Celebrating a landscape millions of years in the making

Cumbria Wildlife Trust are celebrating the special geology of Eycott Hill Nature Reserve with a new activity that visitors can enjoy year round. On the afternoon of Friday 12th October a series of new ‘EarthCaches’ will go live on Geocaching.com, and the challenge of finding answers to a series of questions about Eycott Hill Nature Reserve will begin.

The EarthCaches are being released just in time for International EarthCache Day, and although the activity can be completed at any time, people that complete an EarthCache on Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th October can earn a digital souvenir from Geocaching.com and/or in the Geocaching® app

“The landscape at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve was millions of years in the making. From deep oceans, to volcanic eruptions, tropical seas, and icy glaciers, the geological story here spans 500 million years. Most people don’t realise that they are walking over the remains of ancient lava flows so we wanted to work with volunteers and Cumbria GeoConservation to tell the story through a fun activity everyone can get involved with.” Jody Ferguson, Eycott Hill Project Officer, Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

EarthCaches are a unique geocache type in the game of geocaching, an outdoor adventure activity where participants use a mobile phone app or GPS device to go on a treasure hunt. For standard geocaches participants look for a physical container, sign a log, and register the find with the Geocaching® app or website. To claim an EarthCache, participants must answer a series of questions about a location rather than finding a hidden container. According to Geocaching.com there are 3 million active geocaches in more than 190 different countries, so participants can take part anytime, almost anywhere!

At Eycott Hill Nature Reserve there are four new EarthCaches; “The softer side of Eycott Hill!”, “Do look down!”, “A volcanic landscape”, and “The unique Eycott Lava”. There are also two physical geocaches “Look out, trolls about!” and “Conservation’s Secret Weapon”. To find them go to Geocaching.com and/or the Geocaching® app, and search for caches near Mungrisdale. The EarthCaches were developed and published by geocachers “mallykay” and “Brown Teddies” with support and permission from Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

Lynne and Malcolm (mallykay) said: “It was Geocaching that originally brought us to Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, we have found so many places we otherwise wouldn’t have been aware of and this is one of the special ones”.

A free geology leaflet and film can be viewed at www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/eycott-hill/history or a printed copy of the leaflet can be ordered from Cumbria Wildlife Trust by calling 01539 816300. Work at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve is possible thanks to National Lottery Players and the Heritage Lottery Fund who are supporting a 5 year project to make the nature reserve better for wildlife and people.

Located between Keswick and Penrith, near to the village of Mungrisdale, Eycott Hill Nature Reserve is 216 hectares of exceptionally rich wildlife habitat and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for the plant life in the wetlands and its geology. Car parking and entry to the nature reserve is free of charge. To find out more, or to get the latest news by email, please visit www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/eycott-hill

Heritage Lottery Fund

Work at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve is possible thanks to National Lottery Players, and support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.