Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, accepted an invitation to visit the National Trust’s Wallington Estate to see for herself the progress being made on a long-term conservation project.
The project – known as the Living Hart Burn – is part of a 50 year conservation plan aimed at reversing the loss of biological diversity and decline in natural resources such as carbon and soils as well as improving water quality across the Wallington Estate.
The plan includes the enhancement and protection of the widespread burn network, which totals over 50km in length. Working with its farm tenants, National Trusts is seeking new ways of protecting the burn network and investigating how space can be made for water, allowing natural processes to occur. Land will remain within agricultural tenancies, but grazing patterns will be agreed that maximise habitat development and resource protection.
“I am so pleased to be able to come and see this new work for myself. So often we think of protecting diverse habitats and agriculture as being at loggerheads, but this scheme shows that working collaboratively with farmers can lead to great ecological benefits. The work being done is hopefully going to lead to a great improvement in water quality in the area which will benefit many local species, including crayfish.”
The project also includes tree planting, fencing and phasing out overwintering of stock around water courses, all of which will prevent sediment polluting the water ways and encourage a return of lost habitat.