Introducing Cumbria’s new nature reserve – Eycott Hill

Eycott Hill Nature Reserve

The purchase of Eycott Hill is complete, we’ve got staff in place, and we can’t wait to get started on the exciting restoration and access project to improve the site for wildlife and people.

If you haven’t been yet Eycott Hill is in a beautiful and accessible location between Keswick and Penrith, near Mungrisdale. It’s already a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its biology and geology, a rich wildlife habitat, and is the type location for the Eycott Hill Volcanics, one of the oldest areas of volcanic activity in the Lake District.

Our ambitious 5 year project aims to make it even more special. We’ll be managing Eycott Hill with wildlife as our priority and making it accessible to visitors. We want a mosaic of habitats so we’ll be creating new hay meadow, introducing hedgerows, restoring wetlands, and expanding heather-rich moorland, to make it an appealing home for lots of different species.

Subtle interpretation and seating will be installed close to a small car park so you can take in the views and learn a bit more about the site. A short way marked route (avoiding the boggiest areas!) will lead to a viewpoint with spectacular views over the site, you can then return to the car park, or head to the summit if you’re feeling adventurous! Small interpretation panels will be dotted around the site and they’ll include a brass rubbing plaque. As well as the main printed guide we’ll be producing a special guide for children so they can plan their own expedition!

Keep checking our What’s On pages or sign up to the Eycott Hill newsletter as we’ll be planning lots of exciting events like guided walks, discovery days, and bioblitz surveys that will be an opportunity to hear from the experts, get closer to the wildlife, and see upland conservation in action. We already have lots of work parties planned, or you can bring the whole family to our Discovery Day on Saturday 27th June, so make sure it’s in the diary!

We also plan to work with charities to make sure this reserve is accessible to people who would normally find it difficult to visit, and training providers so local people and students can learn new skills and benefit from the project in a more hands on way.

It’s going to keep us very busy so Eycott Hill has two dedicated staff members for the 5 year project; Sue Thurley (Reserve and Training Officer) and Jody Ferguson (Communications and Events Officer) who’ll be keeping you up to date with developments via this blog, Facebook and Twitter, and the newsletter.

We want to say another big THANK YOU to our generous members for their support and to our funders; the Heritage Lottery Fund, WREN, Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Banister Charitable Trust.