Alston | Cumbria
Priorsdale Moor sits high in the North Pennines in Cumbria on the Co. Durham border. It is surrounded by managed grouse moors and has established a reputation for providing some of the most challenging driven grouse in the UK.
- Spectacular Grouse moor and in hand upland farm with rich natural capital
- Seven grouse drives
- Low ground shoot
- Priorsdale lodge and two further dwellings
- 3,651 acres land
- 130 acres woodland
- 256 acres leased sporting rights
- Total 4,215 acres
- Option for additional 10 year sporting lease
Priorsdale Moor extends to approximately 4,215 acres and provides one day’s driven grouse shooting. There are five rows of butts, some of which are return drives. There are currently seven drives in total. The butts are a mixture of traditional stone butts (some sunken) and butts incorporated into stone walls. There is a well-maintained network of internal tracks providing excellent access for shoot days as well as for keepering/farming activities. There is also plastic matting laid to the Sourmilk grouse butts facilitating argocat access direct to the butts. Neighbouring Moors include Weardale Estate, Garrigill Estate and Burnhope. There is one beat keeper on the Moor who currently lives in Priorsdale Lodge.
There is approximately 130 acres of woodland much of which has been planted with native tree species in the past 10 to 15 years. There is some mature broadleaf woodland near Ashgill Farm which includes the impressive Ashgill waterfall. Some former commercial forestry ground has been successfully restored to heather moorland. It was the restoration of this heather moorland from commercial forestry that resulted in the owner of the Estate winning the coveted Purdey Award for Game and Conservation in 2012.
Low Ground Shoot
There is a sporting low ground shoot with considerable potential. An abundance of wild game provides the opportunity for ‘mixed species’ days; these are proving to be increasingly popular in recent years. There is a well-established black grouse lek near Priorsdale Lodge.
Priorsdale and Ashgill Farms are farmed in hand and extends to approximately 3,651 acres. This has enabled the Estate to manage the grazing and moorland habitat to compliment the sporting interests. There is no Common land or third-party grazing rights. The Farm is managed by a Farm Manager, who lives in Ashgill Farm Cottage. At present the farm supports a mainly Swaledale hill flock of approximately 1,400 ewes and 500 hoggs. Most of the stock are removed from the Moor over winter months and are either housed in livestock buildings on the farm, on in-bye ground or away wintered. There is a good range of well-maintained modern and traditional farm buildings at Ashgill Farm with water provided from a spring supply. The farm benefits considerably from farm agri-environmental grants and schemes.
Natural Capital is defined as the world’s stocks of natural assets which include geology, soil, air, water and all living things. Humans derive a wide range of services, often called ecosystems services from this Natural Capital, to make life possible. The most obvious ecosystem services include the food and water. Other less visible ecosystem services include carbon storage in peatlands, tree planting and flood mitigation. In light of the Government’s recently published 25 year Environment Plan, there are potential opportunities to further enhance the natural capital assets on the property.