Farmer helps restore Stingamires Gill

Stephen Sanderson, a farmer in Bilsdale, has been working with our Ryevitalise team to look at ways to improve water quality on his land - this includes targeting sources of sediment that enter a nearby watercourse, as well as improving habitat connectivity.

Portrait photo of Stephen Sanderson stood in front of a woodland. Credit Charlie Fox.

To address sediment entering Stingamires Gill, a range of initiatives were undertaken to stabilise the bank and slow the flow of water. This included:

  • fencing off a steep slope to prevent bank erosion from livestock.
  • trees were planted within the riparian corridor to increase rooting within banks and help stabilise them.
  • steps were taken to slow water upstream as the gill is prone to flash flooding.

Portrait photo of Stephen Sanderson kneeling next to a newly constructed metal fence. Credit Charlie Fox.

Stephen constructed the fencing himself, using Clipex Triple X metal fencing, which is highly suitable for wet areas as there are no issues with rotting reducing the lifespan of the posts. The planting of around 300 trees was carried out in the winter of 2021/22, using native species such as oak, field maple, rowan, hawthorn, hazel, bird cherry and goat willow, to increase local diversity, age structure and foraging opportunities for wildlife within the woodland adjacent to the gill.

Newly installed metal fencing in a field. Credit Charlie Fox.Portrait photo of Stephen Sanderson standing among an autumnal scene. Credit Charlie Fox.

Newly planted trees on a slope. Credit Charlie Fox.

"It is a pleasure to work with the National Park, I have done a number of conservation schemes over the years with them. This fencing scheme helps me manage the sheep whilst also protecting water and woodland habits."

- Stephen Sanderson

The work done at Stephen’s farm is a great example of collaboration to put measures in place that will make the farm more resilient to the effects of climate change in years to come.

It also helps achieve many of the Ryevitalise project's objectives, from improving water quality, to enhancing riparian habitats with benefits for a wide range of species in the water and on land.

Management Plan

This projects supports the following management plan objectives:

Icon showing a hand holding a seedling in soil

Outcome 1: A resilient landscape at the forefront of addressing climate change and nature recovery.

Objective 5: Achieve good ecological status for all water bodies by 2027 and support the improvement of the marine and coastal habitat.

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Outcome 2: A nature rich, more biodiverse landscape

Objective 6: Create bigger, better and more joined-up habitats, with nature-rich wildlife corridors extending beyond the National Park boundaries.

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