What we do

High Helbeck

What is the High Helbeck project?

We are working with a private landowner to initiate the restoration of natural processes and increase wildlife on the High Helbeck estate, an upland shooting estate, near Brough, in the North Pennines AONB. The project is in collaboration with the landowners (Nicolete and Ben Blackett-Ord) the RSPB and the Woodland Trust.

How is the project being funded?

The project is being funded by £469,000 from Defra through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. These grants were available to help the nation recover in a greener way from the coronavirus pandemic. The fund was directed at nature conservation and restoration, nature-based solutions and connecting people with nature. These projects aimed to support conservation work, increase jobs and help to improve education about the environment.

What will the grant be spent on?

  • Restoring degraded blanket bog (79ha)
  • Expanding tree and scrub cover (153ha)
  • Improving habitat for breeding wading birds with 20 new small wetlands (scrapes) and sike reprofiling across 58ha
  • Survey and monitoring work
  • Running guided events for the public (including some aimed mainly at the local community) and with youth groups from further afield
  • Engaging with nearby landowners and graziers
  • Engaging with landowners from further afield to share learning and ideas

What are the main benefits of the project?

  • Carbon storage and sequestration
  • Improving peatland habitat for nature and for light grazing
  • Diversifying habitat, with more tree and scrub cover
  • Improving habitat for ground nesting birds like curlew, lapwing, snipe and golden plover
  • Reducing the rate at which water flows off the land and so mitigating the potential impacts of flooding on the local community
  • By stabilising the peatland, the erosion will be reduced and the water quality will be improved
  • Helping people, especially from the local community, to enjoy and understand the landscape
  • Providing a living lab in which other landowners and managers can look at the impacts of management which is more focused on promoting natural processes

Click here to find out about the events we are running this summer at High Helbeck estate.

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