Lintzgarth Fell

Lintzgarth Fell was purchased by Philip Wayre in October 2000 and presented by him to the Trust in 2006.


Covering 482 acres the land is largely moorland with in bye land, hay meadows and a small ‘cleugh’ at the lower end of the reserve.

The vegetation of the fell itself is typical of the area with species such as cotton-grass (Eriophorum augustifolium), red fescue (Festuca rubra), common bent (Agrostis capillaris), mat grass (Nardus stricta) and wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa). The Trust aims to regenerate the dwarf shrub species which have suffered due to overgrazing in the past. Encouraging ling (Calluna vulgaris), cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) bell heather (Erica cinerea) and bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) will add to the diversity of vegetation on the reserve. Parcels of woodland planting are planned to provide additional cover for the increasing numbers of black grouse and other species.

A hide has been built on one of the higher points of the reserve which rises to 554 metres above sea level. From this one can see virtually the whole of the reserve sloping down to the north. A public footpath passes through the northern end of the fell following an old lead-mining trail. Lower down the fell an old mining settlement pit has been flooded and attracts mallard and other wildfowl throughout the year. Over 40 scrapes have been excavated to attract nesting waders as they provide an abundance of insect life upon which the young birds feed.

Wild flowers and grasses flourish on the hay meadows which are carefully managed to conserve the floral diversity of the area. The wide variety of species encourages bees, butterflies and moths and provides a rich wildlife habitat. An increasing number of lapwing are to be found on the in bye land at the northern end of the reserve, the open aspect of the fell and the abundance of insect life providing ideal habitat for these distinctive-looking sociable birds.

This reserve is in one of the most important areas for waders which return to the high moors for breeding from the coastal and mudflat areas, several species of which are in serious decline. In spring the reserve is home to curlew, golden plover, redshank and snipe. The grazing at Lintzgarth Fell is managed by the Trust to benefit the specialised wildlife in particular the waders and the black grouse. The number of male black grouse displaying each spring on a well-established lek at Lintzgarth continues to increase. Skylarks are abundant and in the spring the air is full of their song. This coupled with the bubbling calls of curlew and the high pitched whistling of golden plover makes the fell a truly enchanting place.

Latest From The Warden...

  • Lintzgarth is higher than Thornhope, 554 metres at its highest point. It therefore usually gets more snow making site visits difficult which has happened this year. It’s very easy to get stuck!

    Galloways are still on the site, hardy enough to survive and they can be moved down if necessary. The grey partridge are eating their way through the grain, ably assisted by the odd pheasant. We fill the feeders regularly as part of our project with the GWCT.

    Rushes cut first week of March, same parcels as previous year, as part of the GWCT rush maintenance project. We’ve had a fair amount of weather damage so repairs will be needed when weather improves and before nesting season. Good numbers of black grouse and a pair of grey partridge by the hut. Three voles and lots of vole holes seen in the cleugh which will be good for the owls.

    The wind has blown a lot of our young trees over which will need staking. Have seen the first lapwing and heard the first curlew.

    January - March 2021
  • We’ve had all sorts of weather, a lot of wind resulting in young trees needing staking. Also completed several fence replacements and repairs. The bothy has been having some work carried out which is now completed.

    Wall repairs in boundary wall by the plantation and on south boundary competed. GWCT have been on site monitoring rushes for the joint project. We were pleased to find heather shoots in flower growing from the heather plugs we planted as part of the regeneration project. This is in addition to the shoots growing from seed. Very encouraging.

    We watched a barn owl sitting outside the owl box in the cleugh and here is still a barn owl in the sheep shed. This autumn we put an owl box in the tree in the lower plantation as we have seen a barn owl working that area. There is a good number of black and red grouse and several grey partridge in the bothy field which is encouraging. Can see and hear the snipe drumming.

    September - December 2020
  • Beautiful display of cotton grass this year. After nesting season we completed several fence repairs and put markers on the new fencing to stop birds flying into top wire. The volunteer bird ringer from the BTO came over to ring the five young barn owls. All five had nearly adult faces and were in good health.

    Maintenance work started on the bothy which hopefully will be finished in the autumn. Several new scrapes were dug to provide birds with water when the ground dries out. We monitored the reseeding site and found a good spread of reseeded heather growing, plenty with buds, together with bent grass, sphagnum moss and cotton grass, both narrow and broad leaved.

    We found evidence of heather being eaten by either black or red grouse which is very encouraging. Lovely to hear and see curlew and lapwing with young, snipe, black grouse and grey partridge with young and plenty of oyster catcher. The skylark at Lintzgarth are very special.

    June - August 2020