In 2015 Natural England’s Facilitation Fund was launched, this initiative aims to organize events and training for farmers so that they can manage their land, with conservation in mind, to a high standard by working together on a sub-catchment scale rather than working alone as individuals.
The Ribble Trust were one of only nineteen groups across the country who were successful in securing funding and we will now be working with the River Loud farmers for the next five years. The River Loud group is made up of eighteen farmers covering a total area of two thousand hectares; with the help of our Farm Training Advisors, who act as facilitators, these eighteen farms will work together to improve the local environment.
So far the Trust have organized workshops on soils, wetland and woodland creation, pesticide use, diffuse pollution and Countryside Stewardship applications. It is hoped that this will enable the farms to alter practices to improve the landscape and environment by managing moorlands to improve blanket bog coverage and upland mire habitats, restoring hedgerows and dry stone walls to intercept rain water run-off and establish and enhance woodlands and wetlands to improve habitats and biodiversity, water quality and aid in flood risk management. In addition to this all activities will support and benefit the farmers within the group.