Cumbria Wildlife Trust moves closer to buying 'exceptionally rich' Lake District hillside

The Westmorland Gazette: Eycott Hill - photo by John Morrison Eycott Hill - photo by John Morrison

Cumbria Wildlife Trust is moving closer to buying and restoring Eycott Hill near Mungrisedale.

It has been awarded development funding of £52,200 to progress its plans to apply for a full grant.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) but it is hoped that it can secure a further £1.3m to complete its plans.

Eycott Hill was identified by the trust four years ago as a potential site for purchase due to it being an upland site in the National Park.

The trust says it has 'huge potential' for restoration and as a 'demonstration site' for upland management.

The hill is described as an 'exceptionally rich area (216ha) of wildlife habitat set in a spectacular location within the Lake District National Park.

Helen Duxbury, development manager at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “If we are successful in getting a full grant from HLF we will be able to restore a mix of valuable wildlife habitats including upland heathland, blanket bog, valley mires and upland hay meadow.

"We’re excited about developing Eycott Hill as a demonstration site for nature conservation farming techniques in partnership with Newton Rigg College, which will provide training for students on conservation grazing techniques and the links between farming and wildlife.”

The summit of Eycott Hill is a short walk from the road to a majestic view of the eastern flanks of Blencathra.

The trust said the area is  Site of Special Scientific Interest - unusually for both its biology and its geology - being the type location for the Eycott Hill Volcanics, one of the oldest areas of volcanic activity in the Lake District.

Eycott Hill is the largest isolated piece of access land in the National Park and the full grant will enable Cumbria Wildlife Trust to provide public access to the site for the first time.

 

 

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