The Living Uplands project was founded to focus attention on the sixth most endangered bird in the UK, the Black Grouse. The Black Grouse are best known for the males gathering on what is known as a ‘lek’. Males gather on the lek and display their feathers to attact a mate, particularly in April & May.

Living Uplands offers  teachers  a FREE cross-curricular education pack, bringing nature to the classroom. This offers schools the opportunity to bring nature into their classrooms. With particular focus on the drama of the Black Grouse lek, this project links directly to Keystage 1 & 2 curriculum and is an effective way to enhance Science and Literacy skills, and to promote pupil creativity and confidence.

There are pictures and videos, and occasional blog pieces on life on the Durham moors. This educational project will provide children and teachers a window into the upland moorlands and to see birdlife at first hand.

For access to our FREE educational resources, a school needs only to register with the site. This provides full access to the online resource. 

Durham Wildlife Trust is keen to develop this site further, and schools’ feedback will be invaluable.

Durham Wildlife Trust would like to thank the farm owner who has made this project possible. For the security of the Black Grouse population our partner  remains anonymous.

Recent Updates

Hopes for better weather and healthier breeding season in 2019

April 25th, 2019

It was a miserable year for birdlife on the upland in 2018, but there is hope for a better 2019. Last year’s bitterly cold winter, late spring, and scorching summer meant the breeding pattern for our birdlife was severely disrupted. As a consequence nests had fewer eggs – for example, curlew had perhaps only two… Read more »

A wet Spring and dry Summer has impacted on Weardale’s birdlife.

September 17th, 2018

For Red Grouse the combination of a late cold Spring left hens in poor condition when nesting, not least by the near total failure of cotton grass which is a major source of spring protein for grouse. The exceptionally warm dry Summer that followed reduced the insect population on which new grouse chicks feed.  The… Read more »

Spring Lek 2018

May 9th, 2018

Over a series of mornings late in April a small number of conservationists gathered early morning on the Lek to watch and listen to the Black Grouse at full throttle. There were over forty black cock birds on the Lek on any given morning providing a tremendous display, at quite a volume.  We have added… Read more »

Creating new habitat

April 23rd, 2018

  Postponed for a month to allow for the weather to warm a little – and the ground to eventually thaw –  a group of Durham Wildlife Trust Young Volunteers spent a morning tree planting on the moor. The saplings have been planted in an area where Natural England believes it is possible for a… Read more »