We are delighted to work with the owners of this new biodiversity project of nearly 50 acres, which will include the ‘The Waller Woodland’.

The Waller family have owned the land for forty years. Norman and Margaret Waller brought Rowan Tree Farm in 1983. Previously the land had been ‘ranch style’ farmed with only summer grazing by cows. At first, they managed it for sheep. With additional rented land they soon had 650 head of sheep intensively grazing the land. Every acre that could be farmed was put into production.

Norman wished to return the land to how it would have looked decades before, and spent several years rebuilding 1 mile of traditional dry stone wall. He was passionate about nature and wanted to encourage greater biodiversity on his land, so he planted up the river valley with local grown young native trees – which are now mature, and full of birds and insects!

Nature Focus

The land is now in the ownership of the next generation, and the emphasis has changed from intensive agriculture to a focus on nature. The first phase will be the 8.5 hectares Waller Woodland of 12,500 trees.

Planting took place in winter 2023/24. The first job was to fence against deer and rabbit. This means that the only tree guards required are short biodegradable vole guards.

The new woodland will join the existing well-established wood in the river valley. This will extend the area available to woodland dwelling wildlife. Owls are often seen in the river valley so new owl boxes will be installed to hopefully entice new breeding pairs in to the new woodland.

Plans to dam the river to create a lake have been approved. Leaky dams will also be installed to hold back river floodwater and run off from the land. The dams will create small ponds and areas of wetlands to add new types of habitat.

In time, large areas of traditional wild flower hay meadow will be restored.

We are currently able to offer the following at Rowan Tree farm:

Tree dedications with personalised plaques and without, and carbon offsetting through tree planting.


Please note that Rowan Tree Farm Reserve is not generally open to the public. Open days will be held twice yearly and are an opportunity to see your dedication and immerse yourself in sights and sounds of nature. We will send you an invitation when our next open day is scheduled.

Although a public footpath does pass through the woodland, there is no public parking in the vicinity. It is therefore inadvisable to attempt to visit your dedicated tree, (at times other than one of our open days) unless you are experienced in hiking in the Peak District, and have a suitable location elsewhere to leave your vehicle.

Please note that this site has difficult terrain, including steep inclines in many areas.

To Discover More…

To learn more about the site, its wildlife and our work, you can view the location on Restor here.

You can view the changes over time at Rowan Tree Farm below.

He who plants a tree Plants a hope

Lucy Larcom