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Brit Catchment Restoration Project

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More info will appear here soon, but for now, we are hosting an event about this project for farmers and landowners at the Red Lion in Beaminster, 6th July 7-9pm.

No need to book, just come along.

For more details download the document below and/or contact us at

Download our proposal document here

Brit Catchment Restoration Project

Transformative change for nature in the Brit catchment

A Landscape Recovery proposal

Landscape Recovery is a new scheme under Defra’s Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMS). It aims to deliver a wide variety of environmental and social outcomes using public and private funds to support farmers and landowners in making space for wildlife alongside producing food.

We have a vision of a Brit catchment alive with wildlife, in grasslands, woodlands and wetlands, with thriving and sustainable local food production, and more opportunities for jobsvand education. Landscape Recovery offers an opportunity to achieve this by bringing together farmers and landowners to create a long-term, landscape-scale project that rewards you for making the area a better place to live and work.


For a Brit catchment restoration project to be meaningful in addressing species loss and restoring a more natural hydrological system we need to collaborate. West Dorset Wilding would like to take the lead in making these connections and bidding for Landscape Recovery funding with you, and on your behalf. In many cases, payments could be higher than the proceeds from current schemes and farming practices, and it could represent a guaranteed income stream for 20 years or more. In addition, funds are available for related capital works.

West Dorset Wilding is a charity established in 2021 by local landowners and farmers which aims to make more space for nature in West Dorset, amidst, and in harmony with, our productive farmed landscape. Because we are a charity we work for wider public benefit, not personal or corporate gain.

In order to submit a viable bid, we are looking to identify a minimum of 500 hectares of connected land throughout the Brit catchment for inclusion in the scheme (just over 4% of the catchment area). The target area includes the sub catchments of the upper and lower Brit, Symene, Mangerton Brook and Asker. The bid is focused on the riparian (riverside) strip, adjacent land connected to the floodplain, and existing species rich habitats.

Areas earmarked through the scheme will have plans put in place to change their land use over time, becoming more wildlife rich and addressing the UK’s net zero targets. This might include creating a mosaic of riparian wetlands, scrubby wood pastures, naturally regenerating or planted woodland, species-rich grasslands, arable reversion, and low-input regenerative agriculture. Connectivity between the identified land areas will be critical.

We can also earmark existing species rich areas, including protected sites, and particularly those that have problems with invasive non-native species. These important habitats are already being looked after by many farmers and landowners within the Brit catchment - we need to connect them to create a catchment for nature in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Additional benefits for you would include being part of a positive network of local farmers and landowners, and gaining support in accessing government funding to implement changes that bolster farm viability in the new world of agricultural transition. Additional benefits for the Brit catchment would include improved water quality in the rivers, reduced flooding, increased carbon capture, and more public engagement with nature.

The initial application is for two years of development funding from Defra. There is no obligation for long-term sign up now - your only commitment would be to map out what land you have that might be suitable for this project and to agree to talk more at the landowner-led project development stage.

The deadline is mid-September so we look forward to talking to you soon

For more details email 

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