, and researching the carbon stocks in soil. Other Farming Protected Landscape grants are funding the acquisition of specialised equipment, including a brush harvester for gathering seed from wildflower meadows, educational tools to show school children how farming works, and livestock handling and shelter facilities to enable more conservation grazing.

The deadline for the first year of applications to the Farming in Protected Landscapes grants programme arrives on 31 January. The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme will re-open for applications in April 2022, but in the meantime the team is able to advise and discuss ideas with potential applicants.

Find out more about Farming in Protected Landscapes funding and how to apply


Are you interested in joining the Farming in Protected Landscapes team?

A vacancy has come up in the Blackdown Hills AONB team for a project administrator to ensure the smooth running of administration of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme. Click here for details of the project administrator vacancy.


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