We began to develop Lamesley Pastures in 2002 as a series of seasonal wetlands or 'Silver Meadows'. This was to conserve and improve the area for its wildlife, landscape, archaeological and historical interest and to enable people to explore this unique place. It is now managed by Durham Wildlife Trust. For more information visit the Lamesley Pastures page on the Durham Wildlife Trust website (opens new window) .
Lamesley Pastures is one of the few undeveloped river floodplain in the area and contains two Sites of Nature Conservation Importance.
Our aim is to make this a better place for nature by creating many different types of homes, or habitats, for wildlife. Rare winter water meadows have been restored and new ponds and ditches allow water levels to be controlled. A similar system of intentionally flooding fields in winter was used by our medieval ancestors to increase soil fertility. Reedbed habitats are also being introduced to improve the water quality of water entering the site.
To further encourage wildlife, the land is being managed using traditional farming methods. This will involve keeping animals in low numbers and not adding chemical fertilisers and pesticides. During your visit you may spy some shy Exmoon Ponies. These are a hardy 'nature' breed of pony which help the wildflowers to thrive through their conservation grazing, we are providing a temporary foster home for these unwanted ponies on behalf of the Moorland Mouise Trust.
Access to the bird hide is on the opposite side of the road to the Ravensworth Arms. Keys are available for sale from Thornley Woodlands Centre and the Civic Centre (at the Development and Enterprise Reception) and from Thornley Woodlands Centre. The same key can be used in all our bird hides. When using the bird hide please park in the car park of the Ravensworth Arms and not on the road verges. Please take care when crossing the road!
Access from the rear of the car park at the Ravensworth Arms, Lamesley.
Lamesley Pastures is managed by Durham Wildlife Trust.
Durham Wildlife Trust
0191 584 3112
Across the road from the Ravensworth Arms