The CCRI is delighted to support a short film released today (Tuesday, 28th March) outlining the impact of the WILD project in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Based around the Cotswold Water Park and the course of the River Thames, the WILD project has used facilitation and engagement to develop a broad-based partnership that meets a range of policy priorities, including the Water Framework Directive, to improve the water and land-based environments.
Chris Short, who led the CCRI WILD project team, said:
“The film shows the real benefits of the WILD project in joining up the different but inter-connected aspects of the water environment from the biodiversity to food production and the resilience of local communities. The message is clear that partnerships can play a major part in meeting the environmental challenges that lie ahead.”
Over the past 3 years the WILD project has:
· Undertaken nearly 300 farm visits on 118 farms/ estates covering over 20,000 hectares offering advice and guidance on managing land to reduce the impact on water bodies
· Appointed 24 Farmer Guardians under the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund as key contacts in the discussions between farmers and the Environment Agency but also Natural England and Thames Water.
· Adjusted a number of agri-environment schemes and secured nearly 3,000 ha of new Countryside Stewardship agreements.
· All 19 communities are engaged as part of their Parish Planning. Three are now linking to Neighbourhood Planning and work has also included 4 parishes and 1 town outside of the WILD 1 project area, showing the demand for WILD Phase 2.
· Preparation and circulation of The Community Guide to the Water Environment circulated nationally in collaboration with ACRE and case study on Integrated Planning Tool.
· Nearly 60 km of potential river enhancements identified and shared with partners.
· A total of 300km ditches surveyed, 30 km of ditches sympathetically managed.
· Shade reduction & tree pollarding works conducted on 8555m.
· Five livestock drinking bays installed with modified design to satisfy the EA and farmers.
The film shows the wider benefits of WILD, the community cohesion developed and the synergies between the farming, biodiversity and local communities It features the key partners FWAGSW, GRCC, Cotswold Water Park Trust, the NFU, EA and the volunteers.
For more information, please download the phase 1 summary of the WILD project, which shows the key outcomes. Download summary
Phase 1 of WILD ran from 2012 to 2016.