United Kingdom: Geltsdale RSPB Nature Reserve

Site fact file
Natura 2000 Ambassador for the Natura Network Initiative... A representative of RSPB
Dave O'Hara
Country United Kingdom
Natura 2000 site location Cumbria
Nearest urban settlements Carlisle
Natura 2000 site name Geltsdale RSPB Nature Reserve
Natura 2000 site number UK9006272 (cSAC code 0030033)
Size of site (hectares) 5000
Site description The Geltsdale reserve is within the North Pennines SPA and the candidate SAC, and the Geltsdale and Glendue Fells SSSI and forms part of the North Pennines AONB. Blanket bog vegetation communities (NVC communities MG17/MG19) dominate the high moorland grading into dry heather, grassland communities and agricultural pastures on the lower slopes. Relict deciduous woodland pasture exists on the reserve with its own characteristic bird assemblage and wildlife interest.
Key Species types Hen harrier
Golden plover
Black grouse
Ring ouzel
Key Habitat types Blanket bog
Dry and wet heath
Ancient woodland
Upland farmland
Key management issues Moorland management including drain blocking to restore active blanket bog, reduced grazing by sheep, and heather cutting and burning, particularly to benefit golden plover and to provide bird-rich habitats for breeding birds of prey - woodland planting and farmland management for breeding waders.
Developing a sustainable farming system that delivers wildlife benefits is integral to our work at Geltsdale. Grazing sheep numbers have been reduced on the blanket bog dominated moorland - combined with reduced burning and drain blocking we are already seeing increased species diversity and restoration of Sphagnum moss, and on the rough pasture around the moorland edge we have increased cattle grazing. Appropriate grazing and moorland management is important for breeding waders such as lapwing and golden plover.
We are part way through a large-scale native woodland project on the northern slopes of the reserve - over 100,000 trees are being planted in a 200 ha exclosure, incorporating large areas of open space, and varied planting densities; we plan to reintroduce cattle grazing when trees are safely established after about 10 years.


Natura Network Agreements
Organising at least one Green Days event per year We have a programme of demonstration events for upland farming for wildlife and moorland management.
Promoting Natura 2000 at the local level We will be developing interpretation for the reserve in 2006, with a small visitor centre and way marked trails and can include broader n pennines SPA and SAC information.
Involving local stakeholders in the management planning process - creating a local area partnership We are currently producing a Community Newsletter to begin a process of improved community involvement at geltsdale reserve, and develop improved links with schools and community groups, as part of imporved facilities at the reserve. We involve a range of local organisations in management projects.
Branding Natura 2000 As above - opportunities in production of interpetive materials in 2006 as part of proposed new visitor centre.
Agreeing to become an NNi ambassador Dave O'Hara (RSPB) dave.ohara(a)rspb.org.uk is an NNi Ambassador.


Site presentation
Geltsdale site presentation for the NNi (PowerPoint, 1.6 Mb)    


For further info
Website www.rspb.org.uk
Site contact Dave O'Hara (RSPB) dave.ohara(a)rspb.org.uk