Friday, 3 June 2016

Visit to College Valley, Northumberland

Invading Sitka Spruce in the shadow of The Cheviot

I was delighted to visit College Valley again, yesterday.  It was one of a series of visits as part of our Monitor Moors project that seeks to monitor the progress of a range of different moors throughout the country.

College Valley is going through a period of change with the removal of some woodland and a reduction in the grazing levels and it is facing a challenge from invading Sitka Spruce, the result of reduced grazing levels, being in competition with heather management.

What sets this estate out from others is that it is in altruistic ownership.  It is managed by a Board of Directors whose duty is to manage it in a way that increases its value as an environmental, social and economic place of excellence.  Therefore, it is managed for the benefit of all moorland interests and the estate is prepared to introduce novel management practices that other estates may not have not been able to consider.

I will be providing a longer write up in the Trust's Annual Report, this year, and there is a good chance that we will be holding the Trust's AGM in College Valley, in October this year.

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