Lead: Claire Foster, 01768 868615, www.thefarmernetwork.co.uk
Group members: 18
Length of agreement: 5
Area of group (Hectares): 4041
To establish a different approach to upland bird conservation by moving from a piecemeal farm by farm approach to a sustainable cooperative landscape-scale approach.
To implement water quality and flood mitigation work at a larger catchment-scale than in the current small-scale approach on individual farms.
The Yorkshire Dales priorities that deliver these aims are: Priority habitat maintenance and restoration
Upland, flushes, fens and swamps maintenance & restoration: Members will restore/enhance these to improve wader breeding and feeding habitats.
Upland and lowland hay meadows: Members will restore/enhance existing hay meadows to link this habitat and provide nesting and feeding for curlew and black grouse.
Riparian habitat associated with Priority Rivers and lakes: Members will protect the River Nidd and its tributaries through the creation of buffer habitats livestock removal and reduced fertiliser and herbicide usage. Priority species.
Breeding Wader Assemblage (lapwing, curlew, redshank, snipe): Members will change grazing and drainage practices and manage land to enable a varied sward and increased wetness for wader breeding and feeding.
Black grouse: Members will provide habitat including hay meadows, unmanaged moorland edge and scrub and gill woodland to enable the black grouse populations to expand.
Water quality: Water quality in the Upper Nidd will be addressed using CS options which reduce phosphate and sediment including the use of buffering habitat and waterside woodland.
Woodland Management: Members will utilise CS options that restore and enhance neglected broad-leaved and conifer plantations near watercourses to improve water quality and to provide better habitats for black grouse.
Woodland Planting: Members will identify new woodland to provide habitats for black grouse and to help address water quality and flooding.