New life at Park End Moss

Sizergh ranger team at Park End Moss

The creation of a new wetland area in the Lyth Valley has breathed new wildlife into Park End Moss. The site is now open to visitors with the installation of a brand new bird hide built with timber from the estate by the local National Trust Ranger team.

“We’re already seeing a wide range of wildlife moving in and we hope that the project will benefit a variety of species including otters, dragonflies and eels, as well as many migrant birds.” said bird expert Rob Pocklington, one of the Sizergh rangers involved in the project.

“We are really excited as more than 100 species of bird, including Water Rail, Marsh Harrier, Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting, have already been recorded and the place is really starting to come into its own. The site in close proximity to Leighton Moss RSPB reserve, so we hope to eventually attract breeding bitterns to the site.”

The new wetland at Park End was created by digging a series of channels and pools in the low lying land with the higher land being left for grazing. Alongside the wetland creation, the National Trust Rangers at Sizergh worked to improve the whole area for wildlife and grazing.

Lying on the western edge of the Sizergh Estate, within the Lyth Valley, Park End Moss is a site of around 30ha. During 2014, with the help of funding from Natural England as part of an agricultural stewardship scheme, the National Trust transformed the site from an area of degraded farmland into a haven for wildlife.

“The project involved creating some fen areas, planting and seeding wildflowers on the limestone grassland, and bringing a dilapidated orchard back into management” says National Trust Countryside Manager Gemma Wren. 

“With the help of the Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area we brought in experts from the RSPB and Cumbria Wildlife Trust to help us design the site and implement the works.”

Park End Moss is just a short 30 minutes’ walk from Sizergh Castle. Leaflets with directions on how to reach the site are available in the Reception area at Sizergh. Access is through the woods and across wet, muddy paths, so appropriate clothing is recommended.