How our rangers are helping nature this winter

A Ranger at Penrose working in the woodlands

Winter is a busy time for our rangers, with the weeks spent cutting scrub, planting trees and preparing for the year ahead.

Grey seal pup at Blakeney, Norfolk

Counting seals on Blakeney Point, Norfolk 

Rangers and volunteers have counted 2,366 grey pups born on Blakeney Point since November 2016. The nature reserve on the north Norfolk coast is home to England's largest grey seal colony. Rangers say that the undisturbed sandy beach and lack of predators provides the perfect habitat for the seals. Volunteers and rangers go out several times a week during the winter to check on the newly-born seal pups.

The longhorn cattle on Kinver Edge

Conservation grazing at Kinver, Staffordshire 

We’ve cared for Kinver, a large heathland near Birmingham, for a hundred years. Rangers have embarked on an ambitious heathland restoration project – helped by a herd of piebald England longhorn cattle. By grazing the site and moving through the heather, they help create a mosaic of habitats, which is ideal for the insects that call Kinver home.

A family helps to plant a tree in an open field, lit from behind by bright autumn sunlight.

Restoring lost woodland at Slindon in the South Downs 

In one of the biggest tree planting projects in the National Trust, rangers on the Slindon Estate are planting 13,000 trees - restoring an ancient woodland that was cut down to provide timber during the First World War.

Flock of birds on Strangford Lough

Scrub-cutting to help wildflowers at Strangford Lough, Co. Down 

Ranger Will Hawkins talks us through a day in his life. Will and his colleagues are working to cut back scrub around Strangford Lough and grazing the fields with cattle. It is hoped that this will help wildflowers like dog violet.

Conservation grazing ponies on the Lizard

Conservation grazing on the Lizard, Cornwall 

Around four fifths of the Lizard National Nature Reserve - one of the largest in the south west - is managed by conservation grazing. Our rangers work with tenant farmers and partners Natural England and the Wildlife Trust to get cattle and pony grazing to the right levels to help struggling wildlife - like the Cornish chough, a crow-like bird with a red beak.

Wardens working on the drainage of the blanket peat on the High Peak Estate, in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire

Restoring habitats across the High Peaks, Derbyshire 

We’re working with our tenant farmers and local partners to restore wildlife and natural habitats across the High Peak Moors in the Peak District, planting thousands of native trees and blocking gullies and ditches on the Dark Peak.

Sheep on the Great Orme

How sheep are helping rare plants on the Great Orme, North Wales 

We're working with farmer Dan Jones and charity Plantlife to restore rare wildlife habitats on the Great Orme. The headland, which overlooks Llandudno, North Wales, is home to plants like the Orme berry which are found nowhere else on earth. By moving his flock of 350 sheep around the headland, tenant farmer Dan Jones will help to create the right conditions for these rare plants.