CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after successfully raising £120,000 to keep a much-loved South Lakeland woodland in public hands.

The decision to sell Staveley’s Craggy Wood was taken by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) in 2016.

Staveley Parish councillors and the village community were opposed to the potential sale and the Craggy Wood Steering Group was formed to try to avoid it being purchased by an unknown buyer.

Now, the money has been raised and the woodland will be managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Anne Salisbury, chair of the Craggy Wood Steering Group, said: "We are thrilled and delighted that so many people have given so generously for us to be able to buy Craggy Wood and secure its future. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the campaign. We hope you enjoy your walks in our beautiful Craggy Wood for many years to come.”

And David Harpley, conservation manager at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said that it was 'great news' for Craggy Wood and for local people who have loved the area for 'generations'.

"For Cumbria Wildlife Trust it means that we can continue to protect this precious corner of Cumbria," he said. "It’s a wonderful place to see bluebells in the spring or to listen out for the call of the buzzard and owls have been seen after dusk.

"Red squirrels have been sighted close by in the Kentmere valley and they too could move into Craggy Wood. We have been offered a piece of land nearby which, over the coming months and years, will enable us to reconnect Craggy Wood with our nearby nature reserve at Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood, creating a fantastic corridor for wildlife above Staveley.”

Donations towards the continuing protection of Craggy Wood can be made to Cumbria Wildlife Trust at or by phone on 01539 816300.