Welcome to the River Axe Landscape Recovery project

The River Axe and its tributaries are pretty special. There is only a handful of English rivers with a Special Area of Conservation designation….and yet the river is changing before our eyes. The banks and riverbed have become unstable, the water murky, and the ecology that made this river system so remarkable is under threat.

Ours is a partnership of farmers and landowners in the Axe catchment that has come together, supported and part funded by DEFRA’s Landscape Recovery scheme.

A project with 3 central themes – Farming, Rivers and People


Flowing through the boundaries of Dorset, Somerset and Devon, The River Axe is of national significance, recognised in its designation as both a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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The project aims to demonstrate that productive agriculture, the natural environment and a will to counter climate change can co-exist. Farmers manage 75% of our inhabited land. Only by working alongside farmers, and utilising their knowledge of the land they farm, can we realise the potential for the public to view farms and food production as part of the solution to biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately climate change. Over the generational time-frame, the project aims to work towards both economic and environmental resilience within the participating farms.

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The project will create an Upper Axe River Trail, connecting the existing national Liberty and Jubilee Trails plus the Monarch’s Way and Wessex Ridgeway. It will provide QR code technology educational resources along its route regarding our themes of River, Farming and Nature. Alongside a community hub in Thorncombe, and a further education hub at Magdalen farm, we have earmarked Home Farm, Sadborrow (already part of a pan-European Arla Regenerative Agriculture pilot) where we would like to facilitate the conversion of unused space on farm into a teaching space.

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What is Landscape Recovery?

Who is involved in the project?

What is the Upper Axe Community Interest Company?

What the project aims to achieve?

What are our key metrics of success?

How will the project be funded?

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