Ref: CSFF130004

Lead: Alex Butler,

Group members: 17

Length of agreement: 3

Area of group (Hectares): 4038

Members farm within one or more of five neighbouring catchments (Hooke, Brit, Wraxall, Mangerton and Simene); a pastoral landscape that forms a coherent unit (see Plan A). Improved pasture, maize, diary, beef and sheep are characteristics common to members and have encouraged a focus on event topics.

Statements of Priorities (SoPs) 134 and 139 identify water quality issues on the Simene, Brit and Mangerton (West Dorset Rivers) and the Hooke, which are ‘high priority’ for surface nitrates, sediment and phosphate. SoPs 134, 139 and 140 also refer to the Hooke, Brit and Wraxall as priorities for flood management. Members will address the above issues and a preparatory FF meeting has already led members to discuss how to share and promote best practice maize management. More herbal leys (GS4) and grass margins (SW2), whilst reducing nutrient inputs, should also support pollinators and increase connectivity between semi-natural grassland.

Members manage a hub of four SSSIs (SoP lowland meadow and native woodland), totalling 329.40ha (most of which is a SAC), plus an additional 12 SNCIs. SoP priority species on members holdings include Marsh Fritillary, Lesser Horseshoe Bat and Marsh Tit. Other indicator species (not listed in SoPs) characteristic of the area and more tangible to members include: wax cap fungi, Dipper, Dormouse, and Barn Owl (each representing priority habitats). Priority landscape features includes: permanent pasture, hedgerows and hedgerows trees. Members are already managing land to conserve these habitats, species and landscape features and there is scope develop collaborative management to further conserve wildlife and increase landscape connectivity.