Farmers and land managers in the Coast & Heaths and Dedham Vale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are being urged to apply for grant support for projects which support nature, the climate, people, and places.
The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme provides funding for farm projects meeting several specific objectives under the four themes. The programme has just finished its first year in operation, with more than £90,000 awarded to farmers and land managers in Suffolk and Essex since the scheme began in summer 2021.
Around £30,000 in Coast & Heaths and just over £60,000 in Dedham Vale has been awarded to farmers, smallholders, and farm clusters. Funds have been used to create 16 new orchards, together with other tree planting, and the restoration of historic orchards. The programme will also be supporting whole farm carbon assessments for several holdings in Dedham Vale.
Additionally, a range of other projects have been funded including farm machinery to support crop production using lower chemical inputs, which will allow for more proactive environmental management on-farm.
Machinery funded includes a roller-crimper to kill cover crops and negate, or at least considerably reduce, the need for weed-killers such as glyphosate; a midi-baler to support management of uncropped field corners, margins, and other areas; and a mini excavator for ditch restoration and management.
Cllr. Nigel Chapman, Chair of the Farming in Protected Landscapes local assessment panel, commented that: “Interest in Farming in Protected Landscapes continues to grow, and there are a number of exciting projects currently in development for the 2022 / 2023 financial year, but the programme is always keen to hear from farmers, land managers and others who have ideas for potential projects which Farming in Protected Landscapes might be able to support.”
For anyone interested in applying, there is plenty of advice and support available for the development of project applications to ensure that the climate, nature, people, and place objectives of the programme bring real benefits to farm businesses and the environment in Coast & Heaths and the Dedham Vale.