Northumberland LEAF Project

New grant to support Northumberland farmers and the environment

The Farmer Network, in partnership with the Tyne Rivers Trust volunteer team, has secured a grant of £10,000 to work collaboratively on two farms within the South Tyne and Team River Catchment areas. The grant is to be funded by LEAF, the Local Environment Action Fund supported by Community Foundation (Tyne & Wear and Northumberland). 

The grant aims to support a number of practical environmental activities, improving farm biodiversity, and developing, or re-establishing beneficial habitats, whilst engaging the local community. 

The project has enabled two farms to team up with volunteers to create 25 metres of willow spilling over to protect eroding riverbanks together with 315 metres of new hedgerow and 40m of existing hedgerow improvement to reduce run-off and re-establish a wildlife corridor by August 2023. 1,460 broadleaf trees will also be planted to create new habitat. 

Adam Day, Managing Director, The Farmer Network said:  

“Farmers have been tasked BY DEFRA to take a different approach where ‘farming for both food production and the environment’ come together to a greater degree. However, it is often the case that some of the costs of implementing these measures fall on farmers, who may be further constrained by the normal pressures of running a farm business. That is why we are delighted to be partnering with the Tyne Rivers Trust to deliver practical support for Northumberland farmers on the ground.” 

Bushblades farm explained:  

“We are looking forward to welcoming the Tyne Rivers Trust volunteers to Bushblades Farm to help with the patch repairs to our very old hawthorne hedgerows. Carla Bonnie our native Angus calf seems to regularly find a new gap to squeeze through.  Planting 200 saplings was not a job I was looking forward to and the support offered by the trust to help with this project is invaluable to ensuring we maintain these boundary hedges for generations to come. Thank you so much” 

 West end Anglers and Crow Hall Farms Ltd explained:  

Part of the planting will take place on our South Tyne Lipwood beat which is a beautiful stretch of river. The scheme will enhance this lovely piece of countryside and ensure its future well-being. We look forward to seeing the trees and hedgerow plants take their place in this very special location.” 

The Directors of Crow Hall Farm Ltd, who are farmers and the riparian owners, said:  

“Crow Hall Farms Ltd is very supportive and thankful for the efforts of West End Anglers and Tyne Rivers Trust, who planned this significant scheme to protect the South Tyne landscape and support riverside wildlife.” 

In addition, wider farmer-focussed engagement is set to take place with a farm walk and workshop to share best practice. A practical ‘How to’ film will demonstrate the capital work carried out and the process to support next and existing habitats. 

It is hoped that the range of activities will empower farmers with the knowledge to implement similar changes and firm up their own decision-making process for practical improvements.  

Jenny Dowden, Volunteer Coordinator, Tyne Rivers Trust said: 

“The joint project is made possible by working with our local volunteers who play a vital role in enabling these valuable practical tasks to take place. Farmers often do much of the land work themselves and may not have previously considered working with voluntary groups. Nurturing new relationships with volunteers is a valued community benefit which can often be quite hard to establish”. 

Images of the completed work:

Riverbank before - Erosion


Riverbank after - restored using willow spilling


With thanks to the Tyne Rivers Trust volunteers


Tyne Rivers Trust volunteers measuring out the hedge-line


Hedge-planting with thanks to the Tyne Rivers Trust volunteers


Coming soon!

Details of the farm walk and workshop coming soon for May 2023.


In partnership with the Tyne Rivers Trust.

This project is funded by the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation matches generous people with important community causes. Every year, the Foundation award grants to hundreds of small charities in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and across North East England, through funds set up by a range of donors.