About The Countryside Restoration Trust

The CRT is a champion of biodiversity, restoring farming landscapes and woodlands for wildlife. 

Through education and engagement, we inspire the wider countryside community to understand and appreciate the importance of wildlife to farming, food, the natural environment and wellbeing.

Our countryside is in crisis

Farmland wildlife species are declining, smaller farms are struggling to compete, people have grown out of touch with the landscape, and future generations will not know where their food originates.

The CRT takes a holistic approach to tackle the biodiversity crisis. We own 18 properties across England and our tenant farmers work with conservation monitoring officers and volunteers to make improvements so that they are the best they can be for wildlife. Our properties become part of the local community, with disused farm buildings being restored into business units and MOSAIC education teaching the wildlife and farming fundamentals to future generations.

Sustainable farming

At CRT we support and encourage our tenant farmers to use sustainable farming methods wherever possible because we know these practices positively benefit the environment and ultimately, humankind. We are sympathetic landlords and understand that our tenant farmers need to generate a profit. Therefore, we provide support, resources and volunteers to assist the conservation activities. For example, volunteers on all the properties have planted hedgerows, resulting in wildlife corridors and increased biodiversity.

Monitoring our success

Many species of wildlife are declining and the latest State of Nature report estimated that 15% are at threat of extinction in the UK. The CRT is bucking the trend and has an abundance of wildlife on its properties. We only know this because of our wonderful team of monitoring staff and volunteers who provide data that we evaluate and disseminate. For example, on Lark Rise Farm, the number of Yellowhammers is 25 times higher now than they were 20 years ago.

Reconnecting with the countryside

Urbanisation has distanced large numbers of the people from the countryside, creating a barrier to learning. The CRT wants to restore fundamental farming and wildlife knowledge to everyone, with a particular focus on igniting curiosity and wonder amongst children. This is achieved through the delivery of our MOSAIC schools programme.

Natural heritage restoration

Native species and rare breeds are vitally important to the CRT. Most of our farmers have traditional or rare breed livestock on their properties. We focus on saving some critically endangered species via our red squirrel breeding programme and water vole recovery initiative. Our orchards always have traditional varieties, linked to their county.

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