Upper Eden is rich in wildlife habitats, from uplands to river valleys. The area is one of the last bastions of the elusive red squirrel, and you can spot badgers, hares, deer and otters; and birdlife including wagtails, herons, kingfishers dippers and warblers. Birds of prey include ospreys, peregrine falcons and red kites.
These pages cover just some of the wild places and wild creatures you will find in Upper Eden, and some of the organisations working to conserve them.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Our thanks to Cumbria Wildlife Trust (CWT) for much of the information and many of the photos provided here. CWT is the only voluntary organisation devoted solely to the conservation of the wildlife and wild places of Cumbria, and you can find out more about its work and how you can help by visiting http://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk – or come along to our stand in the Visitor Centre, where you’ll find lots of information and some attractive gifts.
CWT’s Upper Eden Support Group runs a variety of fundraising activities locally, and members and non-members alike are welcome to join us at any of our events. These include interesting talks in winter (held at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School; entry £3.00) & walks in summer (free but donations welcome!). You can find our current programme here.
John Strutt Conservation Foundation
Some 338 hectares of land at Hartley, just outside Kirkby Stephen, are managed by the John Strutt Conservation Foundation. John Strutt, who died in 2010, had a lifelong interest in wildlife and in particular in butterflies and parrots – hence the parrots you will sometimes see flying around Kirkby Stephen!
Most of the land at Hartley lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and four areas within it have been designated as County Wildlife Sites.
Find out more at http://www.jscf.org.uk/