Major funding secures a vital landscape restoration project

Published: 10 Oct 2022

 The River Arun in Pulborough - credit Toby Phillips

A grant of £500,000 has been secured to support an exciting new landscape programme called The Adur River Restoration Project.

This project will support 27 farmers and land managers who are part of the Adur Farming Cluster Group.

The Adur River Restoration Project is one of only 22 nationwide projects to receive funding from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which will revitalise and restore the River Adur and its catchment, creating a new ribbon of habitats running through a wildlife-friendly farmed landscape.

Their work will form an important part of the Wilder Horsham District initiative, a partnership between Horsham District Council and the Sussex Wildlife Trust, which aims to establish connected habitats that support wildlife and reverse the decline in biodiversity.

The Landscape Recovery funding will be used to support the developmental of plans that will restore nature, reduce flood risks, improve water quality, and boost biodiversity in the River Adur area. It will also support farmers and landowners to explore how new features and habitats can be created on their land, such as by removing embankments to allow flooding, and to improve the health of the soil through regenerative farming techniques.

Land managers will each be contributing a portion of their landholding, mostly their floodplains, to create a largely connected area of at least 766 hectares of new habitat and river restoration, stretching from the Knepp estate to Shoreham, where the river meets the Sussex Bay restoration of the sea beds and kelp forests along the Sussex Coast.

The changes at this scale will require strong collaboration between all of the farmers and landowners involved in the project, and the organisations that are supporting it. There will also be public engagement to explain the proposed changes to the communities that live and work in the area.

Photo credit: Toby Phillips