Ref: CSFF140007

Length of agreement: 5 years

Area of group (Hectares): 3700

Lead: Ross Wingfield – ross.wingfield@highweald.org

The Upper Rother and Dudwell Farm Cluster is a group of farmers, foresters and other land managers working together to benefit soil, water, wildlife and historic features not just on their individual farms, but across the wider landscape. The Group currently has 40 members and includes a range of landowners, from larger commercial mixed farmers to small meadow owners.

The Group’s aims are:

• Productive and profitable farming, hand-in-hand with maintaining and restoring the environment
• Controlling deer populations to reduce their impact on woodlands and crops
• Improving soil health and the value of grasslands for forage and wildlife, and
• Educating and managing visitors to achieve more responsible behaviour.

Group membership provides access to a FREE programme of events which provide an opportunity to:

• share knowledge of land management in the area
• meet experts on topical subjects
• explore options for increasing farm profitability
• find out more about the area’s ‘public goods’
• build confidence in testing new management approaches
• get help with securing grants, in particular Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Sussex Lund
• get specialist advice on projects, including delivering CS options
• submit collective views on relevant Government consultations.

New members also benefit from a FREE site visit that:
• explores the development of a land holding over time using historic maps
• highlights a holding’s special landscape, archaeology & wildlife features
• discusses the part the holding can play in achieiving the Group’s aims.

Membership also secures endorsement of Countryside Stewardship applications, giving a 20% uplift to the application score.

The group is helped by the AONB Partnership. For further information and to find out about upcoming workshops contact: Ross Wingfield 01424 725604 ross.wingfield@highweald.org

If you would like to join the group, you can download the  Upper Rother and Dudwell Farm Cluster Application Pack and return to the High Weald AONB Partnership, Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road, Flimwell, East Sussex, TN6 7PR.

Workshops so far
Healthy Soils Workshop  – Autumn 2016
Turtle Dove walks and talks  – Autumn 2016/Winter 2017
Farmland Bird ID – Winter 2017
Wildflower grassland walk and talks including species identification workshop  – Summer 2017
Deer management – Autumn 2017
Hedge management – March 2018
Deer management workshop for stalkers – May 2018
Meadow management best practice – June 2018
Rootwave equipment demo – June 2018
Creating and managing wildflower meadows – June 2018
Fungi identification – October 2018

Resources
Upper Rother Dudwell Group Area & Members Map – Oct 18
Upper Rother Non-native Invasive Species Survey

Newsletters
Upper Rother Dudwell Group News October 18
Upper Rother Dudwell Group News April 18
Upper Rother Dudwell Group News Dec 17
Upper Rother Dudwell Group News Jun 2017
Upper Rother Dudwell Group News March 2017
Upper Rother Dudwell Group News Dec 2016

Annual Review
Upper Rother & Dudwell Farm Cluster – Annual Review 2018