Ref: CSFF070007

Lead: Jenny Phelps,

Group members: 82

Length of agreement: 5 years

Area of group (Hectares): Over 25,000

The Group will deliver the following priorities for the Upper Thames and Clay Vales: Biodiversity; Priority Habitats and Species Protection; Water Quality and reducing Flood Risk; Woodland Restoration; Riparian Management; Boundary restoration and Soil Management.

There will be an initial desktop and ground truthing exercise of the project area to create a base line of existing land use and AES options so that land use change outputs and uptake of options and option location can be measurable and clearly monitored throughout the project. This will be taken from the land use of Basic Payment and existing stewardship schemes.

The focus of the Group will be to deliver the recovery of the flood plain grazing marsh and lowland meadows of the Upper Thames, where farmland can support large populations of lapwing, curlew and redshank. Other farmland birds in the project area include corn bunting, tree sparrow, turtle dove, willow tit and yellow wagtail. The target mammals in need of landscape scale habitat restoration include water vole and Bechstein ‘s bats. There will also be a focus on surveying and recreating habitat for butterflies such as brown hairstreak, wood white, marsh fritillary and the barbary carpet moth.

Farmland sites that support species such as black poplar, snakes – heath fritillary, greater burnet and shepherds needle will also be a focus for management, restoration and recreation.