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Conservation Charity Awards Hedgerow Grants

The Lake District Foundation, the local organisation helping look after nature and culture in the Lake District and Cumbria, have awarded grants from the Real Hedge Fund Campaign, part of their latest fundraising initiative.  

The successful projects have been awarded between £500 – £2,300 from a new fund launched last April by the Lake District Foundation and partners for the protection and creation of native hedgerows in Cumbria. The partners include the Ullswater Catchment Management CIC, The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and Eden Rivers Trust.  

The Fund aims to highlight the importance of hedgerows in the environment and the role within the cultural and natural heritage of the Lake District and has an ambitious target to plant 4,000 metres of native hedgerows across Cumbria.   

Sarah Swindley, CEO, Lake District Foundation said: We’ve had a fantastic response to this round of funding. Thank-you to all those who applied and congratulations to those who were successful. The grants have been awarded to those who demonstrated environmental value either by planting new native hedgerow or restoration of old hedgerows and opportunities to allow for community engagement. In total the grants awarded will fund 400 metres of native hedgerow in Cumbria. We look forward to sharing the stories and impact the funding will have”

Four projects have been selected, 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

  • Holghyll Wood to Lacet Hay Meadow, Hutton Head Farm, Penrith. A new 84metre ‘corridor’ hedge will be created to join a 20 acre semi-natural ancient woodland (The Holghyll Wood) with a 9 acre hay meadow (Lacet Hill). The new hedge will link key habitats together creating an important wildlife corridor.  
  • Holme House Farm, Skelsmergh  
    A new hedge will be created around the south and east boundaries of Holme House Farm and will extend the native woodland by 3000 sq m. Holme House Farm are a co-housing group building 5 eco-homes and living communally on a currently derelict farm with 12 acres of land in the River Sprint valley. The group seek to live together in ways that minimise the environmental impact and restore and enhance the wildlife and habitats of the woodland, river and meadows on our land. 
  • Low Park Hedge, Tebay 
    To restore an ancient hedge and fence both sides to protect it. Currently, the hedge is very overgrown but is used by red squirrels. It is a vital link between ancient woodland and a newly established wildlife area. Low Borrowbridge Farm is trying to make a 3.5-mile nature recovery network for the squirrels, working with Penrith Red Squirrels.  
  • Barn at Thwaite Head, Ulverston  
    A restoration project of an old barn and traditional orchard, using regenerative and holistic management principles. The installation of the new hedgerow will create additional biodiversity and benefit future orchard tree plantings and meadow grasses by creating a biodiverse area which can be resilient to pests, and benefit local wildlife and thrive. 

The next round of funding will be in September 2021 with £5,000 available. Further information about how to apply and the criteria will be available on the charities grant funding section of their website, lakedistrictfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant/

The Real Hedge Fund is made up of donations from businesses, visitors and residents who love the Lake District and want to help the cause of protecting native hedgerows and the wildlife that depends on them. The campaign is still live, and you can still donate. To find out more about the Real Hedge Fund and to donate visit lakedistrictfoundation.org/the-real-hedge-fund/ 

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