At a glance
Dumfries and Galloway
Farm area stocked
300 Blackface Sheep
Corehead is a 1,580 acre (640 hectare) hill farm in the Southern Uplands, Dumfries & Galloway. The iconic Devil’s Beef Tub, Hart Fell Shoulder and the source of the River Annan sit within its boundaries. The Devil’s Beef Tub, a cavernous hollow in the hills where the notorious Border Reivers once hid their stolen cattle, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the South of Scotland.
In 2009, with generous donations totalling £700,000 from over 750 individuals and 30 charities and trusts, Borders Forest Trust acquired Corehead Farm.
The vision for Corehead Farm is a community-engaged, sustainable project integrating the restoration of native woodlands, wetlands and heathlands with a farm operating on organic principles. It will become an important educational resource in the South of Scotland demonstrating how biodiversity, ecosystem services and farming can thrive together.
Restoring a forest fair
Corehead was once part of the Ettrick Forest, most of which has been lost. Borders Forest Trust are working to restore part of this forest and over three years, contractors and volunteers including local schoolchildren planted 195 hectares of new native woodland – more than 230,000 trees in all. In the future species such as oak, ash, aspen, juniper, rowan, alder, willow, birch and cherry will once again cloak this land.
New habitats take root
In addition to the native woodland restoration, BFT is working to restore a range of different habitats at Corehead, whilst maintaining a flock of hardy blackface sheep which graze the western part of the farm.
Our farmer, Jim Mitchell continues the important local tradition of hill farming. His family have been sheep farmers in the South of Scotland for over 200 years.
Each year a wild bird cover crop is sown to provide valuable winter cover and feed for birds
The low lying grassland is managed as a wild flower rich meadow and we are monitoring this to see which wildflowers return
In wetter areas several ponds and wildlife scrapes have been created to provide wetland habitat for insects, birds and amphibians.
High in the hills montane scrub, a nationally rare habitat is being restored by planting species such as downy willow, well adapted to life at higher altitudes.
16 varieties of apple, plum and crab apple have been planted at Corehead by members of the local community. Now 4 seasons in, the orchard is flourishing and we hope will soon be bearing fruit.
There are a number of waymarked routes at Corehead to enjoy including the Devil’s Beef Tub loop and the Annadale Way. (link to leaflet/map)
Community involvement is key to this project and there are many opportunities to get involved.
For information about volunteering click here.
For events click here.
We work with schools, universities and colleges delivering a range of field studies, outdoor learning activities and research projects. Please get in touch to find out more.
For more information on visiting Corehead, phone 01835 830 750 or email [email protected].
Visit our Donate page to help us continue our work at Corehead.