A brand new trail has been opened at RSPB Geltsdale and visitors are invited to a special event at the Hallbankgate nature reserve to mark the occasion.
The trail runs through Forest Head, a former limestone and shale quarry, which has been reclaimed by nature and is now home to important wildlife.
To celebrate the opening of the new route, an exclusive guided walk led by local artist and historian, Janet Lambert, is taking place on Saturday 17 September and includes the chance to view her latest exhibition 'Forest Head Query'.
Janet Lambert said: "I am originally from Ulverston and when I came to live at Coalfell 17 years ago, I began to explore the local area and research the history of Bruthwaite - an old hunting forest which includes Forest Head. My detailed investigations continued over a period of 10 years and inspired my exhibition which is drawn from maps, photographs, artefacts and stories from my research archive of the history and people of Bruthwaite. I hope those who come on the walk or to view my exhibition will be as intrigued by the unusual history of the area as I am."
The guided walk will meet at the car park at RSPB Geltsdale at 10 am and be followed by the opportunity to view Janet's exhibition in the gallery space at Stagsike Cottages - the information point at RSPB Geltsdale.
The walk costs £4 for adults (RSPB members £3) and £2 for children (RSPB Wildlife Explorer members £1.50). Booking is essential by phoning Geltsdale on 016977 46717 or alternatively by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Ryding, Farmland Warden at Geltsdale said: "We are very excited to open this new trail at Forest Head Quarry. Today nature has claimed it back and the calls of curlew, snipe and black grouse fill the air. If you look carefully, however, you can still see the remnants of an industrial past, with the remains of the old lime kilns and railway lines highlighting the site's unique history. It is a very special place which we hope visitors will enjoy exploring."
Following the event, Janet Lambert's exhibition will be open for viewing 9 am-5 pm, every day until Saturday 12 November. Admission is free of charge. For more information on events and wildlife spectacles at Geltsdale visit www.rspb.org.uk/geltsdale.
1. About the artist: Janet Lambert is originally from Ulverston, Cumbria. She came to live at Coalfell 17 years ago, where she began to explore the local area and research the history of Bruthwaite Forest. Her detailed investigations continued over a period of 10 years and formed the basis of Experiencing Place, her PhD thesis. http://hdl.handle.net/10443/1149
2. About the reserve: Set in the stunning North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, RSPB Geltsdale is home to black grouse, birds of prey and breeding wading birds and is ideal for walking. There are four waymarked trails leading from the car park at Howgill. The Stagsike Trail will take 1-2 hours to walk and the other trails a little longer. Stagsike Cottages are approximately a 40-minute walk from the parking area and provide an information point and toilets.
Many of the trails are on existing tracks but boots are essential for much of the year and waterproofs are recommended. There is no general vehicle access to Stagsike Cottages but disabled access can be pre-arranged by phoning the reserve on 01697 746717.
Location and opening times - RSPB Geltsdale, Stagsike Cottages, Nr Hallbankgate, Brampton, Cumbria, CA8 2PW. The reserve is open daily from dawn to dusk, the visitor centre is open daily, 9 am-5 pm
3. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654