Ref: CSFF070008

Lead: Jenny Phelps,

Group members: 7

Length of agreement: 5

Area of group (Hectares): 2989

The Group will deliver the following CS priorities for the Severn and Avon Vales: biodiversity; priority habitats and species protection; water quality and reducing flood risk; woodland restoration; riparian management; boundary restoration and soil management.

The focus of the Group will be to: deliver favourable condition on the SAC and all SSSI units of Bredon Hill for limestone grassland; help with the management of Bredon Hill National Nature Reserve; to assist in the recovery of rare and endangered species such as the Violet Click Beetle in old parkland and wood pasture; to restore the flood plain grazing marsh and lowland meadows of the Severn and Avon Vales, where farmland can support large populations of lapwing, curlew and redshank. The target mammals in need of landscape scale habitat restoration include Bechstein’ s, Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats. Invertebrates for habitat protection will include the Noble Chafer thought to be present in the old orchards in the catchment.

The Group will have a strong focus on delivering the Water Framework Directive, through the restoration of the main river to increase the number and diversity of fish and other aquatic wildlife through river restoration, as well as the water quality through field measures.

The Group will focus on innovations in cultivation techniques, soil health, organic matter, soil biology and water attenuation as contributory to sustainable farming and reducing diffuse water pollution from agriculture. This will help to deliver GES of surface and ground waters underpinning ecological recovery and rare species protection.

It will also focus on the practical learning of riparian management and improving the ecology for fish habitats and channel diversity for other target species while tackling invasives such as Giant Hogweed and Signal Crayfish. Woodland restoration and tree planting will be a key focus of the Group through woodland management plans and strategic woodland planting to reduce run off and flooding.

There will also be a strong focus on restoration of hedges, ditches and management of veteran trees, particularly for the Violet Click Beetle that is known only in three sites, two of which is in the Carrant catchment.