Conservation grazing in Fishpool Valley

An artist's impression of a carriage-way in Fishpool Valley, but with a dramatically enhanced view across the valley.

We're reintroducing historic grazing into parts of the valley in order to manage re-growth and prevent the flora and fauna from being overshadowed. It will also maintain the historic views which are now gradually being revealed.

In early summer, we're introducing conservation grazing into parts of the valley to manage re-growth now that more light is coming in and we have cleared some of the vegetation and thinned the trees. It's vital that we maintain historic views and character areas, preventing the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) flora from being over-shaded by secondary tree growth. 

The sheep are hebrideans and are being sourced from a local farmer. The areas that are being grazed are based on a landscape architect’s conservation plan for the site, which is based on historic grazing of the valley (old fence posts and wire can still be found in some parts of the line we are re-instating). 

You will notice some changes as you walk through the valley; we will need to put in several gates across footpaths and dogs will need to be kept on leads in these locations.

One of the hand-crafted chestnut gates which will soon become part of the valley
One of the hand-crafted chestnut gates made by the ranger team at Croft Castle
One of the hand-crafted chestnut gates which will soon become part of the valley

Towards the end of May, chestnut fencing and gates are being installed in parts of the valley in order to manage the livestock. 

The fencing is largely standard agricultural fencing, but also includes posts and gates cleft from sweet chestnut felled and cleaved in the valley by our volunteers and ranger team. The fencing is part of a Natural England stewardship scheme to conserve and manage the historic Fishpool Valley.

Cleft chestnut work in Fishpool Valley
Volunteer rangers cleft chestnut in Fishpool Valley
Cleft chestnut work in Fishpool Valley