Date publishedFriday, 26 May 2023
News from the team
Welcome to another edition of our Partnership e-newsletter. This month, your partnership team (me, Sally, Louise, Bethany and Jude) have been kicking back, skipping along the banks of Dorset’s rivers… ok not so much!
As usual it’s been a busy one, with lots of work going on to progress validation of farmer nutrient accounts for PHNMS and to finalise our Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme Restoration bid. As both these pieces of work come to a close, I’d like to thank all the partners who’ve helped deliver them. We’ve also been supporting the developing Frome Headwaters flagship chalkstream restoration project, which you can read more about below.
Sally is working to complete our annual reporting spreadsheets for CaBA and has been in touch with many of you for information on this. Please do support her by providing the data she asks for on time, it is used by our National Steering Group to promote the Catchment Based Approach and Catchment Partnerships to Government, which helps you all get funding for doing the work you do.
Finally, I’d like to reflect on two really good Delivery Group meetings this spring. The Countryside Restoration Trust hosted our Stour meeting and provided opportunity for some excellent discussion around restoration potential on their site in the middle Stour and more widely, and this week we had four very informative presentations from partners on different delivery projects in the Poole Harbour catchment, and good discussions about various aspects of the partnership’s core work, which I’m sure will continue. Thank you all for your continued active involvement, it’s what makes our partnership a successful one.
In April, the Government announced that wetlands along the east coast of England, from the Humber to the Thames, will be added to the UK’s Tentative List of World Heritage sites. The World Heritage List recognises places on Earth that have “outstanding universal value to humanity” and could see the east coast wetlands join iconic sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos Islands, and more.
The Environment Agency is on the look out for invasive species including Prussian carp which negatively impact native species and ecosystems, compete for food, and can interbreed with other species.
Development of the HS2 has caused much disruption to dairy farmers across the country, in some cases preventing access to crucial grassland. The NFU has written to HS2 bosses on behalf of farmers affected by the railway line's construction to resolve the issues.
River Action has released their new Charter for Water, discussing how England’s rivers are in crisis. River Action’s aim to rescue Britain’s rivers by raising awareness on river pollution and applying pressure on industrial and agricultural producers, water companies, and other polluters.
Largest ever environmental fine for the region’s water company
South West Water has been fined £2,100,000 for pollution incidents that occurred between July 2016 and August 2020 in Devon and Cornwall. Read more about the incident on the Rivers Trust website here, or in the Government’s press release here.
Defra has posted information on the Farming Blog regarding work that has been done to improve the Tree Health Pilot’s ash dieback grant offer. The Tree Health Pilot trials and tests ways that could slow the spread of tree pests and diseases and build the resilience of trees across England. This article focuses on updates to the Ash Dieback grant.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has published an article that covers everything you need to know about Countryside Stewardship, including the latest news and updates.
Published on the 30th March, this blog post explains all that you need to know about the Defra Green Finance Strategy and Nature Markets Framework, and how farmers and land managers across the country can access new income streams to invest in their holdings.
Frome headwaters flagship chalk stream project
A new project to restore the habitats and natural function of the Frome Headwaters chalk stream catchments is getting underway. The project is a partnership led by Dorset Wildlife Trust, with Wessex Water and other partners, and will be developed over the coming months.
The Lookout Brownsea Island
Construction work has started on a new wildlife observatory on Brownsea Island. The lookout will open in 2024. Find out more here.
New Swanage local nature reserve
Peveril Point and the Downs have been designated as a local nature reserve. A change of management will see 50% of the grass allowed to grow over the summer which will help butterflies and other insects to repopulate the area. A new Friends group is being set up to promote and encourage community involvement.
New Forest curlew nest protection
Between 2021 and 2022 the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust found that 17 out of 41 monitored curlew nests in the New Forest failed due to predation from foxes. Electrical fencing of the nests isn’t a viable option as the birds breed on open-access lowland heath. Find out why lawful culling may be the solution to this issue here.
Wildlife Matters Podcast
Tune into the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s podcasts. Hear about the pioneering re-wilding project at Wild Woodbury, the significance of the Dorset Beaver Project and the history of Kingcombe and what makes it such a special place.
What’s stopping you from getting out?
Health and Nature Dorset (HAND) have produced a survey aiming to better understand how people are accessing, engaging, and connecting with nature. HAND will anonymously share this data with Natural England and partner organisations in Dorset, hoping to support people’s relationship with nature for their health and wellbeing. Complete the survey here.
