Opening up views in Fishpool Valley

A key view looking down at the limekiln in Fishpool Valley at Croft Castle in Herefordshire

Our ranger team of staff and volunteers, together with contractors, have been gradually opening up lost key views throughout Fishpool Valley.

As part of our ambitious landscape restoration project, we're gradually reducing the secondary tree cover in Fishpool Valley over a five year period.

At present, the valley is choked by secondary growth where trees have prevented light reaching the valley floor. Early Ordnance Survey maps for the valley show considerably more sparse populations of trees and it is this level of cover which we are working towards over the next five years. As part of the project, we will be continuing our wildlife monitoring and updating conservation methods throughout the project's implementation.

The view towards the limekiln
The view towards the limekiln in Fishpool Valley at Croft Castle
The view towards the limekiln

Key views have been identified throughout the valley, based on historic maps of the landscape from hundreds of years ago. Carriage-rides would have wound their way through the valley, often boasting steep and rather dramatic views. Fishpool Valley was remodelled in the late eighteenth-century in the Picturesque style, with additions such as a rusticated grotto, from which you could admire the cascade and sweeping view. Sadly, these views have now been obscured, but over the next five years you will be able to see them gradually revealed as we sensitively thin the woodland.

The view towards the limekiln (above) was taken in summer 2017 and the same view (below) was captured just one year later; this is one of the key historic views which is gradually being opened up.

Just one year later and the view towards the limekiln is starting to open up
The view towards the limekiln in Fishpool Valley at Croft Castle
Just one year later and the view towards the limekiln is starting to open up

Our sensitive clearance work only takes place at particular times during the year, to avoid the bat and bird nesting seasons. If you return to Croft over the next five years, you will begin to see historic views gradually opened up and revealed, such as the one below.

You'll soon be able to see down into the valley from here, as views are gradually revealed
A key view in Fishpool Valley which is currently obscured by secondary tree cover
You'll soon be able to see down into the valley from here, as views are gradually revealed

Our ranger team have also been busy making these beautiful benches and installing them at the various view points. These are also being gradually installed, so you will see more of them as we open up more walks and views in 2019. See if you can find one of our new benches on your next visit.

The ranger team have been busy installing these new benches at key view points throughout the valley
One of the new benches in Fishpool Valley at Croft Castle
The ranger team have been busy installing these new benches at key view points throughout the valley