Enjoy visiting a wildlife garden that’s buzzing with life; walk though pasture, wetland, and woodlands to see farming and nature working in harmony, and bring the family to seek The Lost Words.
Know before you go
Entry feeAll donations are gratefully received.
Parking informationCar park at Gosling Sike, Houghton
Grazing animalsYes - Longhorn cattle
There are public and permissive footpaths running through some areas of Gosling Sike from Houghton and Tarraby. Please keep to paths and ensure dogs are on leads. It can be muddy in places so wellies are essential in wet periods.
There are public and permissive footpaths providing access to Gosling Sike from Houghton and Tarraby. Walkers should keep to paths and observe all signs. Dogs must be on a lead at all times.
When to visit
Opening timesGosling 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 our What's On events guide on our website.
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
What makes Gosling Sike so special?
Situated on the edge of Carlisle, Gosling Sike is ideally positioned for people to access this unique site, whether for education and training, to visit The Lost Words wildlife garden, or to enjoy a tranquil walk where organic farming integrates with wildlife to create a green oasis.
- Discover farmland birds including snipe and curlew
- Visit the scrapes and pools to see ducks and other waterbirds
- Dragonflies and damselflies can be seen in the wetland during the summer months
- A wildlife garden buzzing with life
Recreating wetland habitats
Comprising a wetland with several ponds, hay meadows and pasture, established hedges and areas of woodland, it's an ever-improving landscape for wildlife.
The Trust embarked on a programme of work to re-meander Gosling Sike and create temporary pools to help recreate wet meadows, which are brilliant for wildlife.
Work is also being undertaken to manage the hedgerows, the woodland and the ponds to improve the biodiversity of the farmland.
A working farm
The farm is managed organically and is registered with the soil association. Susan Aglionby, who gave the land to the Trust, tenants the farm. Susan Aglionby organises educational visits to the farm for local schools and a classroom has 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 01228 549628 to establish what is available and to arrange a collection time.
A local organic vegetable and fruit grower Eva Organics is developing fruit and vegetable areas on the farm for its local box scheme.
Gosling Sike Farm was given to Cumbria Wildlife Trust by Susan Aglionby. The transfer of the land was completed in 2012.
From M6 junction 44, take the A689 east. After 1km/0.5 miles, turn right onto Houghton Road. Drive through Houghton and Gosling Sike is approximately 200m/215yds further on the right, after The Croft farm house.
From Carlisle centre take the A7 north. Turn right on the B6264. Follow the road for just over 1km and turn left on to Houghton Road (by the pub), sign-posted to Houghton. Gosling Sike is on the left-hand side, just after the turn off for the housing estate on the right. Car parking is available at Gosling Sike.
Gosling Sike is 2km/1.25 miles from National Route 72 Hadrian's Cycleway.
By public transport:
A main line train service goes to Carlisle; buses regularly run from the centre of Carlisle to Houghton and stop near the entrance to Gosling Sike.
Upcoming events at Gosling Sike Nature Reserve
If there are any upcoming events at Gosling Sike Nature Reserve we'll show them to you below.
Further information about Gosling Sike Nature Reserve
Thanks to individuals and funders who made a donation to make this project possible.