Our work on the Felbrigg Estate
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. Discover the work of our ranger team to conserve the estate to protect it for future generations.
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 reduce stocking levels of grazing animals. We use no fertiliser, insecticide or pesticides although a minimal amount of herbicide is used to control thistle and ragwort.
Restoring the River Bure in Norfolk
We're working on our biggest river restoration project to date, to revive five of the UK's most precious rivers, including the River Bure in Norfolk, which runs through the Blickling and Felbrigg estates.
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 oystercatchers prospecting and our grass management should mean that they will stay with us in the coming years.
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 10 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.
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 are now stored in the UK’s first national collection of tree seeds, at Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank at their Wakehurst estate in West Sussex.
With your ongoing support, we're able to continue our vital conservation work. Thank you for helping to protect these special places.
Discover the important conservation work that takes place daily within the hall at Felbrigg, and look back at some of the important projects that have taken place in recent years.
Working with the Environment Agency we’re working to improve the health of the River Bure. Find out more about a special project to keep this river and tributaries healthy to provide diverse habitats to let nature thrive.
The estate at Felbrigg includes 520 acres of woods, with rolling parkland, a lake and buggy-friendly paths. There's plenty of space to let off steam or follow a trail to discover the delights of the grounds.
We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.
Read about our strategy 'For everyone, for ever' here at the National Trust, which will take the organisation through to 2025.