Ref: CSFF050011

Lead: Andrew Brown,

Group members: 5

Length of agreement: 3

Area of group (Hectares): 840

The majority of the group sits within the Northamptonshire Vales National Character Area. The NCA consists of a series of low-lying clay vales and river valleys, including the valleys of the river Welland and its tributaries.

The area is 10 per cent urban, and settlement is often visually dominant.
Key priorities for this area in terms of Countryside Stewardship include floodplain grazing marsh, lowland Fens, lowland meadows, reed beds, lowland calcareous grassland, ancient and native woodland, riparian habitats and arable field margins.

The area in which the group falls is a medium priority for water quality, with local priorities including phosphate and sediment issues within watercourses.

The following priority species have also been recorded: corn bunting, lapwing, and turtle dove. Great crested newt have also been recorded. The woodland bird assemblage is also a target, with records of tree pipit, marsh tit, lesser redpoll and lesser spotted woodpecker.

The Wild Pollinator & Farm Wildlife Package is expected to be a major element of the scheme for members to deliver.

Multiple environmental benefits are thus able to be addressed in this area, in line with priorities listed above. Measures to improve water quality can be put in place through Countryside Stewardship and Catchment Sensitive Farming guidance, often whilst benefiting pollinators and bird life.