North Pennine Dales focus area

The North Pennines is a special place for nature. The landscape has the highest density of breeding waders in mainland UK and more than 80 per cent of England’s black grouse.

Black grouse Tetrao tetrix, adult male on lek. Corrimony RSPB reserve. Scotland.


The area has huge potential to help populations of nationally declining upland birds including lapwings, curlews and black grouse. 
We want to work with farmers and land managers to enhance and protect farm wildlife within the North Pennines, concentrating on the Allen Valleys, Baldersdale, Lunedale and Upper Teesdale. 
We are keen to help farmers maximise the wildlife potential of their farms without compromising their livestock management or income.
By carrying out bird surveys on farms during the breeding season, we can analyse population trends in the area and ensure our advice is tailored to meet the needs of both wildlife and a farm business.


We can offer you free advice, support and guidance on how to benefit farmland wildlife on your land.

Our services include:
  • Arranging breeding bird surveys to establish which species are using the farm.
  • Help with understanding and managing agri-environment schemes.
  • Helping to secure amendments to agri-environment schemes.
  • Assisting with new applications for agri-environment schemes.
  • Advice on managing, restoring or creating woodland and other habitats for wildlife.
  • Advice on managing farmland habitats outside of schemes.
  • Production of a management calendar and map tailored to your farm.

Planned Work

We are working with farmers to help them manage their land sympathetically for breeding waders.
We are also helping farmers to restore soft rush-dominated pastures to benefit breeding waders and black grouse and improve grazing for sheep and cattle.
Publicity, education and awareness raising initiatives are ongoing and include attending agricultural events and shows, organising guided walks on farms and the production of an annual newsletter and press articles.
Annually, a team of volunteers assist with breeding wader monitoring surveys on farms, to monitor how these birds are responding to project-led habitat management work.


We have worked with 45 farms so far, covering almost 50 square kilometres of land. Breeding wader monitoring has been carried out on 30 survey sites.


  • North Pennines AONB Partnership
  • Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme
  • Natural England
  • Mid Teesdale Project Partnership


Our work in the Allen Valleys forms part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership Scheme
Working with the Mid-Teesdale Project Partnership, we have secured a small grant from Durham County Council's Teesdale Area Action Partnership fund, which will help us achieve our objectives in the area during 2015/16.


Coast on a stormy day

Janet Fairclough

Conservation Advisor, RSPB
Tagged with: Country: England Habitat: Farmland Habitat: Upland Habitat: Woodland Species: Black grouse Species: Curlew Species: Lapwing Species: Oystercatcher Species: Redshank Species: Snipe Species: Yellow wagtail Project status: Ongoing Project types: Advocacy