The Humberhead Levels is a naturally wet landscape where four of England’s major rivers meet, forming the Humber Estuary.
Made up of arable farmland, rivers and a patchwork of wetlands, the Levels are home to cranes, bitterns and marsh harriers, as well as otters and water voles.
However, large areas of the Levels’ important wetlands have been lost to drainage schemes which keep the landscape dry for farming. This has resulted in isolated areas which are too small and disjointed for wildlife to thrive.
Working with various partners under the Humberhead Levels Partnership, we want to create and restore ribbons of wetland habitats extending along the rivers and streams, linking the major wetlands in the Derwent Ings, Aire Valley, Humber Estuary and Thorne and Hatfield Moors.
Improving this landscape for nature will also increase the wellbeing of local communities and provide new opportunities for local businesses.
By restoring and creating wetlands we can reduce flood risk to property, helping farmers and wildlife in hot dry summers and lock up carbon dioxide, a gas known to contribute to climate change.
Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:
Come to Blacktoft Sands throughout the year and see how many of our 270 species of birds you can see! The tidal reedbed is the largest in England and is important for breeding bearded tits, bitterns and marsh harriers.
With pond dipping, regular fun events and walks to help you get away from it all, RSPB Fairburn Ings is the ideal place for adults and children to discover more about the natural world.
St Aidan's is a perfect place to relax, unwind or exercise in a stress-free environment and get up close to nature.
Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Humberhead Levels. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with:
- Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
- English Heritage
- The Environment Agency
- Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
- Natural England
- North Lincolnshire Council
- Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
- Ouse and Humber Drainage Board
- Shire Group of Internal Drainage Boards
- Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Saving special places
What will the new NPPF mean for places, people and nature?
On Tuesday the Government published a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England. You can see our previous commentary on the draft version here , here and here . The NPPF sets out the Government’s planning policies for England...(read ...Posted 27/07/2018 by Steph
Save Lodge Hill: Thank you for your help, and next steps
Medway Council's latest consultation into their draft Local Plan, and in particular their plans to allocate large areas of land within and right next to Britain's best site for nightingales at Lodge Hill, is now closed (25 June 2018). Over...(read mo...Posted 26/06/2018 by Sara H
Fate of Coul Links now in the hands of Scottish Government URGENT call to action
Those of you following the campaign to Save Coul Links will know that we’re part of a group of conservation organisations fighting to stop proposals for a golf course on this triple protected wildlife site. Coul Links is one of the Scotland’s...(read...Posted 22/06/2018 by Andre Farrar
Updated - BTO confirm that Lodge Hill is the UK’s best site for breeding nightingales
Update: Posted 11.25am Monday 25 th June: We’ve updated our blog below to reflect our further analysis of BTO’s independent report since its release on Friday. It is useful to understand that where the BTO 's report refers to ‘Lodge...(read more)Posted 21/06/2018 by Sara H