Wear Lowlands Current Initiatives
The amount of land in Countryside Stewardship varies considerably across the area. Existing agreements are mostly for old meadows and pastures, waterside land, arable, arable margins and field boundaries. Countryside Stewardship was replaced by Environmental Stewardship in 2005. Existing agreements, which last for 10 years, will progressively expire. Some of these may be replaced by new agreements under Environmental Stewardship.
- View Land Management Agreements Map
Environmental Stewardship incorporates a higher level scheme providing funding for restoration, creation and specialised management works and an entry level scheme to support positive management of environmental features. The scheme was introduced in 2005 and take up in the area has been modest to date due to the presence of existing Countryside Stewardship Agreements. It is anticipated that while take up of the entry level scheme may be high in the area, higher level schemes may be limited in number.
Woodland Grand Scheme
A number of the woodlands in the area, and particularly those within the larger estates, are managed or planted under Woodland Grant Scheme contracts. Take-up elsewhere is generally low which is indicative of a lack of management in many woods.
Great North Forest
The Great North Forest covers parts of the area in the north. Enhanced grant rates are available for woodland planting. Local Management Zone Strategies set out objectives for the local landscape. The Great North Forest Land Management Initiative (LMI) is investigating land management issues in the urban rural fringe.
Local Environment Agency Plans
The area falls within the Local Environment Agency Plans for the Wear and Tyne catchments. The LEAPs contain proposals for improving water quality and river habitats.
The Mineral Valleys Project
The Minerals Valley Project covers the western part of the Wear Lowlands. It contains a wide range of projects for the enhancement and interpretation of natural and cultural heritage. It is managed by English Nature and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Urban and Rural Renaissance Initiative
The Urban and Rural Renaissance Initiative covers the coalfield settlements of the Wear Lowlands. It contains a programme of regeneration initiatives aimed at improving the both the local environment and local economy of settlements affected by the decline of traditional industries.
For further information about Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship visit Natural England‘s website. Information on the English Woodland Grant Scheme can be found on the Forestry Commission website.