Many Thanks!



East Front of Corsham Court
The Corsham Estate is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its bid to secure a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme agreement from Natural England. Accordingly, a further ten year programme of investment in the conservation of Corsham Park and the surrounding countryside will procure varied and long lasting environmental benefits. A parkland review plan has been commissioned to examine the impact of all that was achieved by the historic parkland restoration plan which concluded last September. It will consider how various planned special projects will fit in with an overall strategy to maintain the Eighteenth Century landscape during the coming decades. Such projects include the restoration of Repton's Mynte Gate piers, the renewal of extensive parkland railings and the repair of culverts and drains that were installed more than two hundred years ago.
Natural England has committed to helping the Estate plant 11,000 trees in local woods and the repair of nearly 2000m of dry stone walling on nearby farms. In addition, the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme agreement entails initiatives to protect and enhance local fields, hedgerows, streams and copses to benefit the native flora and fauna. Selected arable fields will be sown with specially formulated seed mixes to provide food for wild birds. Nectarous leys will be established in others to encourage insects, and field corners will be grassed over as a retreat for birds, mammals and wild flowers. Some hedges have been identified for laying and coppicing, with many others being gapped up where annual trimming has caused these ancient boundaries to become thin or succumb to unhelpful invasive species such as elder.
Trees planted under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme
In assessing the Estate's application for sponsorship under Higher Level Stewardship, Natural England was impressed by the response from those users and visitors who completed the online survey conducted on this web site last summer. Almost everyone who took part supported the Estate in its endeavours to obtain grant aid through Environmental Stewardship. Some of the comments about Corsham Park were hugely encouraging and it is gratifying to know that the conservation ethos is widely shared. All of the suggestions made have been carefully noted and, where practicable, many will be implemented.

Please bear with us as we embark on this next phase of work. Open access arrangements in the field on the south side of Corsham Lake have been extended for the life of the agreement. All affected woodland is clearly visible from public vantage points and the farmland is permeated by an extensive network of public rights of way. However, the landscape we know and love is a working environment that supports a commercial sheep flock as well as dairy and suckler herds. It would not exist unless it had been farmed. The management of the farmland is increasingly dependant upon the good will of the general public where (as in the case of Corsham and Chippenham) the need for public open space is a growing issue. To help keep everyone to the public footpaths and advertise the open access arrangements, new signs will shortly be erected. These are intended for the benefit of users and visitors so that they may continue to enjoy the landscape and allow the Estate and its farmers to go about their business.

In the meantime, sincere thanks to everyone who has participated in our endeavours to secure a future for Corsham Park.


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