Jane Clowes, one of the facilitators for the Churnet Valley Farmers’ facilitation group, has won an award from Natural England for her conservation farming. Jane, a beef farmer from Ipstones, was invited to the awards’ ceremony last week, but had no idea that she had won.
Winners of Natural England’s West Midland’s Conservation Awards were honoured and celebrated for their efforts in enhancing the region’s landscape and wildlife. Jane, the only female winner, manages a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a national designation that helps to protect important and rare habitats, and her award reflected her long term efforts in effectively managing the designated species-rich grassland and woodland habitats on her farm, including a traditionally managed hay meadow.
Jane, pictured with Andrew Sells (Natural England’s Chairman), said “I’m so surprised to have won the award but really pleased. The Churnet Valley is such a beautiful place and I have lived in the area all my life and want to see both wildlife and farming do well”.
Jane would like to see the return of a number of different species that have been lost since she was a child, including brown trout in the river Churnet and glow-worms all along the valley.
As one of three facilitators for the Churnet Valley Farmers, Jane will be working with more than 28 farmers and members of the facilitation group over the next 3 years to help improve understanding and management of the valley and its wildlife habitats.