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Sapling growing at Skelwith FoldHere at Skelwith Fold, we take a huge amount of pride in the work we do to protect our environment. As a family-run business, we take a particular interest in how our actions affect the next generation. As a result, we often try out new ideas and techniques to protect the ancient woodland that we at Skelwith call home. The latest method is one that you may well have seen if you have had the chance to wander down one of our recently relaid woodland paths (and if you haven’t, you should – you get beautiful views, and they’re suitable for the less mobile too thanks to the way we relaid them!). They are wildlife enclosures.

These simple enclosures are built as unobtrusively as possible – we know some people who have walked past without even realising! But they provide an important service to the woodland. For a long time, the deer and rabbits which we love have been grazing the woodland floor. This is great for them and it keeps these wonderful creatures here with us at Skelwith. However, it is not such good news for the trees!

Every time the trees drop their seeds, the little saplings barely make it a few inches above the ground before they end up getting eaten for lunch! This means that the woodland is not growing new trees, and as old trees eventually get old or get blown over, there are no younger trees to replace them. Our enclosures are a great and simple solution! We simply keep the rabbits and deer and other animals away from small areas of woodland to allow some new trees to take root and grow enough that they will be safe from hungry herbivores.

This means we can keep renewing our ancient woodland for our children to enjoy as we do – and eventually their children too!

Woodland enclosure sign

Skelwith Fold

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