A conservation gem in the heart of Windermere
For over 60 years, High Lickbarrow was a traditional family farm owned by the Bottomleys. Much of the land is designated as a site of special scientific interest and grazed by Albion cattle, a breed with a docile nature and great for conservation grazing.
High Lickbarrow Farm came to the Trust in October 2015 following the death of the donor Michael Bottomley, a much loved and respected local architect and artist. For over 60 years he lived at High Lickbarrow; purchased by his parents in 1947 and farmed by his sister and father in a traditional manner.
Michael left the property to the National Trust to ensure that appropriate land management would be put in place to sustain the remarkable biodiversity found on the farm. Despite being surrounded by housing, the land has extensive areas of wildflower-rich pastures, abundant bird song and becks full of native white-clawed crayfish. Perhaps the most notable residents of the farm are its Albion cattle.
It's home to 18 Albion breeding cattle and one bull, making it the largest in the country and key to the breed's survival. As an in-hand farm, over the last year we've been getting to know the land and producing a plan to look after it. We had a busy winter reducing the herd to numbers which the farm grassland can support whilst being good for nature. This busy window saw 10 cows, 12 calves and one bull sent to conservation graziers and breed enthusiasts to set up new herds and expand existing ones in West Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cornwall and Cheshire.
The cows will be grazing both high Lickbarrow and Moorhow doing great conservation work by helping to manage the grass in a way which allows the native wildflowers to flourish.