Our project

The project started with 3 neighbouring landowners grouping together in 2019 to form the Heggs-Castle ‘cluster’ — a collaborative approach to nature restoration across a combined 200-acre site.

Our aim is to increase natural biodiversity by restoring natural processes; thereby building more resilient ecosystems.

Our cluster is located approximately 1 mile north west of the village of Reeth as you head up Arkengarthdale. Both bridleways and footpaths run through the cluster but there is only private vehicular access. The central grid reference of the cluster is roughly NZ0301.

Over the coming years and decades, we hope to:

– Diversify existing tree species composition through a mix of planting and natural regeneration.

– Repurpose unproductive farmland into effective Natural Flood Management areas that reduce peak flow.

– Create dynamic habitats that naturally fluctuate through open space, scrub and woodland.

– Kick-start natural processes using domestic species as surrogates for locally extinct species, as well as human intervention where needed.

Fancy getting involved? A range of events and volunteering opportunities are available throughout the year. Or please email us directly at heggs.castle.cluster@gmail.com with any comments or questions.

We are grateful for the ongoing support of the following organisations: Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, Tees-Swale Project: Naturally Connected, Woodland Trust, Millennium Trust: Together for Trees, Yorkshire Rewilding Network, Heggs Farm, Dr Andrew Stringer and The Swaledale Estate.

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