Case Studies

Grassland Habitat Enhancement – Trengwainton Farm

Grassland Habitat Enhancement – Trengwainton Farm

Project Detail

This Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) grant recipient was awarded funding to build soil health and diversify grasslands for both productivity and wildlife.

Images

Project area map showing the different FiPL funded interventions.
A part FiPL-funded Sumo Trio sub soiler and disk harrow to support a move to min-till farming where relevant.
A part FiPL-funded direct seed drill to support a move to no-till farming where relevant and assist sward enhancement.

The beneficiary recently came out of milk production and the departure of the dairy herd provides the business with an opportunity to embrace a lower input, more extensive beef system with flexibility to grow crops as markets demand.  They are also keen to focus more on habitat management and creation as part of a new business model.

The rise in nitrogen and diesel costs have increased focus on a move towards more sustainable land management, improving soil health while reducing the number of passes when re-establishing leys, conserving nitrogen in the soil and fixing nitrogen from the air in order to reduce diesel use and fertiliser inputs.  Approximately 50% of the farm falls within the Drift Catchment.  A number of farms in this drinking water catchment have made the move away from rye grass to growing N-fixing deep-rooted diverse leys; currently diverse leys account for approximately 20% of the catchment’s grassland. The applicant is ready to explore the use of these diverse leys for both grazing and silage and needs additional machinery to do so.  24 hectares have been selected avoiding archaeological features to sow and establish diverse leys initially, before doing more once their skill at managing these swards has improved.

The land holding also includes around 150 hectares of moorland habitats comprising sizeable areas of Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitats including Lowland Heathland, Lowland Dry Acid Grassland and Purple Moor-grass Rush Pasture.  The significance of these habitats in Penwith and on this holding is recognised by their inclusion in the upcoming SSSI designation of the area’s moors and mires. The creation of 7ha of species rich grassland in 3 locations across the holding will expand areas of semi natural habitat and increase connectivity between these areas and across the landscape. The creation of additional habitat on the land holding (a small proportion of which is just outside the AONB) will help buffer and ecologically connect these important areas.

The requested funding to purchase a direct drill and sub-soiler / disc cultivator (combined) will enable a move away from soil inversion to reduced cultivations when reseeding grassland, establishing cover crops and cereal crops across the whole farm.  The sub-soiler tines on the cultivator, which can be lifted out of use, would enable the equipment to be used to improve soil health through removal of compaction built up from previous farm practices.  The disc harrow parts of the cultivator will be used for shallow cultivations to prepare the ground for sowing of native wildflower and grass seeds, and to prepare for sowing of herbal leys in older pastures.  The combination of these two pieces of equipment would facilitate a transition to min-till and no-till cultivation regime across all areas of the business.  Support for capital and revenue activity will support establishment 24.4 hectares of diverse leys and 7.29 hectares of species-rich grassland initially, with wider activity across the farm in future years.

The project has been developed in partnership with Cornwall Wildlife Trust through their Upstream Thinking programme.  Their officers provided the link to the farmer and supported the application process.  The beneficiary is applying for Countryside Stewardship, which if successful will begin on 1st January 2024.  The initial support from FiPL will provide the farmer with the resources to establish and manage the new system, and the transition to CS will provide ongoing financial support at the farm scale.

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Benefits

Our Primary Purpose is to conserve and enhance Natural Beauty.

Our priority is to lead and support projects which deliver under these four key categories.

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benefit to people

People

There are more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the landscape.

benefit to place

Place

The quality and character of the landscape is reinforced or enhanced.
There is an increase in the resilience of nature friendly sustainable farm businesses, which in turn contributes to a more thriving local economy.

benefit to nature

Nature

There is a greater area of wildlife rich habitat.
There is greater connectivity between habitats.
There is an increase in biodiversity.

benefit to climate

Climate

More carbon is stored and/or sequestered.
Flood risk has been reduced.
Better understanding among farmers, land managers and the public as to what different habitats and land uses can deliver for carbon storage and reduced carbon emissions.
The landscape is more resilient to climate change.

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Farming in Protected Landscapes (FiPL) is a 4-year programme providing grant-funding for Farmers and Landowners designed to deliver for People, Place, Nature and Climate. The programme is funded by Defra and delivered locally by Cornwall AONB.

The programme focuses on the key challenges facing farmers, land managers and communities in Protected Landscapes – helping to address the climate and biodiversity crisis, improve people’s engagement with the landscape, and support sustainable farm businesses and communities.The programme is running until March 2025.

Value of Project£73,330
FiPL Funding Awarded£37,994 (adjusted to reflect revenue payments ending 31st Dec 2023 pending new CS agreement)
Quote from Landowner/ Funding Recipient
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