SWFC is working with Richard and Lisa Gray on Dartmoor to build their new Mid-Tier application
SWFC’s Anna Heaton is working with Richard and Lisa Gray at Priddons Farm on Dartmoor to build a Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier application to replace their expiring Higher Level Stewardship.
With thanks to detailed surveys from local ecologist Hannah Gibbons (MCIEEM), this beautiful moorland meadow (along with several other fields) has now been accepted by Natural England as being part of England’s Priority Habitat Inventory. The example in the photograph above will be listed as Lowland Meadow; other fields on the farm will be listed as Lowland Dry Acid Grassland.
Another moorland meadow at Priddons Farm, Devon
Aside from providing recognition of Richard and Lisa’s management of these fields to keep them species-rich, this also allows them to enter the fields into Mid-Tier as GS6 ‘Management of Species Rich Grassland’.
A late cut of hay will be taken to allow the flowers to seed before cutting, so we will also add GS15 ‘Haymaking Supplement’ to these fields. These high-value options – £182/ha for GS6 and £85/ha for GS15 – help support environmental management on this commercial beef and sheep farm.
Species-rich grassland like this support a wide range of grasses, herbs, forbs and wildflowers and provide habitat for birds, pollinators, butterflies and other insects.
Since the 1930s it is estimated that 97% of all England’s species-rich meadows have been lost through ploughing, reseeding, fertilising and other agricultural management. It makes it all the more important to protect what is left.
Can we help?
If you have similar meadows that you want to put into Countryside Stewardship – or would simply like them recognised as the valuable habitat that they are – please get in touch for a no-obligation chat on 01503 220002 or send us a message on our Contact Page.