Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

Thorpe Trees completes contract at farm diversification project – Hilton Fishing Lakes

thorpe trees

Leading tree nursery Thorpe Trees, based in Thorpe Underwood, near York, has recently completed the second stage of its contract at Hilton House Farm, Stockton on Tees, to provide the full tree planting and landscaping programme for its Hilton Fishing Lakes project, which was opened to the public in 2010. 

ThorpeTrees hilton
The first stage of the contract began in 2007/08 when Thorpe Trees planted 7.4 hectares of new native woodland under a Forestry Commission Woodland Grant Scheme, to create a belt of trees around the perimeter of the site adjacent to the A19. A total of 10,685 trees and shrubs were planted at this time, including species such as oak, ash, rowan and field maple with shrubs such as hawthorn, blackthorn and dogwood.

The second stage of the contract has involved planting the grassy banks around the two fishing lakes.  A total of 3200 trees and shrubs have been used for this part of the project including a proportion of Scots pine for evergreen year round colour and shelter.  The plants will enhance the natural characteristics of the lakeside, give shelter and screening and provide a natural habitat for birds and wildlife

In addition to this, Thorpe Trees has also enhanced the boundary hedgerows, planted a mixture of willows and colourful shrubs on the islands in the fishing lakes, and planted 85 specimen trees including birch, cherry, rowan and crab apple around the car parking area.

Alan Marsay, owner of Hilton House Farm and the Hilton Fishing Lakes said: The completion of the tree planting programme marks a significant step in the development of our new fishing lakes.   We are delighted with the level of guidance and expertise Thorpe Trees has given us for both stages of the planting programme, and now look forward to a busy season welcoming both novice and experienced anglers to enjoy our fishing facilities.

Hilton House Farm, which comprises 640 acres of arable land near Yarm, decided to diversify into providing fishing lake facilities to create an additional income stream for the business as grain prices began to fall in the mid 2000s.  After working closely with the local authority to seek permission for change of use, work started on establishing the lakes in June 2009 on a field that originally contained a small pond.  There are now two lakes which contain carp, bream, roach, tench, and as well as welcoming the more experienced angler, Hilton Fishing Lakes also runs beginners classes, regular competitions, and can provide facilities for special celebrations and corporate events. 

Caroline Taylor, owner and director of Thorpe Trees said: Farm diversification is becoming more and more prevalent as farmers seek to generate income from different sources.  The majority of diversification schemes launched involve the development of farming land, and the use of trees and shrubs is frequently an integral part of that process.  We work closely with many farmers like Alan on such projects, and are sure that the Hilton Fishing Lakes will be a great success for visitors and locals alike.

Thorpe Trees was established by Alastair Taylor, Carolines father, in 1985 at Thorpe Underwood, near York.  It grows over 1.2 million plants per annum on its 50 acre site, and employs five full time staff.

The company specialises in offering advisory visits, planting advice and assistance for its clients toward grant applications and stewardship schemes.  These include:



  • The English Woodland Grant Scheme, a grant run by the Forestry Commission for the creation of new woodlands.
  • The Farm Woodland Payments Scheme, which provides an annual compensatory payment for the conversion of agricultural land to new woodland.
  • The Environmental Stewardship Scheme, run by DEFRA to provide funds to farmers and land managers for effective environmental management of their land.
  • Local Authority Grant Schemes, which offer grant aid for conservation projects of varying size and purpose. 


Further detailed information about these schemes is available on the Thorpe Trees website.

The company website is at


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.