Working together to increase nature-rich habitats
The area surrounding The Old Vicarage is particularly rich in wildlife and we are always striving to enhance the natural habitats of many species of birds, mammals and insects, as well as improving biodiversity.
Over the recent months, we have been working with several organisations and initiatives so that we can do much more, especially to join up existing habitats.
The first initiative is the Tees-Swale - Naturally Connected programme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is coordinated by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the North Pennines AONB Partnership, who have helped us with funding and the organisation of volunteer labour. This has allowed us to really step up our activities and achieve more of our personal ambitions faster.
Trees and hedges: As a result of our involvement with Tees-Swale, around 5,000 hedging plants and more than 1,000 trees have already been planted on site to provide rich wildlife corridors running from the bottom of the land by the River Swale up the hillside.
Hay meadows: Last summer, also with Tees-Swale, we sowed two hay meadows with seeds from other well-known local species-rich wildflower meadows to increase their biodiversity. We will be doing more of this later when three further meadows are cut for hay.
Woodland: With much help from the Woodland Trust Grow Back Greener initiative, a new 12-acre woodland has been planted this spring, between The Old Vicarage and Marrick village. It is called Upper Lynchets and will be an ever-changing feature to the side of the track leading to and from The Old Vicarage. It contains more than 5,600 new trees and shrubs, and thanks to help from FiPL (Farming in Protective Landscapes initiative), it features a new, permissive footpath. Our guests, as well as many walkers who come up and down the track, will now benefit from this lovely diversion off the stone track. It’s a great place for picnics too!
Coming soon - news about our efforts to reinstate the beautiful English Elm trees.
PHOTO CAPTION: The newly planted Upper Lynchets woodland with its permissive footpath for all to enjoy.