Lead: Frances Standen, frances.clayton@hotmail.co.uk

Group members: 14

Length of agreement: 3

Area of group (Hectares): 3441

The primary aim will be to deliver the following Countryside Stewardship top priorities:

Biodiversity – arable field margins, lowland meadow and lowland calcareous grassland.

Landscape – field margins & buffers, hedgerows, trees, permanent grassland and stubbles.

Water – Water quality, reducing soil erosion & run off.

Priority species – corn buttercup, pheasant’s eye, red hemp-nettle, shepherds needle, turtle dove, lapwing and corn bunting.

Wild pollinator and farm wildlife package – sowing nectar mixes and winter bird food mixes, increasing flowers on grassland, managing hedgerows, and for this group, arable margins.

The group will deliver these key priorities seeking to increase species diversity and abundance in arable plants, grasslands and pollinators. The project will also deliver benefits for other priority species such as turtle dove, lapwings, grey partridge and pollinators as some of the plant species provide feed sources. Links will be built with the North York Moors Turtle Dove project and the RSPB to maximise the positive benefits for bird species. The project will involve bee experts and Butterfly Conservation to explore the relationship between arable field margins, arable flowers and bees/butterflies and how each can successfully support the other.

The group will deliver additional benefits including:

Multiple Environmental Benefits – Soil structure & water options (around margins and buffers) & establishing low-intensity grassland.

Arable field margins, winter stubbles, permanent grassland, hedgerows and trees positively contribute to landscape quality and meet landscape character priorities along with Howardian Hills AONB and the North York Moors National Park Management Plan objectives.