A POPULAR Lake District tourist attraction has helped the RSPB to give nature a home by raising £600 for the nature conservation charity.

For a fifth successful year, Ullswater Steamers teamed up with the RSPB to hold a series of wildlife-themed cruises in 2013.

One of the most popular events, the Red Deer Rut Cruise, offers people the chance watch the rut, when stags compete for supremacy.

Wildlife experts from the RSPB join participants for the cruise and share information about the wildlife and birds on the lake, before accompanying people to the head of Martindale Valley to witness the red deer up close.

Each of the wildlife-themed events raised money for the RSPB, which last year launched its 'Giving Nature a Home' campaign to help tackle what the charity says is the crisis facing UK’s threatened wildlife.

Francesca Currie, for the RSPB, said: “It comes as no surprise that the wildlife cruises are popular, as they offer a fantastic opportunity to not only enjoy a gentle cruise across the lake but also see some of the area’s spectacular wildlife.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from Ullswater Steamers and their generous donation of £600 from the proceeds, which will help the RSPB to continue giving nature a home.”

Rachel Bell, for Lake District Estates and Ullswater Steamers, said: “It is wonderful to be able to help nature lovers venture into the wild and see nature up close, whilst raising money for the RSPB and protecting the fantastic wildlife this area has to offer.”

This year, Ullswater Steamers is set to host a 'RSPB Water, Predator and Heathland Birds' cruise on May 17, offering people the chance to join the RSPB team for a cruise across the lake and discover more about the wildlife of the uplands.

The Red Deer Rut Cruises will also be held from 9-12 October.

To find out more about the RSPB’s new campaign, Giving Nature a Home, visit www.rspb.org.uk/homes For more info about Ullswater Steamers, go to www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk