The Scout Moor Wind Farm Habitat Enhancement Fund (HEF) was set up to enable environmental improvement works within the Pennine uplands of East/ South Lancashire and Greater Manchester (see map in Case Studies), aimed at the maintenance, restoration and re-establishment of habitat and wildlife interests.
Scout Moor Wind Farm is a development on moorland situated between the village of Edenfield, Lancashire, and the town of Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Burning, over-grazing, drainage and past pollution have resulted in major damage to Pennine moorland habitats, meaning that these areas have become less effective at supporting wildlife.
The primary focus of the HEF is to re-wet Blanket bog and to enhance other upland habitats, including Heathland and Fen. In addition many of the species that are characteristic of these areas may also depend on adjacent Grasslands, and therefore the HEF aims to maximise the value of such areas for nature conservation.
Since its inception, the fund has contributed to 12 projects including:
- Over 200 hectares of bog re-wetted
- Further peat erosion prevented
- Restoration of Moorland flora
- Habitat restoration for moorland fauna
What types of projects are covered by the fund?
Funding is provided for practical and positive projects that have a high potential to bring about the restoration, to favourable condition, of Blanket bogs or upland habitats; and/or to deliver conditions that are favourable to upland breeding birds.
Payments are considered for activities such as:
- Grip-blocking (re-wetting)
- Heather restoration
- Stock reductions, including fencing
- Selective control of bracken
- Removal of trees and shrubs from mires
- Restoration/re-establishment of wet grassland and upland hay meadow
- Conservation grazing
Projects are funded using revenue derived from the operation of Scout Moor Wind Farm. Payments have been from the first year of operation and will be made annually until the wind farm is decommissioned after 25 years.
The total HEF fund available is around £500,000, and is linked to Inflation. It is intended that grants made in the early years (up to 2015/16) are directed at capital works, while later grants would mainly be for maintenance and/or management activities relating to previously HEP funded projects.
There are two levels of funding, depending on the size of the project - large projects of over £5,000 in value; and small projects up to £5,000. The fund has £15,000 p.a. set aside up until 2015/16 for small projects.