|Dorset Biodiversity Partnership
||Dorset Wild Rivers
This project aimed to deliver river and wetland habitat restoration in the Dorset Frome Valley, Piddle Valley and Stour Tributaries. It successfully delivered more than 14km of chalk stream restoration, 29.5ha of wet woodland planting, 12 new scrapes or ponds, 4,000 volunteer hours pulling Himalayan balsam and 58 farm visits which resulted in 32ha of improved farm habitat through Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) schemes during the period.
|South Wiltshire Farmland Bird project
This project was led by Cranborne Chase & West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and was part of the South West Farmland Bird Initiative to reverse the decline in farmland bird populations across South Wiltshire by working with farmers to tackle diffuse pollution and water quality issues. The project resulted in 147 farms receiving one to one advice, advised on 55 HLS agreements, created more than 1,000ha of farmland bird habitat and produced several mitigation schemes (such as hedge planting, installation of nest boxes and sowing of bird and inverterbrate seed mixes) working in partnership with our Grid project to benefit wildlife.
|Somerset Biodiversity Partnership
||Biodiversity Action in Somerset
This project aimed to promote and facilitate implementation of the Somerset Biodiversity Strategy and Local BAP. It helped deliver action on Somerset priority habitats and species including traditional orchards; ditches and ponds; water and wetland; woodland; and otter, bats, lapwing and long eared owl. The project has also supported the delivery of a scheme to manage Himalayan Balsam in the Upper Tone catchment; a citizen science initiative for monitoring invertebrate communities in the Somerset Level and moors; the development of habitat suitability indices for bats; and a community hedgerow survey around Bicknoller.
|Wessex Chalk Streams Partnership
||Wessex Chalk Streams Project
This project aimed to involve river restoration and work with other stakeholders to reconcile the links between the public, water usage and rivers along the Hampshire Avon. The achievements in the period included the delivery of 11 river restoration projects on the Upper Avon and Wylye which resulted in 7.5km of chalk stream and floodplain restoration. This was coupled with more than 75 advisory visits to landowners and fishing clubs and the establishment of the Wiltshire riverfly monitoring.
|Ecological Research and Training
||The project facilitated joint biodiversity and science activity between the regions university’s and local BAP partners and provided local biodiversity partners with free access to relevant research and monitoring skills at universities and institutes in Wessex, free access to training courses and training.
|Floodplain & Catchment Woodland (Somerset Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group)
||This project supported different initiatives to help with better farm management in the Parrett catchment involving:
- demonstrations of on-farm rainwater harvesting, water recycling and reprocessing of waste water
- the more efficient use of water for irrigating potatoes by scheduling and benchmarking water use by growers
- help to develop the land management actions within the 20 year Somerset flood action plan
- assessment of the effectiveness of woodland to "slow the flow" of rainwater through floodplain woodland and planting on steep slopes to reduce run-off.
||Invertebrates, Springs & Seepages
Springs and seepages are small habitats which link groundwater, surface water and terrestrial habitats. Often overlooked as a habitat and under-researched, this project aimed to identify key sites, identify the species using them and create management guidance. The project surveyed 33 sites across the region, recording a total of 431 terrestrial invertebrates and 180 aquatic invertebrates in the Blackdown Hills; 221 and 143 on the cliffs around Charmouth; and 220 and 75 at Wiltshire sites respectively. In the Mendips 379 terrestrial species were recorded along with 76 aquatic species in spring 2012, 75 in summer 2012 and 105 in 2013. The findings helped support the identification of key springs and seepage sites and the management guidance produced should help landowners guard these rare features for the future.