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The College Valley - about us

The Valley is owned by College Valley Estates. It was purchased in 1953 using money left by Sir James Knott.

 College Valley Estates is  a commercial company and has to finance itself from its own activities.  The present Directors  have chosen to manage the Valley in a way which they think would have been approved by The Good Sir James – for the benefit of the people of the North East and beyond.

Here are ten separate initiatives which illustrate some of the ways in which the Valley ahs been developed.

1. We arranged with our two excellent tenant farmers in the Valley that they should reduce their stock numbers to improve the plant life and bird life of the hills – they have done this.
2. We planted a 400 acre area of the hill with a mixture of oak and alder and birch and rowan and thorn – it is now 10 years old and is producing an amazing variety of plants and birds.  It produces no food for humans.
3. We have planted other areas to encourage the rare Black Grouse – nearly extinct in the Cheviots.  These birds are now returning.
4. We decided to fell a good proportion of our 1500 acres of Sitka Spruce and other soft woods, planted in the 1950s and 1960s.  Some of this cleared land is going back to heather moorland, and some has been planted with more hard woods.  This will produce a greater diversity of insect life, plant life, bird life and animal life – known as bio-diversity.
5. We renovated an abandoned shepherd’s house and turned it into a Bunkhouse which sleeps 20.  We are about to do more improvements to this facility which is becoming increasing popular.
6. We have encouraged pony groups to stay at the bunkhouse.
7. We have renovated 3 other houses so that they can sleep a total of 18 people in great comfort in self-catering accommodation.  These are letting very well.
8. We have renovated the Cuddystone Hall which makes a grand centre for entertaining and informing groups of up to 150 people as a meeting place.
9. We have made strong and useful contacts with the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham so that undergraduate and postgraduate students can work on project from archaeology to water purity – from botany to the study of lichens, birds and …
10. GOATS!  These have been the subject of a long and on-going survey carried out by the Department of Biology at Newcastle University.  Goat numbers have been up to 200.

Accommodation, History, Walks, Events, Wildlife, Lambden Valley