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View over Wet Shaw Dike at Ughill Farm -Photo by Dave Hall

Ughill Farm up and running

A lot has happened in the six months since Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust took full ownership of Ughill Farm, an important Peak District location for many nationally threatened wading bird species.

We are using the farm as a platform to test and learn nature-friendly farming practices, with the aim of demonstrating that commercially sound, sustainable farming can also enhance our wildlife and natural resources.  

The work so far

Wall repair at Ughill Farm - Photo by Dave Hall
Dave Hall

Since taking over the site we have been working hard to secure our field boundaries so we can get livestock grazing the fields again. We have had sheep grazing the site over winter and now have a small group of cattle grazing on site. The careful rotation of cattle between fields helps to manage the pasture, keeping the grass at the right height for the nesting and feeding birds. A contractor has been engaged to work on some of the fields and help us get them into a manageable condition.

Cattle in field at Ughill Farm - photo by Martin Reed
Martin Reed

The South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership team have been helping us with the process of getting a tree planting project underway. By next season we hope to have some fresh tree planting across some of the farm. We have also been working closely with Sheffield Hallam University, supporting the field work of some of their MSc students. This includes a preliminary geology survey of the site.

Impact

Recording so far indicates that nesting bird numbers appear to have increased from this time last year. Hopefully this is a sign the work we have started is already improving the farm and its potential to support key species in the area! 

Key birds species seen on site this season:

  • Lapwing (nesting)
  • Snipe (nesting)
  • Golden Plover (feeding)
  • Curlew (everything but nesting)
  • Skylark + Meadow Pipit (courtship and possible nesting)