A retired couple have spent the last two years transforming an old farm into a mini nature reserve.

Terence and Tracy Featherstone inherited High Meadows Farm in Coundon, Bishop Auckland, from Terence’s parents.

It had previously been the site of two coal mines, been a working farm for 60 years and hosted a Greyhound Stadium for 30 years.

When Terence and Tracy arrived they decided that they would bring nature back after an inspiring talk at the National Farmers Union.

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Terence, 64, described how only 13% of Britain is covered in woodland compared to 50% in Germany and France.

The Northern Echo: Terence and Tracy Featherstone

He said: “We went to a talk by the National Farmers Union about woodland and it inspired us.

“In Britain, we only have 13% of our woodland left compared to 50% in Germany and France.

“We just thought we had to do something.

“I’m gobsmacked because the recovery seems to be happening so quickly.

“It’s only two years in we are already seeing all sorts of wildlife.

“We are very pleased by what has happened and the Forestry Commission has been helping out a lot.

“We see so much more wildlife, everything from the smaller level of bees to larger animals like deer and badgers.

“Barn owls and other raptors are also starting to move in as the whole eco-system develops.

“We’ve also built a capacity for green energy which also helps the planet.

The Northern Echo: Thecouple have also invested in green energy

“Any excess power we get through the wind turbine, solar panels and heat pumps is fed into the grid as green energy.

“Hopefully if other people hear about how we have managed to change our land so quickly it might inspire them."

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The couple have planted 22,000 UK broadleaf trees of 14 different species.

They are proud at how the woodland has begun to foster a range of wildlife.

By sharing their story Terence and Tracy hope others might consider planting woodlands of their own.