Saving Cumbria's biodiversity

The Get Cumbria Buzzing project
The National Lottery has announced £2million in funding to help save, protect and reintroduce wildlife across the county of Cumbria.

Hot on the heels of World Biodiversity Day and World Bee Day, two new flagship projects will enable local communities to work side by side with researchers and conservationists. Get Cumbria Buzzing and Back on Our Map (BOOM) will help to save and protect bees, wild pollinators and threatened species on a scale not seen before.

David Renwick, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director of England, North, said:

“These projects really are the bee's knees for Cumbria, particularly as we’ve prioritised nature for the next five years.

"Both will see vital work undertaken through powerful partnerships with biodiversity organisations and local people – ensuring that important wildlife in decline is put back on our map thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.”

Facing the threats to species

A recent UN report stated that the threat of global extinction has accelerated to at least a 20% loss of species over the past 100 years, and many species in the UK are at threat.

Britain is home to an amazing variety of bumblebees, hoverflies, solitary bees, butterflies and moths but their homes and food sources are under threat from modern agriculture and continued urbanisation.

Did you know that, amazingly, bee and other pollinators help to provide one third of the food we eat?

They’re also a natural pesticide, while being responsible for a wide diversity of plants worldwide.

In fact, just 1-2% of flower-rich habitats in a landscape, or even in a garden or park, is enough to have a significant impact on populations of wild bumblebees.

Buff Tailed Bumblebee
Buff-tailed bumblebee

Get Cumbria Buzzing

Get Cumbria Buzzing aims to get parks, school grounds and road verges in North Cumbria buzzing thanks to a £912,800 grant.

The three-year project will see Cumbria Local Nature Partnership work with Highways England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and local volunteers to restore 115 hectares of flower-rich habitats. Opportunities for people to make a buzz will include everything from gardening workshops to themed arts and crafts events, pollinator training courses and educational workshops.

Back on Our Map

Back on Our Map (BOOM) is a four-year, University of Cumbria-led project fighting to save the future for the hazel dormouse, Duke of Burgundy butterfly and small blue butterfly in South Cumbria.

Hazel dormouse - People's Trust for Endangered Species
Hazel dormouse. Credit: People's Trust for Endangered Species

Seven rare plants are also to be reintroduced to their habitats thanks to just over £1.05m National Lottery funding. These are the:

  • goldilocks aster
  • greater and oblong sundew
  • green-winged orchid
  • maidenhair fern
  • spiked speedwell
  • aspen

The project also aims to work towards reintroducing the Cumbrian corncrake and pine marten to the region.

BOOM aims to champion local custodianship of nature by offering a wealth of training opportunities in horticulture and conservation from species handling and breeding, to surveying, habitat management and planting techniques. There will be training for 145 people and the team will work with local communities including young people and prisoners at HMP Haverigg.

There will also be opportunities for families to get involved through species walks and talks, nature and art competitions and classes culminating in an exhibition.

Student conservation volunteers - University of Cumbria
Student conservation volunteers - University of Cumbria

BOOM will be delivered in partnership with Morecambe Bay Partnership, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Natural England and The Forestry Commission.