A 12-month restoration project at one of Huddersfield’s best-loved farms is set to restore a huge area of grassland to its former glory.
The 80 hectare project at Stirley Community Farm, Hall Bower Lane, Berry Brow, aims to create an accessible green space teeming with wildflowers, insects and bird life for the neighbouring communities of Huddersfield to enjoy.
Over the last century an incredible 97% of England’s flower-rich meadows have been lost through development, urban sprawl and intensifying farming techniques.
Thanks to a generous award of £74,352 from Biffa Award, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which operate the farm, have carried out much-needed habitat restoration works which encourage biodiversity and support birds including skylark, linnet, curlew and lapwing.
The restoration process involves lowering the nutrient levels in the soil which allows wildflowers a chance to grow.
More wildflowers means more insects and good food for pollinators which in turn feeds birds, bats and other species further up the food chain.
The installation of 5km of fencing, troughs and a water supply will allow conservation grazing to take place to support the establishment of species rich grassland.
In other areas a regular team of volunteers have helped to restore 150m of drystone wall and hedging which provide wildlife habitats for birds and insects.
Kara Jackson, gateway team leader at the farm, said: “It has been really exciting to be able to install the infrastructure needed to graze these important meadows and begin the slow restoration process to return our ‘farmscape’ into a place that is beneficial for wildlife and the local community.
“We can’t thank our wonderful team of volunteers and, of course, Biffa Award, for supporting the farm in completing this project.”
Gillian French, Biffa Award’s head of grants, said: “We are thrilled to support Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in working to protect lowland meadow and hedgerow habitats.
“It is fantastic to see how conservation grazing and meadow restoration are working hand-in-hand at Stirley Farm. We can’t wait to see how this fantastic project develops.”