There is a wealth of opportunity for enthusiasts in natural history at Ford & Etal. In its 16 500 acres a huge diversity of landscapes and habitats exist, and because of the award-winning conservation approaches taken by the Estates over many years the area is rich with wildlife, flora and fauna. Woodland management and management of the landscape in general has always been a mixture of commercial and environmental elements, none more so than with the wood reserves put aside for one of the last Red Squirrel populations in England.
The Estates have two specific Sites of Special Scientific Interest – on the River Till where conservation work on the banks and consequently as part of an otter conservation project has proven incredibly successful; and also at Ford Moss, a rare example of a peat bog containing several very rare species of plants and moss not to mention butterflies and other insects and birds.
Natural England and Northumberland Wildlife Trust
To help with expertise and management of these and other sites and themes around the Estates, partnerships and associations have been formed with both Natural England and the Northumberland Widlilfe Trust. Again this has proved to be very successful and opens up areas for conservation work by volunteers. It also gives the public insight through walks and talks across the calendar year. This is a particularly popular venue with school children as a consequence.