A £2.3 million bid has been sent to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project to encourage local people and visitors to enjoy, cherish and defend the River Eden in Cumbria. The application has been made by Eden Rivers Trust in partnership with a range of other local organisations.
Photo by Val Corbett from the “Discover Eden” circular walks, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Called Cherish Eden, it is a five year plan with four complimentary themes. These include a series of activities which help local communities look after their local river, an apprenticeship scheme for local youngsters, a new series of walks and cycle rides in the Eden Valley, and a media project about “a day in the life of the River Eden”.
The first part is called “Defend Eden” and aims to get local people actively involved in looking after the river where they live. Examples of activities include removing invasive plants, surveying river wildlife, preventing pollution, protecting river banks and planting trees. Initially involving Eden Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency, the Cumbria Freshwater Non-native Species Initiative, it will be the community groups and volunteers who make a real difference.
“Apprentice Eden” is a partnership between Eden Rivers Trust, Newton Rigg College - part of Askham Bryan College – and other neighbouring Rivers Trusts. It is aimed at teaching young people about rivers and their importance to man and the environment. It will enable them to pursue careers in river conservation or other related subjects.
Several new walks and cycle rides associated with the River Eden will be established as part of the project. Called the “Eden Invaders Trail”, it will create some beautiful new ways of exploring the Eden Valley countryside. It will also tell people about its violent, historical invaders as well as its less violent, but still dangerous invaders of today - invasive animals and plants which are threatening our wildlife! It will involve Eden Rivers Trust and Cumbria County Council Environment Team in the first instance, along with the Environment Agency and the Cumbria Freshwater Non-native Species Initiative.
“A day in the life of the River Eden” is a media project which will consider all the activities associated with the river and come up with fresh, modern ways of telling people about them. The aim is to enthuse those involved and the general public about the river. This is another partnership project, and students from Carlisle College will draw on Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust and Cumbria County Council Carlisle Archive Centre for information and inspiration. The students will then use whatever methods or material they wish to create something extra special about the River Eden.
Simon Johnson, Eden Rivers Trust Director, said, “This is a fantastic project which will help people of all ages to make the most of this beautiful river. It will enable local communities to look after and enjoy their own little bit of Eden. Young people will be able to learn about the river and may be make a career out of it. We are delighted to have worked with so many local organisations, which have all brought their own expertise and enthusiasm to make this such a strong project bid.”
The application follows on from the Trust’s previous £1 million, 3 year HLF project called Discover Eden. It will be considered by the HLF in September 2012.
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