May 2019- December 2021

Trevase Undersowing EventIn May 2019 the Foundation started a 2.5 year partnership project with Wye Valley AONB, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and Herefordshire Rural Hub. Funded by Defra’s Water Environment Grant (WEG) via the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), part of the Rural Development Programme for England, our ROAR project’s objective was to resolve issues causing the English Wye SSSI and SAC not meeting favourable status.

The project’s main areas of work were enhancing degraded habitat, eradicating invasive weeds (including an innovative way of tackling Himalayan balsam) and reducing diffuse agricultural pollution.

Himalayan balsamSpecifically, the delivery outputs were:

  • 150m of revetment completed to protect eroding river bank (see report here)
  • Total distance of double bank watercourse enhanced now 8.4km.  
  • Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed eradication programme undertaken.
  • Himalayan balsam rust fungus trial undertaken with effective release at one trial site (see project report here).
  • 352 farm visits undertaken, generating 299 whole farm plans.
  • Ongoing support also provided to 201 previously engaged farms.
  • 17 demonstration events held engaging 443 farmers to promote best practice for pesticide handling/disposal, reducing cultivation to repair soil health, tree planting, companion cropping, managing and creating habitat for wildlife, maize undersowing.
  • 14 discussion group meetings held to support changes to land management.
  • 6 farmers supported with mentoring.
  • 2 undersowing maize drills purchased

We would like to thank Wye Valley AONB, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, Herefordshire Rural Hub, Natural England, Environment Agency and Defra for their support in this project, and the Rural Development Programme for England for their funding.