East Devon Farmers Group
The Countryside Stewardship (CS) Facilitation Fund has been set up to support individuals and groups that unite farmers, foresters and other land managers in order to improve the local natural environment at a landscape scale. Our local group we have called the:
East Devon Farmers Group
This East Devon Farmers Group successfully applied to the facilitation fund. Details of all the successful bids can be found here:Facilitation Fund Round 2.
The AONB has been successful in securing funding for the next 5 years from Natural England to help a newly formed East Devon Farmers Group keep nature, wildlife and the environment in mind while farming their land. It was one of only 30 successful bids to DEFRA in the whole UK to be awarded the funding.
Working together means more points
By being in this group if they apply for stewardship these farmers will benefit from a 20% boost on points in their application score, and points means extra money. This extra money will help compensate them for any income forgone through loss of production. For example, around the edges of a field if they have a buffer strip of wildflowers which encourage wildlife and diversity; like bees and butterflies instead of planting a crop like wheat right to the edge, they will now get paid for that loss of income from the wheat.
This group of has 53 farmers signed up
Their land covers 3,961 hectares, these farms will all work together to help keep the landscape as rich and diverse as it can be.
The reason this area was selected
Because it was targeted as having rich potential.
These farmers will be supported
Over the next 5 years they will be supported through training and advice from a Facilitation Team, focusing on developing co-operation amongst land managers.The programme will aim to enhance the standard and scale of conservation management by connecting individual farms and enhancing landscape, habitat, species and water quality throughout the area and beyond.
The Facilitation Team
Will be led by the East Devon AONB Unit in partnership with FWAG South West and the Devon Greater Horseshoe Bat project.A Facilitation Coordination Group will advise the Facilitation Team and will be headed up by former NFU regional policy officer and former AONB Chairman, Mike Ellingham and include a cross section of farming, woodland and land agent representatives.
We welcome all these farmers to the group and look forward to working with them in the future to help conserve and enhance this outstanding landscape.