National Character Area 47

Southern Lincolnshire Edge - Detailed Statements of Environmental Opportunity

This section expands on the Headline Statements of Environmental Opportunity and provides further detail on each of the Statements of Environmental Opportunity.


SEO 1: Enhance the agricultural landscape and soils to increase efficiency of food production, conserve and connect fragmented patches of limestone grassland and woodland and maintain the traditional fabric of the rural landscape, to preserve sense of place and sense of history, protect water quality, enhance biodiversity and improve resilience to climate change.

For example by:

  • Providing information, advice, training and other support to help farmers use new technology, such as precision farming, that reduces the negative environmental impacts of food production.
  • Providing information, advice, training and support to farmers to promote best practice and help farmers to: enhance soil structure and organic matter (through measures such as minimum tillage, controlled farm traffic and green manures); reduce soil erosion (through measures such as tree and hedgerow planting, buffer strips, infield grass strips and beetle banks, and establishing vegetative cover and/or green manures over winter); reduce diffuse and point-source water pollution (through measures such as updating infrastructure and creating features such as buffer strips, settlement ponds or silt traps, and riparian woodland); minimise water use; and increase capture and re-use of greywater and rainwater.
  • Providing training for agricultural contractors and sprayer operators on protection of watercourses and groundwater and on best practice in insecticide use to avoid harm to pollinator and beneficial predator populations.
  • Encouraging farmers, particularly in primarily arable areas, to provide or leave flower-rich habitats as a nectar-source for pollinators and areas of rough grass for over-wintering, and to use alternative measures for insect pest management and control.
  • Supporting research into the potential for and value of natural pest control services in this National Character Area (NCA) and disseminating useful findings to local farmers and agricultural contractors.
  • Encouraging less frequent cutting of hedgerows and creation of features to benefit farmland birds, such as overwintered stubbles, fallow nest plots and wild birdseed mix.
  • Encouraging appropriate management and restoration of species-rich roadside verges to maintain and enhance their wildlife and landscape value, and the creation of species-rich grassland on adjacent land to increase their value as wildlife corridors.
  • Exploring opportunities for production of timber and woody biomass from existing woodlands, where this is compatible with or beneficial to nature conservation objectives, and new tree planting in locations where it will help to reduce wind erosion of agricultural soil, intercept run-off from agricultural land, provide shade for livestock and buildings, connect isolated fragments of woodland and/or provide stepping stones for woodland species.
  • Seeking opportunities to restore, buffer and connect existing priority habitats, particularly calcareous and neutral grassland, woodland, heathland and riparian habitats, where they will help to protect water quality, reduce flooding and benefit biodiversity.
  • Providing information, advice, training and other support to help farmers reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with farming.
  • Supporting research into the benefits and impacts of applying ash from straw-fired power plants to agricultural land, and disseminating this to the agriculture industry.
  • Encouraging the creation of priority habitats during restoration of disused quarry sites.


SEO 2: Protect and sympathetically manage geological features and historic features such as Ermine Street Roman road, medieval earthworks, industrial buildings, historic drystone wall networks and traditional villages, to sustain a sense of history and sense of place, providing interpretation to aid understanding of the landscape.

For example by:

  • Encouraging and supporting positive management and protection of characteristic features of rural landscapes such as drystone walls, hedgerows, woodlands and archaeological earthworks.
  • Protecting historic linear routes and seeking ways to minimise vehicular damage and secure positive management to maintain flower-rich grassland.
  • Providing information, advice and training to property owners and tradespeople in maintenance and restoration of old buildings using appropriate materials and techniques.
  • Encouraging the use of local stone in building, walling and restoration work.
  • Facilitating the recording and sampling of temporary sections and excavations to expose geological features.
  • Providing high-quality interpretation material using a range of media to increase understanding and appreciation of the landscape and its evolution.
  • Protecting and managing key prehistoric, Roman and medieval archaeological sites, particularly Ermine Street, Car Dyke, deserted medieval villages, ridge and furrow and moated sites.
  • Encouraging developers to plan and execute redevelopment of disused airfields in ways that retain the historic essence and some of the features of the original airfield and enhance their wildlife value, for example through creation of limestone grassland.
  • Facilitating sympathetic restoration and future use of key disused historic buildings such as Bass Maltings.
  • Improving access to key geological sites, particularly for educational visits, where appropriate.
  • Ensuring that the restoration of disused mineral extraction sites retains exposures that illustrate geological processes.


SEO 3: Ensure that new development is planned and executed to preserve a sense of place, sense of history, tranquillity and biodiversity, while minimising water use and avoiding exacerbation of flooding and habitat fragmentation.

For example by:

  • Continuing to work with quarry operators, agricultural contractors, farmers and other businesses to support the implementation of water-saving measures and the capture and re-use of greywater and rainwater, to reduce demand for abstraction.
  • Planning new development and adapting existing development to incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems and water-saving features.
  • Providing information and advice for householders on how to minimise water consumption.
  • Working with water companies to reduce discharge of pollutants from water treatment works.
  • Protecting the scarp slope from inappropriate development, increasing woodland cover where possible.
  • Protecting stone-built vernacular architecture including farmhouses and farmsteads, and using appropriate materials and techniques when restoring them.
  • Ensuring that new irrigation reservoirs are constructed so that they contribute to biodiversity and fit in to local landform and landscape.
  • Maintaining the low rate of urbanisation and development outside urban and fringe areas and ensuring that any in-fill development in the small settlements is appropriately sited and designed.
  • Exploring opportunities to incorporate tree planting into new developments, where appropriate, to provide a local source of fuel while also screening new development and providing shade to help regulate temperatures inside buildings.
  • Ensuring that any new developments incorporate accessible greenspace, offering residents opportunities for recreation and to benefit from contact with the natural environment.


SEO 4: Enhance the provision for access and recreation while maintaining the tranquillity of undisturbed areas and providing educational opportunities and interpretation.

For example by:

  • Managing and enhancing the rights-of-way network and long-distance routes, such as the Viking Way, and improving the rights-of-way network by creating permissive and definitive access routes, increasing the opportunities for recreation and enabling people to visit the area in a sustainable way.
  • Protecting historic linear routes and seeking ways to minimise vehicular damage.
  • Ensuring that restoration of disused extraction sites incorporates open access and opportunities for quiet recreation where possible.
  • Providing high-quality interpretation, using a range of media, to explain the context and significance of paths along historic routeways.
  • Creating more links between urban populations and the surrounding countryside, finding links between existing accessible sites and semi-natural habitats, especially woodlands, for use by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
  • Restoring and managing historic parklands and estates by retaining veteran trees, restoring wood pasture, restoring vistas and bringing woodlands into appropriate management, enhancing opportunities for sustainable recreational access and contributing to the creation of ecological networks.
  • Protecting the open nature of the landscape and far-reaching views from the limestone escarpment.
  • Preserving the tranquillity of existing undisturbed areas and seeking opportunities to use hedgerow and tree planting to screen new developments and transport routes. Protect hedgerows and trees where these serve to reduce noise pollution.

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