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The Howardian Hills Partnership delivers projects to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, landscape and special qualities of the area and to meet the objectives in the Howardian Hills Management Plan.

This is achieved in a variety of ways:

  • Delivery of staff team projects
  • Partner activities
  • Use of skilled contractors
  • An active volunteer programme
  • Project Fund grants to individuals, communities, landowners and farmers. 

The projects shown here are some examples of recent work. For further information about our work, please refer to our Annual Reports.

If you have an idea for a project that will conserve or enhance the natural or historic environment or benefit a community in the Howardian Hills please see our grants page for how to apply, or contact us directly. We would love to hear from you.

Dark Skies Community Programme 2022-23, 2023-24

Staff team project and Howardian Hills Project Fund – community grant

The Howardian Hills Partnership is committed to protecting our dark skies and is working to raise awareness and encourage the minimisation of light pollution:

  • Automatic dark sky meters – In 2022 and 2023, we installed a number of special automatic dark sky meters which record the brightness of the night sky every minute. They are part of a worldwide Stars4All (embed link programme aiming to conserve dark skies and help turn the tide of increasing light pollution.
  • Community dark sky events – In 2023 and 2024, our Project Fund has supported a community-based programme of dark sky events and produced a dark skies leaflet.
  • Planning – When we respond to planning applications, we include comments on minimising light pollution.
Dark Skies guidance

Nunnington Village Hall window replacement 2022

Howardian Hills Project Fund – community grant

Nunnington village hall is an active community space and a listed building. They applied for a grant from the Howardian Hills AONB Project fund to replace three single glazed windows with in-keeping double glazed units.

They received a grant of 43% of the final total cost from the Howardian Hills Project Fund. The work has improved the energy efficiency, structural integrity and aesthetics of a valuable community building.

Hedge laying, Potter Hill, Coulton 2018

Howardian Hills Project Fund – natural environment grant

The thickly-woven branches of a well-laid hedge need no additional fencing, and will remain impenetrable year-round to sheep and cattle, whilst simultaneously offering prime habitat to birds and small mammals. Cutting hedges at the base promotes new strong growth which will revitalise the hedge as a whole. In addition, hedge laying creates vital habitat and gives shelter to wildlife that no other option can rival. Hedge laying also keeps traditional skills alive.

Potter Hill received a 60% grant from the Howardian Hills project fund to lay 100m of hedge in a traditional style used in other hedges in the area.

Appleton-le-Street Churchyard grassland annual cut and rake

Combined volunteer and contractor task

Appleton-le-Street Chuchyard is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) due to its wildflower rich grassland. Wildflowers prefer nutrient-poor soils therefore it is important to cut the grass and remove any cuttings to maintain the richness of this habitat. The Howardian Hills employs a mixture of contractors (to cut) and volunteers (to rake and clear) the churchyard each year in late summer.

Love Lane, Crayke, resurfacing, 2020

Howardian Hills Project Fund – community grant

Love Lane is a section of a popular circular walk around Crayke village. The view towards the Whilte Horse from the end of the path is spectacular.

The Howardian Hills project fund contributed to 33% of the costs of resurfacing the footpath making it safer, more accessible and reducing sediment runoff.

Traditional direction sign replacements, various locations

Howardian Hills Project Fund – historic environment grant

The Howardian Hills team are working with villages and highways to replace damaged or dilapidated tradition direction and village name signs to maintain the aesthetic of the Howardian Hills.

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