Nethergill Farm in Langstrothdale

A working farm in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is to become a nature reserve as part of a pioneering project.

The scheme is the result of a partnership between the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Nethergill Farm in Langstrothdale.

Farm owners Chris and Fiona Clark have a vision to create a unique working ‘farm reserve’ and their work with the wildlife trust could become a blueprint for similar partnerships across the UK.

The trust will be helping Chris and Fiona Clark of Nethergill Farm to enhance wildlife habitats throughout their 388 acres of hill farm and create viewing hides which are due to be up and running by spring 2013.

It is also helping the couple create an interactive Farmhouse Field Centre as part of a luxurious and panoramic barn conversion, designed to bring guests and educational groups closer to their natural surroundings, no matter how wild the Langstrothdale weather!

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust manages 95 nature reserves across Yorkshire but also works closely with farmers and landowners to make conservation integral to the way the countryside is managed to create thriving ‘living landscapes’ outside protected enclaves.

On one level, Nethergill is a working hill farm with Dalesbred ewes, rare breed white shorthorn cattle and free range chickens, all raised for quality meats and fresh eggs which are used in the award-winning home cooking for guests at the farm.

The farm is also about helping guests and educational groups connect with the surrounding environment in as many ways as possible, from guided farm walks with Chris and experiencing wildlife close up to observing, photographing and even painting the landscape from the comfort of an inspiring and high tech Farmhouse Field Centre. The common thread for their sustainable business model is the relationship between food, farming and the environment and this is central to guests’ unique Dales experience at Nethergill.

On behalf of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Jonathan Leadley, director of development comments, “Although we work with many farmers and landowners throughout Yorkshire, our partnership with Nethergill Farm provides an exciting new opportunity for tourism, farming and a sustainable business model to fall into place for the benefit of Yorkshire’s wildlife and the environment.”

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