Central Farmland Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOAs)

Characteristics of Central Farmland (CF) area:

A patchwork agricultural landscape including areas of increasingly scarce unimproved neutral grassland, ponds, hedgerows, small wetlands, a broken corridor of woodland from Crimdon Dene to Wynyard to community forests and the river Tees. A large percentage of many breeding populations of bird species of key importance in the Tees Valley are present within this Landscape Area.

Five Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOAs) have been identified in this area running north to south forming a continuous chain from north west Hartlepool to the river Tees.

CF BOA I – North West Hartlepool

Characteristics of BOA: Undulating farmland classification encompasses predominately arable farmland, areas of pasture, minor beck valleys, rounded hillocks and sparsely wooded areas. Scattered farmsteads and other small-scale rural developments. The geology is unique within the Tees Valley. The Magnesian Limestone aquifer that sits below the area is an important source of drinking water for surrounding urban areas. Corridor especially linking Crimdon Dene to Wynyard woodlands.

CF BOA II – Amerston Area

Characteristics of BOA: A scattered mixture of semi natural habitats within a mixed agricultural landscape. Opportunity to join fragments and link to adjacent Close Wood.

CF BOA IIIWynyard Woodland Chain

Characteristics of BOA: An area of mixed woodland with incised wooded river valleys historic parkland and satellite nature reserves to the south. The area of mixed woodland contains both commercial timber plantations and semi-natural deciduous woodland. These woodland blocks are broken up by rolling arable fields, with residential and industrial developments encroaching on the woodland plantations and rural landscape. At its centre is the historic Wynyard Park a Grade 2* parkland surrounding Wynyard Hall.

CF BOA IV – Stockton-Darlington Farmland

Characteristics of BOA: A mostly flat, sometimes gently undulating area which is contained by rising ground to the north and south. Bishopton Vale becomes broader and more open to the east of the area. Enclosed farmland under a mix of arable and pastoral cultivation. Southern boundary along A66, eastern boundary along Stockton urban fringe. Main biodiversity value is opportunity to link Wynyard Woodland Chain BOA to the north and Darlington Stockton track bed BOA to the south. Important for farmland birds.

CF BOA VDarlington-Stockton track bed to the Tees

Characteristics of BOA: A plateau-like area that lies to the north of the River Tees. The A66 forms the northern and part of the eastern boundary the Southern boundary is River Tees Corridor landscape area enclosed farmland, under a mix of arable and pastoral cultivation. A66, A67 and the railway line form a west-east transport corridor. Large areas of recently planted community forests. A recreational landscape with good access and community woodlands. Durham Tees Valley Airport has one of the best examples of nationally scarce, species-rich MG5 grassland habitat in the Tees Valley.