John Clare Countryside

Doubling nature across the John Clare Countryside.

Natural Environment Volunteering

The John Clare Countryside project was named after the English poet John Clare, 1793-1864. Clare was born in the (then) Northamptonshire village of Helpston and spent the majority of his childhood walking the countryside around his home including a couple of Natural England national nature reserves (Barnack Hills and Holes and Castor Hanglands) which are now Sites of Special Scientific interests and several local nature reserves ran by the Wildlife Trusts and the Langdyke Countryside Trust.


We aim to double nature throughout each of the 21 parishes that are in the John Clare Countryside, increase key indicator species and levels of public engagement, understanding and participation in the natural and built heritage of the area.

We want to pilot and champion best practice and sustainability in all aspects of future development and land management within the area. The project will promote public health and wellbeing, provide large areas of accessible green open space for the people of Peterborough and Stamford as well as create new jobs and economic opportunities, particularly in tourism, visitor attractions, farming and nature conservation.

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funding logos for green recovery challenge fund

The John Clare Countryside partnership was formed in 2019 made up from local landowners, charities, businesses, and government bodies to help drive the vision forward, with sub committees created on Heritage, Access, and Nature Recovery.

In 2020 the partnership created the Nature Recovery Toolkit, to help support local parishes and communities to develop a plan for nature improvements within their areas. In 2020, COVID impacted the initial phase of delivery, however the communities were unwavering, and several nature recovery schemes were created. In 2021, the partnership was successful in its application to the Governments Green Recovery Fund for £272,000 to help support the partnership ambitions of doubling nature and providing improved access to nature.