Crookhurst Farmers Facilitation Group

What we’re doing

We run a farmer group in the Crookhurst Beck catchment that enables members to work together to:

  • reduce flood risk
  • increase biodiversity and wildlife habitats
  • improve water quality

The group was formed in 2016 when we brought together 13 Crookhurst catchment farmers and successfully applied for funding from Natural England’s Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund.

With farms working together, we aim to connect fragmented areas of priority habitat such as hedgerows and buffer strips, and develop a joined-up approach to water management. Members also share ideas and experiences of implementing specific Countryside Stewardship options.

Project progress

The Crookhurst Farmers Facilitation Group has met more than 40 times at farms across the catchment. We now have 21 members covering over 3,100 hectares, which also now includes a considerable area of the Black Dub Catchment.

The group meets roughly once per month for free group meetings and workshops, often delivered by a specialist in their field. So far we’ve covered a wide range of topics, including making the most of muck and slurry, farming with wading birds, reduced tillage, improving grassland soil health and natural flood management on the farm.

We were only able to hold a limited number of meetings in 2020 and early 2021 due to the pandemic, but as the situation improves the group is looking forward to meeting again.

Soil health workshop, managing ammonia emissions workshop

Muck and slurry workshop, fertiliser calibration workshop

Funders and partners

The group is supported by the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund.