Local Nature Reserves

Brigsteer Bee Reserve

Brigsteer Bee Reserve is a private nature reserve. We were very fortunate to be able to buy the land and we want to be able to share it with other people. We think of ourselves as custodians of the fields and woods; it has to be thought of that way especially when we are planting trees, coppicing woodland and laying hedges to conserve habitat for current and future wildlife. People are very important in the life of the reserve; we have had enormous support from those who live in Brigsteer with work parties coming to help us, whatever the weather. Likewise our two sons and their friends have given a lot of their time to help us. We are very keen to share our land with others but we also feel strongly that our primary purpose is to provide a haven for all wildlife; by encouraging flower rich meadows and pastures we manage to attract large numbers of pollinating insects. This in turn provides a vital teaching resource to increase public awareness and knowledge; without pollinators the human race has no future.

There is a footpath through the reserve so anyone can walk through Plumtree Meadow and Clerks Paddock. Dogs are welcome but must be kept under strict control, running loose they can so easily undo all the good we have worked hard to achieve. We are very keen and happy to show anyone who is interested around the fields and woodland. In the right season and weather, we can show visitors how to identify bees or offer the chance to look inside a beehive, just contact us to arrange a visit.

We thought long and hard about putting the teaching apiary on the bee reserve because of concerns that honeybees might outcompete bumblebees and solitary bees, a lot of reading and research went into our decision to go ahead. We choose to restrict the number of hives in all our apiaries, keeping between 2 and 4 hives in any one place. The teaching apiary and courses we run, along with the talks Julia gives, provide a source of income to finance the hedging and fencing and maintenance. This year we shall learn to dry stone wall which will allow us to begin repairing the limestone walls that surround the reserve.

On our links page we have listed websites relating to some of the people who have helped us, been involved with the reserve and worked with us to restore the land. Importantly there are links to other organisations working to conserve pollinating insects.

We hope that you will support the reserve by coming on courses or to talks. We live in a beautiful place with special and interesting countryside, there are relevant websites below.


Limestone Pavements.
Habitats in South Cumbria.


Leighton Moss.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust was established in 1962 and has reserves throughout Cumbria. You can provide financial support by opening an affinity account with the Furness Building Society. While you receive interest on your savings, the building society will donate 1% of the balance in all the accounts to Cumbria Wildlife Trust. See details.

Nature Reserves.