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New farm wildlife grant scheme open to farmers in Bowland

Last modified: 06 July 2015

Curlew sitting in grassy field

Image: David J Morris

Nature conservation charity, the RSPB, is looking for farmers in the Forest of Bowland who are looking for support to help wildlife thrive on their land.

This summer sees the launch of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS), which will reward farmers and other land managers for giving nature a home. This new scheme replaces the old Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) schemes which have played a key role in supporting farmers’ efforts to help Bowland’s wildlife over the past ten years.

Bowland is a brilliant place for a range of special habitats and species and has great potential to help boost nationally declining farmland birds such as lapwings and curlew.

The RSPB’s Conservation Advisor in Bowland, Gavin Thomas, is offering free advice and support with applications to any farmer in the area who wants to sign up for the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

Gavin has over ten years experience helping farmers make successful applications for wildlife-friendly farming initiatives.

He says: “Bowland is a special place for wildlife and I want to help local farmers who are key to its conservation. I can identify the best ways to help wildlife on a farm without compromising the efficiency and profitability of the business. In fact, the new Countryside Stewardship Scheme offers financial incentives to help protect wildlife and boost farm income.”

Applications for the Countryside Stewardship Scheme are open until September 2015 with the agreements beginning in January 2016. It is a competitive scheme and therefore, worth investing time in evaluating the potential for applications now.

Farmers interested in chatting to Gavin about giving nature a home on their land can call him on 07814 462429 or email him at  

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