The Eycott Hill project
Eycott Hill Nature Reserve
Following a three-year fundraising campaign Eycott Hill became a nature reserve in 2015.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded us £1.6 million which helped with the £968,000 purchase price and has enabled us to run a five-year project that has had a number of benefits for wildlife and people.
Over the five years we have planted 10,000 trees, restored 7 hectares of hay meadows, volunteers have put in over 1,100 hours worth of volunteering days, delivered 47 skills courses to over 500 people, reached over 1,200 people with 173 art workshops, over 28,000 people have visited Eycott Hill Nature Reserve – and there are plenty more statistics!
With the project coming to an end in June 2020 we are gathering lots of information to enable us to evaluate the success of the project.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey on the Eycott Hill Project and we look forward to sharing the results with you in due course.
Stuart Maconie says "The news that Cumbria Wildlife Trust has been granted Heritage Lottery Fund money to begin restoration and access work on Eycott Hill is wonderful news for those of us who love this rough and shapely hill in a gloriously lonely and unspoilt part of the Lakes. Get up there and see for yourself."
Stuart recently appeared in the documentary Life of a Mountain: Blencathra. You can see his interview, filmed on Eycott Hill, here.
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During the project we will be working to:
- restore a mosaic of wildlife habitats including valley mires, upland hay meadow, upland oakwood, upland heath, wet woodland and upland freshwater course
- increase the structural diversity of the site and in so doing increase biodiversity
- use Eycott Hill Nature Reserve as a demonstration site for conservation farming techniques in partnership with Newton Rigg College
- carefully monitor and record changes in habitat and biodiversity
- provide an inspiring and educational visitor experience that respects and reflects the remote qualities of the site
- increase awareness of Eycott Hill Nature Reserve in the local residential and visiting public
- increase the appeal of Eycott Hill Nature Reserve to families
- provide meaningful training opportunities to young people that provide them with skills for life and employment
- improve knowledge and increase understanding among landowners of the benefits of cattle grazing in the uplands
- promote the nature reserve as a destination for leisure cyclists
- provide those with long term health and disability problems opportunities to visit and benefit from Eycott Hill Nature Reserve
- facilitate the use of the site for education provision
Thank you to our generous members for their help and to our funders and supporters; the National Lottery Heritage Fund, WREN, Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Natural England, the Banister Charitable Trust, and the Esme Fairbairn Foundation, who made the purchase and project possible.