South Downs National Park programme paves the way for climate action and wildlife recovery

A new initiative in the South Downs National Park aims to aid the recovery of wildlife and climate action.

By Sophie Lewis
Monday, 25th July 2022, 11:24 am
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 11:48 am

Farming In Protected Landscapes is part of Defra’s Agricultural Transition plan, which offers farmers funding to help aid wildlife recovery and reduce climate change.

The South Downs National Park Authority has helped support 71 projects to help wildlife recover, climate action and sustainability.

The programme is working with nearly 180 farmers across the park to help grow habitat such as woodland, hedgerows and ponds.

Farming near Long Man Brewery

Nigel James, countryside and policy manager and leader of the national park’s farming team, said: ‘The first year of this initiative has been a resounding success and we couldn’t have achieved any of it without the support, ambition and skills of local farmers.

FiPL is a key strand of our ambitious ReNature campaign to create new spaces for nature in the South Downs.’

After a year, £600,000 has been put into the initiative.

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Projects include nearly 10 hectares of woodland which has been enhanced for wildlife, four restored and two created ponds, and 38 projects which are storing carbon.

A further £150,000 has been allocated for the programme as it enters the second year of wildlife recovery projects.

Nigel added: ‘Around three quarters of this amazing landscape is farmland, so farmers really are the lifeblood of the South Downs National Park.

‘The South Downs continues to be a major food-producing region of the UK and this programme shows that high-quality food production can sit alongside wildlife recovery and climate action.’