Flood management work on show in Cheviots

Cheviot Future's Tracy Hall who co-ordinates practical conservation work on the ground across both sides of the border, addresses the meeting.
Cheviot Future's Tracy Hall who co-ordinates practical conservation work on the ground across both sides of the border, addresses the meeting.
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OVER 40 delegates from organisations involved in land management met in the Cheviot Hills to discuss the benefits of working together last month.

Organised by the Cheviot Futures initiative’s Jennifer Hewitson, who works for the Northumberland National Park Authority and Tracy Hall of Tweed Forum.

A Cheviot Futures spokesperson said: “The aim of the event was to showcase practical conservation measures undertaken in the Cheviot foothills and valley floodplains following the devastating floods of 2008 and 2009, with the overall aim of increasing resilience to the effects of climate change.”

Delegates visited the Fenton Centre near Wooler where farmer, Simon Henderson, said he is reducing ploughing and increasing soil organic matter through experimenting with different seed mixes and cropping to improve his farm’s light soils.

In the Bowmont Valley, where rainfall run-off has caused damage previously, the group saw newly planted floodplain woodland, cleugh woodland and wooden ‘debris’ barriers placed in the river, all designed to reduce sediment input to the river and reduce sediment movement downstream.

And delegates saw a water storage pond in the Breamish Valley, created after land owners, tenant farmers and Northumberland Fire and Rescue, highlighted the need for a source of water should planned grass or heather fires get out of control.

Ms Hall said: “This has been a great event with lots of positive discussion on sustainable land management. It is good to see such enthusiasm amongst the group for what has been achieved. There will be significant land management challenges ahead but if we all work together in partnership, then real progress can be made.”

Cheviot Futures is a cross-border project aiming to help farmers and land managers adapt to the

impacts of predicted climate change effects. It is part-funded by the Scottish

Government and Scottish Borders LEADER, DEFRA and Northumberland Uplands LEADER.