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£2m Lottery boost to protect River Eden
A VISION to safeguard the future of the River Eden has been given a £2m lottery cash boost.
The Cherish Eden grant will fund a range of initiatives along the river, including ecological improvements and a series of new walks and cycle rides.
Eden Rivers Trust (ERT) was awarded the cash, which will cover 80 per cent of the cost of Cherish Eden, by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The five-year project aims to encourage local people and visitors to enjoy, cherish, and defend the River Eden.
It will also provide an apprenticeship scheme for Cumbrian youngsters and establish a media project about the river.
Activities planned include removing invasive plants, surveying river wildlife, helping to prevent pollution, protecting river banks and planting trees.
The ERT says those involved will enhance their environment, learn new skills and improve their own health and well-being. Other organisations with these objectives will also be involved.
The apprenticeship scheme is aimed at teaching young people about rivers.
It will enable them to pursue careers in river conservation or other related subjects. Teaching will be provided by Newton Rigg College in a partnership project with ERT and other neighbouring rivers trusts.
ERT director Simon Johnson said: “This is the result of two years of very hard planning, fundraising and partnership building work to secure £528,000 of committed resource over the five years of the project which we require to match the grant. “Our 2013 Charity Auction on October 19 is just one of a number of initiatives we have in place to provide match funding over the five-year programme. The grant is of strategic importance in terms of planning a future for the river in a way that has wide ranging social and environmental benefits. “The project will act as an engine of change to drive outcomes for communities and those organisations supporting them in the Eden Valley. “The Eden is a beautiful river teeming with wildlife and is a vital part of our landscape and economy. It is great to know that we will be able to get local people involved in protecting it for future generations.”
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