Ref: CSFF040009

Lead: Dr. Nicola Hall, nicola@elmassociates.co.uk

Telephone: 07794082860

Webpage: https://www.sandstoneridge.org.uk/sandstone-ridge-farmer-network.html

Group members: 40

Length of agreement: 3

Area of group (Hectares): 4575

The CS Priorities identified for the area that the Network will work towards enhancing and protecting include the following: BIODIVERSITY – The Network will focus on the maintenance and restoration of unimproved acid and neutral grassland, and ancient woodland, which support Priority Species such as lapwing and willow tit, and also others such as nightjar, adder, raven, peregrine and red kite.

WATER- the FF area has high CS priority status for water quality targets, so group targeting will be to reduce nitrates, phosphates, sediment and pesticides in water, and opportunities for improving the biodiversity in riparian areas. The farms typically are rich in field ponds which provide vital foci for biodiversity in the landscape.

HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT – designated built heritage sites and undesignated small-scale features are prevalent in the landscape, like quarries, caves, rock graffiti, stiles, wells, and springs; the Network will raise awareness of the value of these assets and examine options for their improved maintenance, access and interpretation.

WOODLAND – the group will target measures tleading to the extension and improved management of woodland on the ridge, in particular ancient woodland, PAWS sites and plantation woodlands, and promote management for target Priority Species within the woodland bird assemblage, and opportunities for using woodland to help target Water Quality and flood risk.

LANDSCAPE – The core semi-natural habitats of the Ridge are joined together by a landscape fabric of hedgerows, hedgerow trees, sandstone walls and sandstone lined banks. The maintenance and restoration of these features will be a priority for the group and a key delivery mechanism for improving habitat for Priority Species such as bats and dormice.

OTHER PRIORITIES – The Network will take the opportunity to consider other priorities of common interest such as keeping alive traditional rural skills, diversification opportunities linked to quality of place, and co-ordinated ways to improve the offer and experience for the increasing numbers of visitors to the area.