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  • Charities

Secretly Famous Charities

Fix the Fells

Location: Cumbria-wide

Charity

Fix the Fells is a £5 million scheme to repair erosion scars which have developed over the years, and to make sure that these scars are prevented in the future.

The Lake District fells are enjoyed by millions of walkers every year, but the high level paths can be surprisingly fragile and the sheer number of visitors leaves a mark on the landscape.

Over time, grass is compacted by feet, and wornaway. Exposed soil is quickly washed away by heavy rainfall, down steep slopes into streams, rivers and eventually lakes, where the siltation causes havoc for fish and other species. The work being done aims to prevent this loss of grass and soil by designing and creating paths that are resilient to wear and tear and reduce the impact on the surrounding landscape. On steep slopes you may see ‘pitching’ where stone has been laid, while on less steep slopes the paths may have been repaired by a ‘soil inversion’ technique with the aid of a digger. Find out more about the work at www.fixthefells.co.uk

The Heritage Lottery Fund will ‘match’ every £1 you donate with another £2.

Flora of the Fells

Location: Cumbria-wide

Charity

Flora of the Fells is about getting people of all ages and backgrounds involved with Cumbria’s outstanding landscapes. Landscape, wildlife and people go hand in hand, so it’s vital that people get to know and love their local area, and learn how to protect it for the future.

The project works with schools and young people across Cumbria. Hands-on learning is a priority, so children get out onto the fells to experience the landscape, study the wildlife, and learn about biodiversity, natural resources like wood and water, and the economic value of the land for farming and recreation. Work back in the classroom often links with Science, Geography, English and other subjects and might result in an exhibition of artwork or photography for the local community.

Festivals of talks, walks, and special events run across all upland areas of Cumbria, and are open to local people and visitors. These have a range of themes including wildlife, biodiversity, landscape, natural resources and economic products. They involve green tourism businesses, family farms & local food champions. To find out more about this work and festival events near you, visit www.floraofthefells.com

Save Our Squirrels

Location: Cumbria-wide

Charity

The Red Squirrel is our only native British Squirrel, but sadly is at risk of extinction if population numbers continue to decline. The main cause of this decline is competition with the American grey squirrel, and introduced species which is larger than the red and better able to survive harsh weather and periods of food shortage. It also breeds more successfully and quickly out-competes its red cousin for food.

Cumbria is one of the few counties in the country where red squirrels can still be seen, and the Save our Squirrels project is working to protect and increase numbers. They are working with landowners to carry out conservation work to benefit the reds in 5 designated red squirrel reserves at Whinlatter, Thirlmere, Greystoke, Whinfell, and Garsdale/Mallerstang.

They support networks of volunteers and contractors to carry out grey squirrel control in these reserves and their 5km buffer zones, and train volunteers to assist with population surveys and monitoring. They provide education programmes and web-based teaching materials for schools, and work to raise the profile of the red squirrel through educational walks, talks and events for the wider community, signs and interpretation panels at the reserves, their website and local media.