Love Local Trust Local label for Dorset food
A farmer in Dorset has created the Love Local Trust Local Label so consumers can be certain the food they are buying is local. The label has traceability and high ethical standards. Foods with the label will have been produced with the main ingredients sourced from within 30 miles of their origin.
Have your say
Dorset Council planning for climate change consultation
There is a consultation on three draft guidance documents relating to climate change considerations for planning applications. This includes a sustainability checklist for applicants to complete.
Industrial sandeel fishing ban consultation
Defra has announced a consultation on the future of sandeel fishing. Every summer, hundreds of UK birds rely on sandeels to feed their young. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sandeels are taken out of the North Sea every year and are primarily used to feed farm animals. Add your voice to help end sandeel fishing in English waters.
The Environment Agency and Angling Trust have announced £75,000 of funding to help angling clubs tackle invasive plants and invertebrate species. Angling-related organisations can bid for up to £5,000 each – or £10,000 for a joint project – which will be delivered through the Angling Improvement Fund.
The second round of the water Management Grant is open for applications, closing in July 2023. The Rural Payment Agency will be awarding grants to the strongest applicants who can demonstrate that their scheme will improve productivity, water sustainability and environmental protection. Defra has allocated £10 million to the scheme.
The second round of the Landscape Recovery is now open for applications. Landscape Recovery funds projects designed to enhance the natural environment and deliver significant environmental benefits. Read this blog post to find out more and apply.
Events and webinars
LEAF’s Open Farm Sunday returns on the 11 June. The annual event, which sees farmers host an open day on their farm, is a great opportunity for farmers to engage with their local community and teach the wider public about sustainability, biodiversity, animal welfare, and managing the countryside. If you are interested in the event, visit the NFU website here.
Abbotsbury Swannery Cygnets will be hatching between mid-May and the end of June. You can explore the swannery by booking tickets here.
New Horizons magazine - The Environment Agency has a new eMagazine ‘Horizons’. The first edition is out this month and focuses on innovative flood and innovative projects. Subscribe here.
London Rivers Week - From 29 May to 4 June, London Rivers Week is back for the seventh time. The event invites the public to celebrate London’s rivers and the projects taking place to protect them.
30 Days Wild - Starting on the 1 June, take part in one wild activity a day with the Wildlife Trust’s annual challenge. Taking part in 30 Days Wild is scientifically proven to make you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to nature.
Estuarine and Coastal Restoration Conference - The Environment Agency and Ocean & Coastal Futures are hosting this year’s conference, which looks at the restoration work needed for a healthy and resilient estuarine and coastal environment, focusing specifically on the Restoring Meadow Marsh and Reef initiative. The event is held in Scarborough and will include five sessions across two days. Visit the Ocean & Coastal Futures website for more information and to book your placement.
- Wessex Water are looking to hire a Biosolids Recycling Controller. The closing date is 28 May.
- Bridgewater and Taunton College have an opportunity for a trainer assessor for the countryside and water environment. Apply by the 4 June.
- Natural Resources Wales are looking for an Environment Team Leader (Agriculture Regulations) to lead one of the two new teams tasked with implementing the new Water Resources regulations across Wales. The application deadline is the 4 June.
- Natural England have an opportunity for a National Nature Reserves Senior Adviser in the Wessex Area Team. Apply before the 4 June.
- The RSPB are looking for a Warden for Haweswater in the Lake District. The closing date is 4 June.
- The Bristol Avon Rivers Trust are looking to hire a Senior Project Manager. Applications close on the 4 June.
- South West Lakes Trust are looking for a Digital Communications and Marketing Officer to reach more people and build stronger relationships with audiences and stakeholders. Apply by the 5 June.
- Staffordshire County Council are looking for a Community Flood Engagement Team Leader. The closing date is the 5 June.
- The Environment Agency have an opportunity for an Integrated Environmental Planning Specialist to take on the critical role in addressing the nutrient challenges in some of their most highly protected environments, apply by the 7 June.
- Urban Heaths Partnerships Dorset are looking to hire a Campaigns Officer to lead on projects and campaigns to raise awareness of the heathland habitat. The application deadline is the 11 June.
- Natural England are looking for a Flood and Coast Senior Adviser. The closing date is the 12 June.