South Hooe Restoring & Enhancing Watery Landscapes

South Hooe lies on the Bere peninsula on the tidal reaches of the River Tamar near Weir Quay. The landowners have embarked on an ambitious programme of landscape and habitat improvements, which will provide great benefits for wildlife both in the intertidal areas and across the wider farm. This is a two- phase programme with the land management elements undertaken as part of the National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative and an intertidal scheme being developed and delivered by the Environment Agency, subject to planning permission.

The Tamar Valley AONB is continuing to work with partners and the landowners to develop and deliver Phase One of the South Hooe Restoring & Enhancing Watery Landscapes Project. Over 2000 trees and shrubs, provided by the Woodland Trust, were planted in the first year and a further similar number planted in November 2020 following Covid-19 guidelines. The trees have been planted by the Tamar Community Trust volunteer working party and landowner and will create over 700m of new hedgerows and 1.2ha of wooded areas. Tree planting has been combined with the sensitive maintenance of existing hedgerows to develop the hedge structure and encourage the growth of hedgerow trees compensating for the loss of trees in the landscape due to Ash dieback disease. New fencing has been installed to allow the development of rough grassland for Barn Owls and other wildlife.

Additional enhancement work has taken place on the site with Tavistock Taskforce volunteers completing some stone wall repairs in 2020  and the Tamar Community Trust carrying out vegetation management.

Phase two will focus on the land adjoining the Tamar Estuary and a project lead by the Environment Agency to create up to 19 hectares of new intertidal habitat. The proposed work will offset predicted losses of habitat caused by future sea level rise and complement another intertidal scheme at Calstock. The wetland creation will provide additional variety in the rich mosaic of habitat being created at South Hooe. Work on Phase Two is planned to commence in 2021, subject to planning and other permissions.

Along with the landscape and habitat improvements, the land at South Hooe is also home to orchards planted with a range of traditional varieties of cherries and apples and there are plans to continue with further climate resilient orchard plantings.

More detailed information about the project can be found in the case study on the Landscapes for Life website.

 

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