2013-11-01  facebook twitter rss

New Opportunity for Smallholder Networking

Smallholders throughout the North Pennines are being encouraged to attend one of a series of events next month in a bid to establish a network that will benefit their land and the wildlife within it.

The events are being hosted by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership as part of Nectarworks – a project which enthuses, educates and helps communities to conserve flower-rich areas for the benefit of bumblebees and other pollinators.

Colourful, bumblebee-friendly garden in Baldersdale

Colourful, bumblebee-friendly garden in Baldersdale (Rebecca Barrett)

By helping to set up a network of enthusiastic smallholders, through a series of events and tailored training, the Partnership hopes to enable landowners to learn more about their land and how they can work together to look after it.

Dr Ruth Starr-Keddle, Nectarworks Project Officer, said: “During our work through the Hay Time project we have met a great many people who own or manage hay meadows.

“Amongst these, we have found smallholder to be a distinct group who we would like to work more closely with. Smallholders in the North Pennines tend to own small plots of land or small farms, are often new to the area or to farming or may struggle to manage their own land owing to a lack of access, machinery or livestock.

“We hope these three events will give smallholders the opportunity to meet one another, while also getting some advice and help about how they can protect and enhance these really important pieces of land.”

People looking to attend are being asked to think about the things they want to discuss with officers from the AONB Partnership before the evening. These could include topics such as whether or not they have access to livestock and machinery, or if there are any aspects of land management training they would like information on.

Ruth said: “The aim of the AONB’s Partnership’s Nectarworks Project is to restore and strengthen the network of flower-rich nectar sources across the North Pennines through looking after and expanding our flower-rich meadows and involving local people.”

The events are being held at Garrigill Village Hall on Tuesday November 12; Eggleston Village Hall on Wednesday November 13 and Allendale Village Hall on Wednesday November 20.

North Pennines

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