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Sustainable Land Management

The Essex Climate Focus Area (CFA) has been created to pilot accelerated climate action and share best practise in sustainable land stewardship. The area covers almost one third of Essex, the Blackwater and River Colne catchment area.

Climate Focus Area

To help deliver the CFA aim of 100% sustainable land management within the area, Essex County Council, water companies and others have part funded the North Essex Farm Cluster Group. The farm cluster involves landowners and farmers working together to discuss farming for nature, exchange knowledge and experience, and deliver nature based projects. Since identifying land on which to deliver 25 Year Environmental Plan, Local Nature Recovery, Water and Environment Improvement, Net Zero and Flood Risk Reduction can be challenging. A farm cluster offers support, a community of learning, guidance, access to expertise, funding, and trust of outcomes.

The Catchment Sensitive Farming program is a countrywide partnership between Defra, Natural England, and the Environment Agency. It aims to provide free one to one advice to farmers to help them reduce water and air pollution. Advice and guidance on schemes and grants available on pesticides and nutrient handling, water resources and natural flood management.

Positive progress is already being made. The North East Farm Cluster are planning a joint application for water improvement grant funding to restore the River Pant. The vision includes several farms with river frontages from Wethersfield to Bocking, and the scheme will include surveys and monitoring of the impacts of nature-based solutions such as new ponds, trees and hedgerows, reservoirs along the watercourse, along with removal of river obstacles.