Here are a couple of excerpts from the lastest newsletter from the ED AONB team:
Welcome to the East Devon AONB summer update.
. Our overall message for this edition of our newsletter is to staysafe, be kind – and try to support local, independent businesses! However, we do have a few other updates we’d like to share, so please read on…
Farming with the environment in mind
Now that some of the lockdown restrictions have lifted, with social distancing we’re glad to be able to progress with our farm surveys in the Umborne Valley.
The surveys will help inform our work (aimed at helping to shape future Defra policy) to ‘test and trial’ a system we’ve designed that would allow small farms to work cooperatively to access financial support under the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme.
Small farms are often home to important natural heritage assets, such as species-rich grassland, improved water quality and healthy soils, in part because they have avoided the levels of intensification found on larger farms.
Historically however, these same farms have missed out on financial support due to their small scale or incapacity to expand. By supporting these farms we hope to increase resilience and help them remain viable – and in turn, conserve valuable environmental features.
With alarming predictions that 90% of our ash trees will be lost to ash dieback disease, Devon’s treescapes and the wildlife dependent on them, face an uncertain future.
Dealing with such a devastating forecast, we’re partnering with Saving Devon’s Treescapes, a new initiative led by Devon Wildlife Trust, that aims to build hope and generate positive action – enabling everyone to be a part of lessening the impact.
Ash makes up 22% of broadleaved woodland in Devon; outside of woodland areas, in places such as hedgerows, parks and gardens, there are approximately 1.9 million mature ash trees.
Although we can’t prevent the disease, we can adapt our landscapes, making them more resilient, before all of the damage is done. By engaging with local communities, schools and volunteer groups, Saving Devon’s Treescapes will work to establish at least 250,000 new trees outside woodlands.