Rother Farm NFM

Budget:£13,000 (Funded by Severn Trent Water Boost for Biodiversity Grant)
Partners:Rother Farm, Severn Trent Water, Environment Agency
Key Outcomes:Habitat creation, NFM, drought resilience, community engagement, water quality, carbon storage
Local watercourse:River Rother

This roughly 6ha landholding was proving difficult for the farmer to make a profit from. This is because of its tendency to flood from the River Rother, which flows through the middle of it. A successful application by DCRT to the Severn Trent Water Boost for Biodiversity Grant covered the delivery and maintenance costs of multiple measures designed in collaboration with the farmer, that provided a range of benefits including:

  • Enhancing and creating wildlife habitat
  • Slowing the flow of rainfall and runoff into the river and holding back flood waters
  • Improving soil structure
  • Increasing carbon sequestration
  • Improving water quality
  • Community engagement

As part of the scheme, a number of new features and maintenance works were implimented. This included:

  • 2 field corner ponds
  • 8 temporary floodplain storage scrapes
  • 6 ha diverse herbal leys
  • 160m new hedgerow
  • Improved existing hedgerow management including 150m laid
  • Himalayan balsam removal

Local volunteers have been involved with hedgerow planting and maintenance, as well as annual control of Himalayan balsam.

Hedgerow after maintenance. This involves cutting the base of the tree so that it can be laid. It is then supported by stakes and grows back thicker and stronger. Specific species are used that have evolved to react positively to coppicing.

A field corner pond with aquatic plants establishing themselves. This provides fantastic habitat for wildlife such as amphibians and invertebrates.

Want to learn more about the scheme? Our NFM officer Dr Debbie Coldwell takes us on a site visit!


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