Natural England - New House Farm, Malham NNR

New House Farm, Malham NNR

The reserve is a small working farm in the Yorkshire Dales.

New House Farm, Malham Tarn NNR

County: North Yorkshire

Main habitats: Upland

Area: 26 Ha

Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, 88 are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved by Council, under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 

New House Farm NNR is owned and managed by the National Trust.

The farm has always been managed in a traditional self-sustaining way and there are records dating back over 90 years.

New House Farm is important for its unimproved hay meadows. These are England’s 'alpine meadows' and have affinities with some Scandinavian grasslands. They are rare with only around 600 hectares remaining in England.

In light of its importance the reserve has been included within the North Pennine Dales Meadows Special Area of Conservation (SACexternal link).

The meadows are characterised by abundant sweet vernal-grass with wood crane’s-bill, lady’s-mantle, pignut, great burnet, yellow rattle and melancholy thistle. Limestone outcrops harbour alpine cinquefoil, hoary whitlowgrass and orpine.

The farm is managed traditionally without the use of artificial fertilisers or herbicides. The farm stock is restricted to 10 suckler cows and 35 sheep and only farmyard manure is used to fertilize the meadows. Hay making in late summer provides winter food for the livestock and helps maintain the species-rich grassland.

The best time to view the meadows is mid June to early July.

Please note that the NNR is a working farm and the tenant makes his living from the farm produce. Visitors should keep to public rights of way.

Location and access

The reserve is less than 0.5 km south west of the village of Bordley, midway between Malham and Threshfield (4 km to the west and east respectively). By car, access to the site is via minor roads from Threshfield and Malham.

The nearest train station is in Skiptonexternal link, 13 km to the south.

Bus services from Skipton to Threshfield are provided by Pride of the Dalesexternal link. There are a number of bus services from Skipton to Malham, some of them seasonal, see Transport Directexternal link.


The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities are in local villages.

A public footpath crosses the reserve.