Success for Craggy Wood campaigners

Local campaigners meet £120,000 target to keep popular woodland in public hands
Image of Craggy Wood, Staveley

Craggy Wood in Staveley

Residents of Staveley, along with supporters from across the county and even nationwide, have succeeded in raising the £120,000 required to keep Craggy Wood in public hands. The target was met earlier this week, which means that we will now be able to take over long-term management of this popular area of local woodland.

We are thrilled and delighted that so many people have given so generously for us to be able to buy Craggy Wood and secure its future.
Anne Salisbury
Chair, Craggy Wood Steering Group

The local people of Staveley formed a steering group and have held collections, organized quizzes, attended events, door-dropped leaflets, given TV interviews and have been prolific on social media. The campaign has certainly caught the public imagination and the amazing response from the public shows what a well-loved area Craggy Wood is. Comments by those supporting the appeal include:

“Craggy Wood is a fantastic place that should remain accessible for future generations to enjoy. I love Craggy Wood and used to walk there regularly when I lived in Staveley.”

 “Over 70 years ago, after his Sunday dinner nap, my grandfather Tommy Johnson of Bridge End would often say ‘Go get the dogs out of the kennel and we’ll go for a walk up through Craggy’.”

Anne Salisbury, Chair of the Craggy Wood Steering Group said: "We are thrilled and delighted that so many people have given so generously for us to be able to buy Craggy Wood and secure its future. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported the campaign. We hope you enjoy your walks in our beautiful Craggy for many years to come.”

David Harpley, Conservation Manager at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “This is great news for Craggy Wood and for local people, who have obviously loved this area for generations. For Cumbria Wildlife Trust it means that we can continue to protect this precious corner of Cumbria. It’s a wonderful place to see bluebells in the spring or to listen out for the call of the buzzard and owls have been seen after dusk. Red squirrels have been sighted close by in the Kentmere valley and they too could move into Craggy Wood. We have been offered a piece of land nearby which, over the coming months and years, will enable us to reconnect Craggy Wood with our nearby nature reserve at Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood, creating a fantastic corridor for wildlife above Staveley.”

Donations towards the continuing protection of Craggy Wood can be made to Cumbria Wildlife Trust online or by phone on 01539 816300.

The ancient woodland was bought from a private owner in 1985 by the Lake District Special Planning Board, as it then was, to preserve its diverse and environmentally important nature, but in June 2016 the Lake District National Park Authority informed Staveley Parish Council that they were proposing to sell Craggy Wood to raise funds for other projects. Staveley Parish Councillors and the village community were opposed to the decision to sell the woodland and a campaign was set up to keep it in public hands, spearheaded by the Craggy Wood Steering Group. Through the Parish Council, the Steering Group was able to have Craggy Wood designated as an Asset of Community Value with South Lakeland District Council before it went on the market, thus giving residents the first opportunity to buy it.

Great news for Craggy Wood and for local people, who have obviously loved this area for generations. It means that we can continue to protect this precious corner of Cumbria.
David Harpley
Conservation Manager, Cumbria Wildlife Trust