Conservation on the Felbrigg Estate

Ranger Mary holding the rope that will shake the tree

Felbrigg has a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest across the estate, within the Great Wood and some of the parkland. There are ancient Beech which are reputedly the furthest north on acid soil, and also some rare fungi and lichens. Our ranger team work hard to conserve the estate to protect it for future generations.

Current Projects

A helping hand for nature

A large part of the estate is in High Level Stewardship (HLS) with currently 240 hectares in our direct management. As part of the HLS, tenant farmers agree to maintain seed and nectar strips and reduced stocking levels of grazing animals. We use no fertilizer, insecticide or pesticides although a minimal amount of herbicide is used to control thistle and ragwort. 

Previous Projects
Wavy hair grass on reconstituted heath

Reconstituting the heath

On the right as you drive into the main entrance of Felbrigg, about 25 acres has been returned to the heathland that it would have been in 1860. The Wavy Hairgrass has come up in the heathland restoration area, a typical heathland grass which hadn’t been recorded at Felbrigg for ten years. We have removed the non-native species such as conifers, digging up and grinding out the stumps. The nutrient rich soil/leaf mould is then stripped off to get back to the basic seed bed. It is hoped that this heathland will encourage Nightjar and Woodlark to nest there, and this environment will increase the biodiversity.

Felbrigg Lake

Scarrow Beck

The realigning of the beck was part of a Higher Level agricultural Scheme (HLS). The stream now no longer runs in a straight line but meanders, flowing into the small pond close to the footpath and then into the lake through the newly constructed weir which will allow the stream to behave in a much more natural manner mean that much less silt should reach the lake.

This work has encouraged wet loving species to spread, providing a greater diversity of plants and insects and we hope to see wading birds, such as Snipe and Lapwing, return to nest on the pasture. 

We have seen greater numbers of duck and geese using the water and a Bittern - normally coming for a quick look round - has stayed for several months. We have seen Oyster Catchers prospecting and our grass management should mean that they will stay with us in the coming years.

Ranger Richard with his catapult to collect seeds

Saving the nation's beech trees 

The team at Felbrigg have helped to ensure the survival of Norfolk’s rare beech trees, with rangers lassoing seeds that will be stored in the UK’s first national collection of tree seeds.

Thank you

We couldn't do it without you

Thanks to our supporters, we are able to continue the vital conservation work needed to protect Felbrigg for everyone, for ever.