Watch: There's something special about this busy motorway - see the working farm inside
We're well used to motorways in Ireland, but this section of the M62 in Yorkshire is pretty impressive - the road splits and there is a full working farm in between the lanes.
Stott Hall farm, owned by Yorkshire Water, dates back to 1737 when it was originally built as a shooting lodge, but rose to fame in the 1960’s when construction of the M62 motorway began.
It was originally thought the farm would have to be knocked down to make way for the motorway, but it was saved thanks to a quirk in the geology of the land – which made it impossibly steep to build all six lanes on.
The upland farm is currently managed by Paul Thorp who has worked at the farm since 1992 and lived at the farm since 2008, with his wife Jill and son John joining him soon after.
Now, the famous farm in the middle of the M62 is the latest farm to join Yorkshire Water’s ‘Beyond Nature’ vision which will transform how farms in the region connect with the land, water and wildlife around them.
As part of the ‘Beyond Nature’ vision, the farm will not only continue to focus on traditional livestock practises that involve looking after 900 breeding ewes on nearby Moss Moor, but also widen its scope to become a more sustainable farm for the future.
This will mean restoring vitally important peatland bog on the farm which helps lock carbon dioxide in the land and reduce the risks of global warming. To do this, the moors will be re-wetted by blocking grips and gullies to help raise the water table, which will also improve natural flood management resilience. Across England, peatland stores over three billion tonnes of carbon in the ground which is more than all woodlands and forests combined.
Lisa Harrowsmith, a lead surveyor at Yorkshire Water, said: “Despite the farm sitting in the middle of a motorway, it is a classic upland farm with biodiversity interest, cultural and landscape value consisting of peat moorland and a small portion of in-bye grazing and meadows.