Case Studies: Farming in Protected Landscapes Projects 2023/2024

Case Studies: Farming in Protected Landscapes Projects 2023/2024

Since the Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) programme started in 2021, we’ve allocated £1.35 million to 100 projects in the Chilterns. Projects vary and we’ve worked with a host of landowners. Here are some of the projects that received a FiPL grant in 2023-24:

Pasture Fed Livestock Association: Pasture and Profit in Protected Landscapes (PFLA)

PFLA are using FiPL funding to deliver a wide-ranging 18-month programme of events in person and online, for at least 32 farmers in the Chilterns National Landscape. The events focus on grazing management practices that support the restoration of biodiversity, carbon sequestration and landscape character, including on chalk downlands and wider agricultural grasslands. The project will help the farmers make changes to their grassland management, lower their input costs, improve biodiversity and carbon outcomes, and develop the social cohesion to move at greater pace with these changes.   

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In addition, the project is working with a more active cohort of farmers interested in receiving more targeted support from mentors. This will provide a structure so they can support each other to make changes in their grazing practices to benefit their businesses that will, in time, lead to more resilience for climate change and biodiversity.   

This is a shared project with the Cotswolds and North Wessex Downs National Landscapes. 

Enhancement of the Hamble Brook

The Chilterns National Landscape are working with landowners in the Hambleden Valley to enhance and restore the Hamble Brook (a winterbourne chalk stream). FiPL funding was used to create a wetland that is linked to the stream itself, and this will increase habitat for more specialist flora and fauna as well as retain water in the landscape for longer (reducing flood risk during high flows).

The project has been developed in conjunction with the Environment Agency’s catchment co-ordinator, biodiversity officer and fisheries officer and was also approved by the National Trust, who have a covenant over the area. 

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Deer chillers

FiPL funding was used to provide or upgrade deer chillers. As well a detrimental impact on crops, the high population of deer presents problems for biodiversity with the loss of hedgerows and woodland understorey leading to declines in associated animal species (such as dormouse,  marsh tit, bullfinch, willow warbler).

With better or larger facilities, stalkers are better able to store culled animals and increase the numbers culled.  

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The Country Trust: educational visits

With FiPL funding, the Country Trust are working with Collings Hanger Farm and Hanger Farm to provide 24 inspiring, hands-on day visits to their farms for over 300 children (mainly from disadvantaged communities), and in some cases family members too.  

The Country Trust coordinators work with each of the farmers to draw out the story of their farm, and with the teachers to tailor the visit to the needs of each group visiting. Activities differ at each farm according to the season but include learning about livestock and crops as well as the countryside code and the range of jobs involved in farming. 

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Northern Chilterns farmer cluster: further funding

Last year, following the success of the central Chilterns farmer cluster, Chilterns National Landscape funded and developed a new farmer cluster in the Northern Chilterns with a FiPL grant. The brand-new cluster brings together 15 farmers from the Dunstable and Luton area.

A further 18 months of funding has been secured through FiPL. The £365k funding package includes supplying 15 tonnes of seed for supplementary bird feeding; two winters of bird surveys; ecological advice for habitat creation and management; farm carbon assessments and soil sampling; 6.8km of hedgerow planting; and six themed workshops with expert speakers.

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Previous project examples

From a community plant nursery to mob grazing, find out more about some of the projects that received funding in 2022-23.

FiPL Case Studies 2022/23

Click the links below to read more about the 2021/22 projects:

  1. The Central Chilterns Farmer Cluster hedgerow project: eight farms worked together to make impressive achievements in landscape scale habitat creation.
  2. Ivinghoe Aston traditional orchard: the planting of 350 new fruit trees to increase biodiversity and sequester carbon.
  3. Enabling growth for Countryways CIC: more people with learning difficulties and health challenges have benefitted from contact with farming.
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About us

Find out all about the Chilterns Conservation Board, our staff and our publications.
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Chilterns AONB Management Plan

The Chilterns AONB Management Plan 2019-24: Caring for the Chilterns forever and for everyone contains a comprehensive summary of the key issues facing the AONB and the management policies and actions needed to conserve this special place.
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Chilterns AONB Boundary Review

We are are working closely with Natural England to explore the case for and against extending the boundary of the protected area of the Chilterns AONB. Find out about the project, and how this could benefit people and the landscape on our Boundary Review page.
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Outstanding Chilterns Magazine

Jam-packed with news and updates from the AONB, now available to read online or find out where to get a printed copy.
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