Conservation Charity Awards Grants to Cumbria Projects

The Lake District Foundation, the local organisation helping look after nature and culture in the Lake District and Cumbria, have awarded grants to 13 projects across Cumbria, part of their latest grant funding initiative. 

The successful projects have each been awarded between £250 – £500 from the small grants fund which was launched earlier this year. The funding call attracted a lot of interest, but the Lake District Foundation focused on projects that shared the charity’s goal; that the Lake District and Cumbria will be an inspirational example of sustainable development in action, to support a prosperous local economy, world-class visitor experiences and in a place where vibrant communities come together to sustain its spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage. 

Sarah Swindley, Lake District Foundation’s CEO said, “Thank-you to everyone who applied and congratulations to all those who were successful. We were thrilled with the amount of interest in the fund and delighted we can support community and volunteer-led groups who are delivering practical conservation and some with a youth focus. I would also like to extend a thank-you to all the Cumbrian businesses and visitors who help to make this funding available. We look forward to sharing the stories and impact the funding will have”

The 13 projects selected all have a different focus from butterfly gardens, Celtic shelter rebuilds, red squirrel conservation, orchards to wildflowers. A brief summary of each can be found below but you can find further information and keep in touch with the projects’ impacts at lakedistrictfoundation.org

  • Phoenix Park Butterfly Garden – TWIG (Trees for Wigton). The project has been designed by local volunteers to creating a butterfly and bee garden. The garden will provide protective habitats for all lifecycle stages, and will include elements of a sensory garden which can be used by local organisations for people with special needs and will provide a park focal point. 
  • Celtic Shelter rebuild – Friends of Dubwath Silver MeadowsThis volunteer led project will see repair of a Celtic shelter in the heart of Dubwath Silver Meadows Nature reserve. The shelter is an important resource, enabling more people to access the reserves and take shelter whilst watching the wildlife. 
  • Thermal Imaging Camera Conservation Campaign  – Binsey Red Squirrel GroupThe grant will allow the group to purchase a thermal imaging camera so that they can increase the efficiency of their conservation efforts and improve monitoring and reporting.  
  • Rewilding the Roadside – Rusland RewildingThe Blooming Hedgerow Project will disperse indigenous wildflower seed along the edge of country lanes in an area of Rusland from Tottlebank to Oxen Park (roughly 4km).  The aim is to repopulate the roadside hedgerow and verge with a range of indigenous wildflowers, which will make up for the loss of biodiversity in the valley created by the long-term use of weedkiller and fertiliser.  
  • Education For Conservation – Keswick Red Squirrel Group (KRSG)The grant will allow KSRGs project to develop a partnership with Borrowdale Primary School, which has around 40 pupils, to involve & educate children in red squirrel conservation efforts, working with the school to make red squirrels a part of the children’s outdoor activities as much as possible.  
  • Rothay Park Wildflower Meadow – Ambleside Action for a Future (Growing Group)This project, led by volunteers, will create a small wildflower meadow in Rothay Park, containing native grasses, wildflowers, and bog plants, bounded by a small stream, approximate size 100 square metres. 
  • The Rusland Valley Trust Outreach Project – The Rusland Horizons Trust Ltd. The aim of this project is to work with Furness College students to offer disadvantaged young people a chance to learn about and to restore a native woodland landscape.  
  • Charles Gough Path Interpretation Boards – Sockbridge & Tirril Parish Council, Community Led Plan TeamThe grant has supported installation of 2 interpretation boards to inform walkers on the route, which was created in 2020 thanks to access permission from Lowther Estate, about the different species of trees which were planted, and the benefits of planting trees, and the view from the highest point of the route: the mountains of the Lake District and the Pennines.  
  • St Matthew’s Forest School Group – St Matthew’s C of E primary SchoolThis project will allow school children to be able to grow their own fruit and vegetable produce, building planters and a coldframe. This project is needed to help to teach and develop children’s understanding of where and how the food they eat and enjoy is produced.  
  • The Bee Team Community Orchard – The Bee TeamThe aim of The Bee Team is to inspire a love, respect and understanding of all things to do with nature and the environment – not just bees. Their mission this year is to involve the children and the community in ‘growing their own’ – herbs, fruit and vegetables.  
  • Saving our native reds – Sedbergh red squirrels. The volunteer rangers will use funding to set up and maintain any feeders for anyone within the community and aim to encourage people to get involved in this very important conservation project, and provide squirrel food to help conservation efforts. 
  • Helping pollinators in Glenridding – Ullswater Catchment Management CIC.  The local parish council and community have recently taken control of Jenkins Field in Glenridding to provide a source of sustainable funds towards the community by hosting events, and a large area is to be left as a wildlife area. The funds will support the creation of a wildflower meadow, re-instating plants to help benefit pollinator species.  
  • Ullswater ‘Then and Now’ – Friends of Ullswater WayFOUW undertook a survey in January/February 2020 to determine the Ullswater communities’ interest in promoting cultural heritage. There was overwhelming support and the community decided to create an Ullswater Heritage Knowledge Bank and Website. Support from LDF will further the community engagement and involvement in the project including creation of materials for a roadshow illustrating Ullswater ‘Then and Now’ cultural and landscape changes over time on various themes such as Farming, Tourism, Wordsworth, Industrial Heritage, Education, and Woodlands selected from the Heritage Knowledge Bank. 

If you wish to donate to the Lake District Foundation to help support future local community project you can do so online via their website  lakedistrictfoundation.org or text LOVELAKES to 70085 and donate £5*. A small donation makes a big impact.  

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