Some of the Upper Teesdale Estate forms part of The Moorhouse and Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve. The Estate has developed a working relationship with Natural England and in conjunction with the tenant farmers has implemented a number of conservation strategies across the higher fells.
For example, the extensive moorland drainage system that was implemented after the 2nd World war in an effort to boost food production, has led to severe erosion of the peat. Raby Estate, in conjunction with Natural England and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was the first in the country to reverse this damage by blocking all the open moorland drains.
This was done to slow down erosion of the moor caused by peat being carried away with the draining water. It has proved to have been a complete success with the vast majority of the drains now having re-vegetated with sphagnum moss. These drain blocks, which create countless small pools, are beneficial to wading birds as a source of food and have also enhanced the capacity of the moor to act as a carbon sink, soaking up carbon which is deposited from the atmosphere.