North Lincolnshire wins in national ‘Strictly Wildlife’ Competition

Monday 27th February 2012

Crane - Stefan JohanssonCrane - Stefan Johansson

The Government today announced success for the Humberhead Levels in its national wildlife competition. Out of 76 original bids across the country, the Humberhead Levels Partnership ‘danced’ through to become a Government-backed Nature Improvement Area.

£1.7 million will now be used to benefit rare and vulnerable wildlife across the huge flatlands of the Humberhead Levels.

The area, an intimate mix of wetland habitats and high quality farmland, crosses the border from the north-west corner of North Lincolnshire into Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. A wide ranging programme of actions over the next three years will benefit such rare species as the crane, the marsh pea and a tiny beetle called the ‘bog hog’.

Through the work, which will be a collaboration with local landowners, farmers, businesses and communities, there will be huge benefits for people and the local economy too.

Kevin Bayes, Development Manager for the Humberhead levels Partnership said:
“Everyone’s heard of the Somerset Levels, now it’s time to put the Humberhead Levels on the map. This area is an extraordinary mix of wildlife wilderness and top-quality farmland. Our plans are to work with landowners and farmers to ensure that the amazing wildlife that live in this area survive the problems that will come from climate change whilst alerting local people to the natural jewels on their doorstep.”

Rob Stoneman, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the lead partner, said:
“The Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB have been campaigning for Landscape scale changes to benefit wildlife for some years. It’s great that the Government has now chosen to support that approach through this competition. It’s announced 12 NIAs today, I hope there will be support for many more existing and new landscape scale initiatives in the future.”

Jeff Lunn, Chair of the Humberhead Levels Partnership said:
“This success is testament to the strong partnership we have built up in the Humberhead Levels over the last 10 years. It validates the hard work and the collaborative approach we have established here and building on these principles, I’m sure we can make this NIA a great success.” 


Editors Notes

  1. The Department of Farming, the Environment and Rural Affairs today announced that 12 areas in England will become Nature Improvement Areas. This marks the end of a competition which has been running since June 2011. 76 teams across the country took part in the competition which was looking for innovative ways to help wildlife across large landscapes whilst also benefiting local people, creating jobs and contributing to the local economy.
  2. The competition entries were judged by a panel of experts chaired by Sir John Lawton who, in 2010 wrote the Government Report – Making Space for Nature.
  3. The Humberhead Levels is a huge flat landscape, much of it below sea-level, which crosses from Yorkshire into Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. The Nature Improvement Area comprises just under 500 square kilometres, taking in the most important wildlife areas in the landscape.
  4. The Humberhead Levels Partnership was formed in 2001. It consists of a group of 19 partner organisations with a common aim of producing:
    Inspiring landscapes and vibrant communities in a changing climate
    The partnership includes three Wildlife Trusts, the RSPB, three Local Councils, four statutory environmental and heritage organisations, three groups of Drainage and Water Level Management Boards, local land owners and local businesses.
  5. The Humberhead levels Nature Improvement Area will link up two internationally important Wildlife Sites – The Humberhead Peatlands (Thorne and Hatfield Moors) and the Humber Estuary via ribbons of wildflower rich grasslands alongside rivers and drains.
  6. Whilst the NIA programme aims to recreate or restore 1400 hectares of wildlife habitat this will be on land already in conservation ownership or on unproductive land alongside rivers and drains that thread between the nationally important arable fields.
  7. The Programme will set up a small grant scheme to encourage farmers to work with the partners to make their farms wildlife-friendly.
  8. The Dearne Valley and Nene Valley have also secured Nature Improvement Area funding.
  9. In 2006 The Wildlife Trusts launched their Living Landscapes Campaign to urge Government to support landscape-scale projects to help wildlife.



Tagged with: Living Landscapes