Humberhead Levels

Humberhead Levels

A huge flat plain spanning over 2,000 square kilometres, the Humberhead Levels spans the key areas of the inner section of the River Humber and the mosaic of sites that cluster around the Humberhead Levels National Nature Reserve.

The Humberhead Levels straddles the borders of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, where rivers draining 20% of England meet at the Humber Estuary. This amazing landscape offers significant potential to deliver many services for society, including food and fuel production, reduced flood risk and improved biodiversity. 

Twelve organisations are working together with a united vision to create a more connected environment for people and wildlife and the end result should be a more valued and robust natural environment. The Humberhead Levels Partnership successfully delivered one of the first pilot Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs) in England, with a £2.6million DEFRA funded scheme from 2012 to 2015. This great work continued until April 2018 thanks to a £248,000 grant from WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund for the Reconnecting the Humberhead Levels Project.

Phase 3 is now being prepared, with a small grant from North Lincolnshire Council which will allow us to take the partnership to the next level.


Key aims

The Humberhead Levels Partnership is helping to create an internationally renowned, unique network of wetlands in a predominantly agricultural landscape, whilst supporting thriving communities and wildlife. A key aim is to work with local businesses, landowners, communities and other organisations to achieve sustainable land management practices.

What we are doing

Years 1-3 we did the following:

• The Humberhead Levels habitat is better, bigger, more and joined-up with 1190ha of habitat improved
• We successfully increased the number of breeding sites for two focal species - Marsh Harrier and Bittern
• We worked with over 59 land owners and farmers
• We provided £76,000 of grants to land owners and farmers for wildlife work
• We demonstrated increased connectivity across the Humberhead Levels which has improved the environment for wildlife
• Over 46,000 volunteer hours have been recorded across the partnership 
• We set up a new network of Gateway Sites for visitors to the Humberhead Levels

What are we doing now?
Thanks to funding from WREN’s Biodiversity Action Fund, a donation from Habitat Aid and small grants from Natural England and North Linconlshire Council we are continuing to create, restore and improve a further 230ha of wetland habitat.

• We are working with 15 different landowners to create areas where wildlife can move across and thrive
• We are working with farmers to provide an addition £35,000 of grants for wildlife habitat creation
• We are working with 13 different organisations to manage our existing nature reserves and wildlife corridors
• We are coordinating the Humberhead Levels Volunteer Team who have contributed over 3000 volunteer hours in 2016 alone
• We are working with local Universities to better understand how wildlife connects across a landscape to help us target our future work
• We are running public events to better understand how people view the landscape around them

How you can help

Volunteer with the Humberhead Levels Volunteer Team or come along to our public events. Contact for more information


WREN BAF, Natural England, North Lincolnshire Council, Habitat Aid