A little over seven years ago, Allendale estates made a fundamental shift in its land management policy, putting in place an all-encompassing plan that holds at its heart the well-being of every aspect of nature conservation and sporting excellence.
The moorland management of West Allenheads has led the way, with sustainable management that benefits a wide range of moorland breeding bird species. Grazing management is deliberately balanced to maintain viable invertebrate and small mammal life. Red Grouse are the main sporting interest and careful, detailed management of the heather moorland has encouraged a large and healthy stock of birds, working in conjunction with Natural England and many NGOs to deliver excellence and sustainability.
The Conservation project on the estate’s Lowland holdings started seven years ago. Endangered farmland bird species are at the core of this work and schemes to encourage Lapwings have been a great success: from a base of zero, there are now more than 100 pairs of regular breeders. Grey Partridge have flourished too, under the enhanced habitat placed throughout the arable landscape, with flower rich margins strategically placed to encourage a wide range of insects and pollinators.
Wild Pheasants have become the dominant game species. It is a joy to see broods of young pheasants foraging for insects on the edge of margins designed to benefit a range of species.
Hares and our native Roe deer have also benefited from measures to improve woodland and create scrub land: a rare and valuable habitat in lowland Britain.
The Estate has been encouraging tenant farmers to embrace the conservation scheme and all have adopted measures that will bring long term benefits for all wildlife. We have many plans to expand, develop and embrace new and forward thinking management of soil and water. Conservation never stops and is a key element of the success of the estate.
‘A country estate for the 21st century’