Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL)

Nov 9, 2022 | News, News - Featured

Defra’s Farming in Protected Landscapes is a grant programme for supporting farmers, land managers and people who manage land in protected landscapes, like the Howardian Hills AONB. The aim of the programme is to help protect these exceptional places and support local communities. Farmers and land managers can be supported to carry out projects that: support nature recovery; mitigate the impacts of climate change; provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy and understand the landscape and cultural heritage; or support nature-friendly, sustainable farm businesses.

The scheme is open to all farmers and land managers (including from the private, public and charity sector) in the Howardian Hills AONB – or where activity on the ground can bring benefit to the AONB.

Our projects so far are varied and spread across the whole of the area. We have supported farmers to both restore traditional hedges and plant new ones. Many of these hedges are comprised of traditional native species such as Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Field Maple, Hazel and Dog Rose. Other projects have re-instated hedgerows lost long ago through more intensive agriculture. Some have even created edible hedges to both help nature and to highlight the possibilities and benefits that a nature friendly environment can offer. Wetland areas have also been created to support wading birds and orchards planted to both diversify farm income and preserve traditional fruit varieties, many with local historical significance.

The scheme has also supported farmers to adapt to new sustainable farming methods, looking to a future with less chemical fertiliser and other expensive inputs. It allows farmers to test out new seed mixes on their land, create wild flower rich meadows and plant herbal leys. These improve soil quality and retain moisture in the ground. Well managed water courses improve water quality and help prevent flooding, so the scheme has helped farmers prevent damage to river banks from livestock and, where appropriate, ensure that water is retained in the land.

The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is another step to promoting a landscape in the Howardian Hills that supports farmers and offers visitors an unrivalled experience of an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Skip to content