What we do

Tees-Swale: naturally connected

Tees-Swale: naturally connected

The North Pennines AONB Partnership and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority are working in partnership to deliver this major natural heritage project that focuses on the landscape and communities of Upper Teesdale and Upper Swaledale. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Tees-Swale: naturally connected is a truly innovative, ground-breaking initiative that collaborates with farmers and landowners across an 845 sq km area to put farming at the heart of nature and nature at the heart of land management.

Tees-Swale: naturally connected

was inspired by the report ‘Making Space for Nature’ and aims to restore, expand and connect habitats across the uplands of Teesdale and Swaledale, enhancing wildlife and delivering multiple public benefits. In partnership with farmers, landowners and conservation agencies, we will support and increase the skills needed to sustain the High Nature Value farming systems that work well in upland areas. We will be working across an area of Teesdale in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park which covers 829 km2.

The project will:

  • enable farmers to share knowledge and their land management skills;
  • work to improve and restore habitats for the benefit of wildlife and to allow farms to work as a whole system;
  • sustain our valuable low intensity farming systems, which benefit wildlife, the environment and people;
  • connect visitors with the way the landscape is managed and why this is important to them, through interpretation, activities and improvements to rights of way;
  • build skills through traineeships and volunteering;
  • develop on-farm activities and a programme of temporary landscape art; and
  • build resilience in the farming communities for a strong future workforce.

In summer 2020 we secured £5.8m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, unlocking a further £3m in match funding. We are now recruiting the programme team ahead of five years of nature recovery and engaging people with nature on an unprecedented scale.

The map below shows the boundary of the project area in red:

Thanks to our funders

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