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Gosling Sike Farm

Gosling Sike is the Trust's organic farm on the edge of Carlisle in the village of Houghton, and the location of the Trust's northern office. Longhorn cattle graze in the water meadows.

Highlights

  • Longhorn cattle grazing
  • Farmland birds including lapwing and curlew
  • Ducks and other waterbirds visiting the newly created scapes and pools

Recreating wetland habitats

A small tributary of the River Eden, Gosling Sike, runs through the land and it is from this that the farm takes its name. The Trust has embarked on a programme of work to re-meander Gosling Sike and create temporary pools to help recreate wet meadows. Work is also being undertaken to manage the hedgerows, the woodland and the pond to improve the biodiversity of the farmland.

Farming organically

The farm is managed organically and is registered with the soil association. A local organic vegetable and fruit grower Eva Organics is developing fruit and vegetable areas on the farm for its local box scheme. Susan Aglionby, who has given the land to the Trust, tenents the farm. Susan Aglionby organises educational visits to the farm for local schools and a temporary classroom and office have been put in place for this purpose.

Organic beef and lamb, from animals that have grazed on the Trust's farmland, is often for sale at the Croft farmhouse, which adjoins the farmland and the Trust's office. Please ring to establish what is available (Tel 01228 549628) and to arrange a collection time.

Recent History

Gosling Sike Farm was given to Cumbria Wildlife Trust by Susan Aglionby. The transfer of the land was completed in 2012

Getting here

The footpath that takes visitors through the farm is a combination of a Public Right of Way and permissive paths. Visitors can walk from Tarraby to Houghton, through fields, woodland and wetland. At times the path can be wet and muddy so wellies may be necessary. We ask visitors with dogs to keep their pets on a lead and to clean up and take away any dog mess.

By car: From Carlisle: 

Take the A7 north. Turn right on to the B6264, Brampton Road. Follow the road for just over 1km/0.5 miles and turn left on to Houghton Road (by a pub), sign-posted to Houghton. Gosling Sike is the first entrance on the left-hand side, just under1km/0.5 miles from the turn off, before you enter the village.

By car: From the the M6:

From J44 take the A689 to Houghton, after 1km/0.5 miles turn right on to Houghton Road. Drive through the village, past the post office on your left-hand side, past the Croft Farm on your right; Gosling Sike is the next entrance on the right, just a little past Tribune Drive on the left.  
By bicycle: The farm is 2km (1.25miles) from National Route 7 and 72, Regional Route 10 and local routes.
By public transport: Main line train service to Carlisle; there is a regular bus service from the centre of Carlisle to Houghton which stops near the farm.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Farmland, Orchard, Ponds, Woodland
Species
Curlew, Lapwing

Nearby nature reserves

Quarry Banks
5 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Orton Moss
5 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Wreay Woods
6 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Houghton
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA3 0LD
Map reference
NY 409 591
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Gosling Sike is a working farm and schools and groups are welcome to visit the farm by arrangement with Susan Aglionby. Contact Susan on 01228 549628 to arrange your visit. Open days will be advertised in What's On and on the Trust's web site.
Facilities
Toilets
Disabled toilet
Size
14.60 hectares
Walking information
The footpath that takes visitors through the farm is a combination of a Public Right of Way and permissive paths. Visitors can walk from Tarraby to Houghton, through fields, woodland and wetland. At times the path can be wet and muddy so wellies may be necessary. We ask visitors with dogs to keep their pets on a lead and to clean up and take away any dog mess.
Parking
Parking at the Trust's office is for open days and office only.
Dogs
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Yes
Reserve manager
Kevin Scott
Tel: 01228 829570
mail@cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk