Strategic funding for group to plant trees and restore wetlands to prevent flooding

A group of Cheshire farmers and landowners are partnering with The Mersey Forest and Reaseheath College to create "a flagship example" of water management habitat restoration.

Image: The Mersey Forest
Image: The Mersey Forest

The river Dane between Middlewich and Northwich is prone in flooding, and Lower Dane Farmers group of 22 landowners is working together to tackle this, while managing soils in the floodplain and creating opportunities for new and restored wildlife habitats.

The group will identify opportunities for improving water quality and, where appropriate, slowing the flow of floodwaters by installing features such as leaky dams and wetlands to retain storm water in the landscape, and also aims to reduce the risk of soil and nutrient losses by planting trees.

Mersey Forest hopes that through the work of local farmers, the River Dane will become a flagship example of how environmental management of rivers can be achieved by farmers and landowners, benefiting farm businesses, wildlife and the wider community.

The group is one of 98 clusters of farmers across England funded over the last three years to carry out a range of environmental improvements through Natural England's £7.2 million Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund.

New Government figures show that the 2017 round funded 37 groups with a total membership of 716, responsible for nearly 180,000 hectares.

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