To complement the work we are doing in the Crookhurst Catchment with United Utilities and Greggs Foundation, we have now set up a farmers group.  This is part of Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund. 

The group meets once a month with the aims that working together the members can connect fragmented areas of priority habitat such as hedgerows and buffer strips. Group members will specifically be able to develop a coordinated approach to water management, considering the implications up and downstream of the area they manage. By working together the group will be able to share ideas and experiences of how to go about implementing specific options of stewardship agreements. The three key aims are to work together to; 

  • prevent flooding
  • reduce water pollution
  • provide wildlife habitat

As well as considering stewardship options the group is also a great way to share experiences of general farming practices and ways of working.  We will also ask some specialists to come along to these meetings to tell us about topics which can help farm businesses, for example, best practice for nutrient management or the benefits of trees and hedges on farms.


Past events include:

  • December 2016 - Introductions and setting up the group.
  • January 2017 - Drop in meeting discussing NVZs and how to use soil sampling.
  • February 2017 - Explanation of Countryside Stewardship with John Bowman, Natural England.
  • March 2017 - Fluke discussion with Tom Henderson, Beacon Vets.
  • March 2017 - Drop in meeting to discuss stewardship options and applications.
  • April 2017 - Resource management to improve grassland performance and avoid pollution with Charlie Morgan, Grassmaster Ltd. 
  • May 2017 - Nutrient transport, water quality monitoring, and soil compaction experiment with Josh Gittins, Lancaster University.
  • June 2017 - What can trees and hedges do for you? Pete Leeson, Woodland Trust.
  • July 2017 - Countryside Stewardship workshop and endorsement writing.
  • August 2017 - New member recruitment and group publicity at Cockermouth Show.
  • September 2017 - Natural Flood Management presentation and site visit with WCRT and Hayton Castle.
  • October 2017 - Cross compliance update and soil compaction discussion with Joe Whinstanley, Agri-Environment Advice Ltd.