Nature Recovery

Nature Recovery at Graythwaite

Passionate about sustainability, we protect nature and its habitat

In addition to preserving its heritage, Graythwaite estate is committed to safeguarding its local wildlife. As per tradition, the Sandys family will continue to inhabit the estate as long as the Jackdaw population thrives. And they are pioneering regenerative agriculture of the Estate to promote its longevity and natural beauty, not just for its immediate future but also, for many generations to come.

Our Duty and Heritage

Graythwaite is more than just an estate. It is the embodiment of history and tradition. For centuries the family has maintained and upheld the beauty of this 5,000-acre property. Our passion for conservation and sustainable land management has always been integral to our approach and it is why we believe the Lakes have preserved their reputation for remarkable natural beauty.

This sense of responsibility has led us to undertake a number of new initiatives in honour of this heritage.

More than just history, whether you live on or visit the Estate, you will always feel the connection to the land and nature that permeates throughout it.

The Goal

We centre our work around the goal of preserving and restoring the beauty and balance of nature.

Our Initiatives and Philosophy

In a landscape where Ospreys soar freely, due to a successful release program in the Lakes over decade ago, we are proud to have multiple nest sites on the estate. As well as Ospreys, we have also hosted a successful red kite introduction and are lucky to have a healthy red squirrel population.

Our current priorities include soil health improvement and water quality. We also strive to protect nature by creating a mosaic of habitats; the creation of wood pasture by planting 15,000 native trees, extensive cattle grazing and wetland creation.

The Graythwaite philosophy is rooted deeply in sustainability and respect for nature. We are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the natural beauty and wildlife that surrounds us.

Since World War II much has been demanded of the land to the detriment of the surrounding ecosystem and various habitats. Our key initiative is to repair the damage caused by intensive agriculture and move towards “an extensive,” nature friendly, farming style with native breed cattle.

We are actively working with organisations to promote social responsibility in order to create a better and long-lasting future for the estate, wildlife and the people that enjoy it.

People & the Land

We believe that the relationship between people and the land is key to long-term sustainability. To make this happen, we are developing a wide range of outdoor activities (not just through Graythwaite Adventure and our experience packages) in the hope of bringing people closer to nature.

Our intention is to welcome the public into the areas of interest on the estate to see what we have done and how it benefits biodiversity. We plan to offer “safari” style experiences and photographic tours.

We invite people to visit, to stay, to work the land and to purchase from local products, including our sustainable and certified sawmill products and firewood.  The Sandys family have already re-planted around 4,000 acres of woodland

Sustainable Land Management

The way we manage the land is twofold; to meet its immediate needs whilst also building towards a better future.

A shift towards “extensive grazing” will provide a variety of niches that can be exploited by a diverse range of plants, butterflies, bees and other insects. This will also provide valuable food for birds and important nesting habitats.

We aim to improve soil health by practising cattle and mob grazing. Grazing with cattle leads to greater diversity of habitats. By using “No fence” collars (electric collars to control the cows) we manage the grazing depending on the habitat type. This means we can control where they go and for how long.

By driving this change of management from intensive sheep farming to extensive cattle grazing, we will create an environment that will encourage natural regeneration of the trees and scrub.

Working with Natural England

We work with Natural England and Butterfly Conservation to amplify the natural habitats under our care. With our goal to restore wetland habitats, we also strive to develop solutions for flood management around the estate.

To mimic a natural grazing pattern by large mega fauna, we aim to introduce White Park cattle and Tamworth pigs, which disrupt the ground allowing seeds to germinate and new habitats to form. We are lucky in that already we support a variety of species, including section 41 invertebrates.  As well as the species we already have, we have plans to re-introduce species lost from our landscape that once thrived here. These include Eurasian beaver, Pine marten, Water vole, White stork, Red kite, and Northern pool frogs.

Even now, our visitors can count on spotting some breathtaking bird species at the Graythwaite estate

Sustainable Events and Activities

If you are interested in making your visit to the Lakes more sustainable, please enquire below.

While we are still building out a permanent programme to complement the adventures we already offer, but there are already things to do for our more sustainably-minded visitors.

In the near future we will be welcoming the public onto the areas of interest on the estate to see what we have done and how it benefits the local biodiversity. We plan to offer “safari” style experiences and photographic tours.