Ref: CSFF080001

Lead: Elizabeth Ranelagh,

Group members: 20

Length of agreement: 5

Area of group (Hectares): 6618

The area which the group covers is in the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Claylands Natural Character Area.

The area contains four priority habitats for maintenance and restoration. The first, and one of the main focuses of the group, is the ancient and native woodlands of West Cambridgeshire. The area contains six SSSI woodlands and a Special Area of Conservation, and a number of woodlands on the National Inventory.

There are also opportunities for new woodland planting to buffer and link these woodlands. Another priority habitat is wood pasture and parkland. The members control three Registered Parks and Gardens which are listed as Wood Pasture and Parkland BAP Priority Habitats.

Finally, both lowland meadows and floodplain grazing marsh, including species-rich grasslands and those adjacent to the Bourn Brook, are priorities for the group. The Priority Habitat Inventories for these two habitats cover a number of sites in the area.

The following priority species have been recorded in the area covered by the members’ farms: corn bunting, lapwing, and turtle dove, as well as one record of willow tit. 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.

Historic environment priorities which can be addressed include the designated RPGs, management of designated and undesignated farm buildings, and protection of SHINE features. Landscape features include hedgerows as a top priority, both for themselves and for the networks and linkages they create, particularly between ancient woodlands, but also other trees and also ponds, which are abundant.