top of page

Torrisholme Barrow

Around 1990 when we looked after Low Lane Wood (now renamed Sanatorium Wood), involving tree and hedge planting and path maintenance, we also made steps and stiles to improve access for people walking through the wood up to Torrisholme Barrow.  After a number of elm trees, which had been beautiful features of the landscape overlooking Morecambe, died of Dutch Elm Disease on the Barrow, to replace them we planted four oak and ash trees and constructed tree guards to protect them from damage and trampling by cattle.  In 2017 one of these trees was struck by lightning.  Following discussions with local farmer, Mark Birkett, we replaced it and added three more trees and protective cages.

What's going on__edited.jpg

We had an audience to watch us weeding the young trees!  Afterwards the young females followed us all the way down to the stile, followed by the bull who was fortunately more interested in them than us!  

We chose an afternoon in December that was just dry enough for sponsored tree planting on Torrisholme Barrow. An oak tree from Rogers Nursery in Pickering was planted in the protective cage built in advance. That completes the Barrow planting programme for the moment, but all the recently planted trees now need to be managed to ensure that they get a good start and begin to develop. If you look directly through the cage you will see an oak tree that we planted some 35 years ago – quite a contrast!

Here is the oak tree we planted on Torrisholme Barrow with the Bajgar family on 2nd January 2023.  They were great and helped finish off the wiring.


Here is a picture of our ‘beautiful oak’ without its cage!  We thought people might like to see a tree planted by us in the 1980s and now looking splendid some 30+ years on!!  A useful legacy for us all!!

Trig. Pillar

With support from Historic England and the Ordnance Survey, and with the agreement of the farmer, Mark Birkett, the concrete Trig. Pillar on Torrisholme Barrow has been spruced up to look more like the landscape feature it once was.  Although no longer used for OS map work – digital mapping has replaced the Trig. Pillars – they remain key features across the landscape.  This one is sited on a bowl barrow (funerary monument) which dates to 2400-1500 years BC (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age) and because of this, planning permission was required to repaint it.  Many were traditionally painted white to easily identify them in the landscape and in years past this one had been regularly looked after and painted by a local resident.  Although not fully complete, we hope that it will once again stand out as a reminder of past OS work in mapping.  We appreciate the support from both the Ordnance Survey and Historic England.

The Group of tree planters

Tree planted on 17.4.22

We planted this tree on 17 April 2022

Wire netting needs to be added to the wooden cages and tightly fixed to deter inquisitive animals


We planted over 300 hawthorn to create a new hedge on Torrisholme Barrow on 28th November 2021.  This marks the start of National Tree Week.  Each one is marked with a cane so that we can find them when weeding takes place!  We also collected up the litter and noticed that several boughs had been blown off the old trees on the Barrow by the Friday night gales!

       This hedge was entered on the Queen's Green Canopy Map across the UK!!


We completed the last of 3 tree cages on Torrisholme Barrow in mid March 2021- an oak to replace the ‘lightning tree’!! The weather was awful, but it needed to be done!


We have at least 4 more to do in the autumn!! Mark Birkett - the farmer based at White Lund Farm (which has been in the family since 1893 and Mark is the fifth generation farming it) has been very complimentary to us! He has said ‘Good work with the new trees’ and fully agrees that ‘The Barrow landscape is quite ancient and needs maintaining the best we can’.

Young oak

All the new caged trees are doing well, with the stock (including the bull!) now in residence. The latest oak here is just beginning to break.

Now we have removed the redundant cage from the tree struck by lightning.   We built another cage with wire netting attached to wooden posts and planted a sessile oak, watched by some of the inquisitive cows. 

bottom of page