Badger in the buttercups by Denise Godsmark who visited our Badger Hide this year.
As the curtain closes on 2023, grab a brew and a mince pie and check out some of the highlights from Haweswater this past year…
We kicked off the year with the exciting news that we received Landscape Recovery development funding, we had some new roles to recruit, and were looking for an Administrator, Community Engagement Officer, Ecologist, Research Assistant and a Social Scientist.
The year also started with some very wet weather which led to Swindale Beck’s flood plain doing it’s thing to perfection. It spilled out onto its floodplain as it is meant to, but within hours of the rain stopping, it was all back in the channel again like the rain had never happened.
We had a visit from the then CEO of the Environment Agency, James Bevan as part of the European Riverprize celebrations.
Our team had some great fun learning new skills on a Tree ID course and an introduction to Lichens day.
As ever, our volunteers were hard at work, out with our Wardens – processing seeds in the nursery and removing tree tubes.
Our hardy volunteers and Wardens removing tree tubes in wintery weather. Image taken by Warden Spike.
The first of February saw the official first anniversary of Celebration Wood – a huge thanks to everyone who has supported it so far. Whether in memory of a life or to mark a special occasion, every tree in Celebration Wood has a story.
Our volunteers were out plating a new hedge and removing old deer fences.
We waved a fond farewell to Hannah, who’d been on loan to us as a Warden from RSPB Ouse Fen in Cambridgeshire.
Ceramic markers, made locally by Coco Ceramics, are placed in each tree in Celebration Wood. Image taken by Wild Intrigue.
We celebrated the fantastic contribution of the (growing number of) women on our team on International Women’s Day.
The number of jobs that have been created through our regenerative farming approach was highlighted in the Guardian.
Ever busy, our volunteers were out tree planting and taking care of the nursery.
The first Wilderness Programme took place.
Wild Fell, written by our Site Manager Lee Schofield is an award-winning book telling Lee’s personal story of fighting for nature on a Lake District hill farm. Image taken by Lee.
Lambing and calving time kept our farming team busy.
Our Badger Hide re-opened for another season, supported by our fresh faced new Badger Hide Guide volunteers.
The Shap Outdoor Festival kicked off its first ever year, and we were excited to be involved.
We were part of the Rewilding Britain report into how rewilding increases jobs.
Angus the lamb was the last lamb of the year to be born, and was sadly orphaned so was bottle-fed by the team. Image taken by Nature’-friendly Farming Apprentice Elli.
We celebrated International Dawn Chorus Day with a guided walk. Why not book on one of next year’s events.
Our team were up with the lark (or ouzel) on Ring Ouzel surveys. Sadly numbers were heavily down this year, which was a pattern seen across the UK.
Cumbria Badger Vaccination Project volunteers began the task of vaccinating the Badgers at Haweswater.
Our volunteers were out on Dipper surveys and recorded 17 territories.
We took part in Nature Friendly Farming Week promotions, with our farming team highlighting the moments they were most proud of as Nature Friendly Farmers.
A beautiful Dipper, just one of the species surveyed by our team this year. Image taken by Dave Morris.
We celebrated National Volunteers Week and all the fantastic contributions of our volunteers – whether on the farm, out doing practical conservation, in the tree nursery, welcoming visitors into the Badger Hide, admin tasks, visitor surveys, bird surveys…. We couldn’t do what we do without them!
Ospreys were regularly spotted going over, giving us hope for use of the new platform in future!
Thriving was launched, a film all about regenerative farming across Cumbria, that we are proud to be part of.
The distinctive checker board pattern on the wings of a Marsh Fritillary, which returned to Haweswater this year. Image taken by Lee Schofield.
Cumbria Connect was officially launched!
Our volunteers were out seed collecting and bracken bashing – they’re a hardy bunch!
Sheep shearing kept our farm team busy.
New Warden Pete joined the team.
Fell Pony Adventures took out intrepid wild campers to explore Haweswater’s wild side.
Landowners, farmers and conservationists from the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales , including us here at Haweswater (pictured), joined forces in an ambitious partnership to create one of the UK’s largest nature-focused landscape programmes called Cumbria Connect. Image taken by Gosia Niemczura.
At Nature’s Pace ran Family Discovery Days in the woods.
We said a fond farewell to our Conservation Scientist Ash but a big welcome to new Tree Nursery Assistant Julia.
Having discovered Marsh Fritillary butterflies here in June, we surveyed for their caterpillars and found thousands!
We hosted our first Cumbria Farmer Network event, and will hopefully do more in future.
The first Water Voles were released here, bringing this cute species back for the first time in decades. Image taken by Wild Intrigue.
Hay making time! It was a little later than usual due to a very wet August, but we made hay whilst the sun shone in September.
Hazel Gloves Fungus was re-found this autumn, after being discovered last year – the first record for Northern England!
Bringing in the hay is a full community effort by our staff, volunteers and neighbours. We cut our hay in late summer to give all the wildflowers chance to set seed. It will feed our livestock over the winter. Image taken by Lee Schofield.
Already the largest native tree and plant nursery in the Lake District, we extended our nursery and added a super new polytunnel. Our dedicated team of nursery staff and volunteers grow tens of thousands of trees and plants, from seed they collect on-site, and plant them back out as part of our landscape restoration work.
Luing cattle were added to our herd of conservation grazers – joining our Belted Galloway and Highland cows.
We competed in the Penrith Winter Droving – Drover’s Cup. Turns out we’re great at hay bale carrying and tug of war, but not so good at throwing eggs or eating mash.
Our Drover’s Cup team. Image taken by Becki Schofield.
Our team of staff and volunteers returned to Sale Pot to make some finishing touches.
We added another new team mate – Administrator and Bampton Guru Lucinda.
Red Squirrels are just one of the gorgeous forest animals you can photograph from Wild Intrigue’s Woodland Wildlife Hide. Image taken by Wild Intrigue.
We celebrated our volunteer’s contributions with a Christmas party and planted a tree for them in Celebration Wood.