The RSPB has been awarded a grant of more than £2,000 by the Lake District Foundation to help create new woodlands at Haweswater, Bampton, near Penrith.
Over the next two years the RSPB will plant 400 trees on Mardale Common, which will expand and improve the existing woodland at the site, which sits above Haweswater reservoir.
The Lake District Foundation raises funds for projects that care for the spectacular landscapes, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District and Cumbria.
The generous contribution from the Lake District Foundation will enable the RSPB to train and equip their team of local volunteers to plant the young trees, sourced from its own Haweswater tree nursery. It will cover the costs of meshing, which will protect the trees from sheep and deer grazing.
The new trees will play a vital role in ensuring the future of the woodland at Mardale Common as many of the existing older trees are at risk from disease and the effects of climate change such as extreme weather events including summer droughts and winter storms.
Currently, trees are being lost in Cumbria at a faster rate than they are being replaced, and there is a need to plant more new trees, particularly in areas adjacent to existing woodland, to help extend these areas.
The RSPB already has extensive experience of tree planting at Haweswater, and previous woodland creation has given homes to red squirrels and declining birds including tree pipits and whinchats.
Lee Schofield, Site Manager at RSPB Haweswater, said: “We are hugely grateful to the Lake District Foundation’s supporters whose donations have made this funding possible and also to our dedicated volunteers who will be braving the elements this winter and next to plant the trees at Mardale and ensure the future of the woodland for generations to come.”
Sarah Swindley, Director of the Lake District Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be able to award funds to this fantastic local project. And we are so grateful to the generous visitors and residents who love the Lake District and have made a donation.”