Rachel Pickering – Conservation Officer
I wish that my favourite view in the National Park was tucked away somewhere that nobody else knew about – but it isn’t. Instead it’s one of our most photographed views – the Hole of Horcum within Levisham Estate. Not only is the view stunning but it has also proved to be a key location for landscape works towards the Slowing the Flow in Pickering project.
Work began on 8 January 2014 on the bund at Newbridge which will store flood waters upstream of Pickering. This work is a culmination of efforts by a number of partner organisations over the last few years to make changes to upstream land management to slow down the water running off the North York Moors and into Pickering Beck before it gets into Pickering town. For the last three years the National Park Authority has been busy carrying out the following work on its own land at Levisham Estate.
8,500 trees have been planted since March 2011, mainly locally grown oaks.
- Nearly half of these trees have been planted by the National Park’s Volunteers.
- Forestry Commission grant was received for the majority of the planting, via the England Woodland Grant Scheme.
Wooden dams created
- 18 timber dams were created by the National Park Authority’s Modern Apprentices.
Moorland gully blocking
- The National Park Authority has spent £7,000 on partially blocking natural occurring moorland gullies with heather bales on various parts of the Estate.
- Heather brash has been spread in the Hole of Horcum to aid re-vegetation after the previous years’ bracken control left areas of bare ground.
Footpath repair work
- An eroding footpath into the Hole of Horcum has recently been repaired with improved drainage that will slow down run off along the route.
Heather burning buffers
- A new Environmental Stewardship Scheme agreement on Levisham Moor includes 10m no-burn buffers alongside watercourses leaving the edges vegetated through out the year.
The hope is that with this type of beneficial land management established upstream of Pickering, along with the creation of the bund just to the north of the town, the chance of extreme flooding events will be lessened in the future.