The History of the Fylingdales Reserve
Fylingdales Moor is bordered in the south and west by RAF Fylingdales, forestry, moorland and farmland, and extends north and eastwards towards the North Sea coast, Whitby, Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay.
Originally managed as a grouse moor, it has received much less intensive management during the last 20 years. In 2004 the landowner, Sir Fred Strickland-Constable, began to discuss a plan with Natural England and the North York Moors National Park Authority to develop and regenerate the Moor for the benefit of all wildlife. Natural England agreed to support a Wildlife Enhancement Scheme (WES) on Fylingdales Moor. Shortly afterwards, the Hawk and Owl Trust became involved in the studying and protection the wildlife living on the Moor.
In 2005 the Hawk and Owl Trust began to co-ordinate wildlife surveys with a dedicated group of volunteers to quantify the fauna and flora to be found there. This provided a solid baseline against which to assess the effect of any future conservation management on the Moor.
In 2006 the Hawk and Owl Trust was handed full responsibility for the implementation of the WES, and to take the lead role for wildlife conservation at Fylingdales.
Fylingdales Moor benefits from a Higher Level Stewardship grant (2009-2019) coordinated by Fylingdales Moor ESS Ltd. The management is aimed at maintaining and restoring moorland habitats to benefit upland wildlife. This has allowed FESSco to contract the services of both The Hawk and Owl Trust and a shepherd. Four common rights owners also exercise their rights to graze sheep (Swaledales and Cheviots) under the scheme. The Trust also consults with the traditional guardians of Fylingdales Moor, the Court Leet, established before the 15th century and involving men from the local area (www.fylingcourtleet.org).