Grosvenor Farms requested support for their application for a Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme as part of their sustainability and environmental policy.
Hafren Water co-ordinated a team including Reaseheath College and Shropshire Wildlife Trust to deliver the necessary Wetland Feasibility Study in support of the application. Hafren Water provided hydrological expertise to aid understanding of the four sites being assessed. The study found that there was significant scope for wetland habitat restoration.
Grosvenor Farms Ltd, located on the Eaton Estate in Cheshire, comprises commercial arable and dairy farms. In line with its sustainability and environmental policies, the company wanted to apply for a Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme, which would provide capital to aid habitat enhancement and restoration at four sites on their land.
To support this application, a Wetland Feasibility Study was required to identify: the target habitats for enhancement, locations for water level control structures and the need for other capital works that were available within the scheme.
The project being multi-disciplinary, Hafren Water brought together a team of ecologists and agricultural experts to supplement our hydrological and hydrogeological expertise. The team included staff from Reaseheath College and the Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
A wide range of data was collated to ascertain the baseline conditions for each site, including interpretation of GIS Lidar, flood and geological mapping, and a number of site visits were conducted to undertake Phase 1 habitat and hydrological surveys. Meetings with the client and Natural England, post-data collection, allowed for a thorough discussion of the hydrological and ecological conditions, suitable restoration options and available funding options, under the Higher Tier Stewardship Scheme.
Using the data gathered during the study, enhancements of a variety of wetland habitats were identified at each site, including floodplain, swamp, fen and wet grassland. A number of capital options were available, with a range of works proposed for each site.
The application was submitted and subsequently granted by Natural England. Grosvenor Farms intended to implement the recommended works commencing in Autumn 2017.