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Zoo Diary: Community Conservation

on 13th February, 2023
Lake District Wildlife Park - Tree Planting Conservation

Last weekend the Lake District Wildlife Park celebrated its fifteenth year of tree planting. The planting is part of an ongoing project to create a haven for wildlife. Next to already established ancient natural woodland the trees are a fantastic addition to the nature reserve that is slowly becoming wilder. The trees have been planted with enough space between them for rough pasture and wildflowers to thrive. In the future rare breed cattle will graze the land. This method of conservation grazing helps to keep the stronger grasses under control and allows the flowers to thrive. With an increased diversity of plants and wildflowers the abundance of insects will increase, followed by a rise in the number of birds and mammals.

The recent day of tree planting was a great success in more ways than one: It wasn’t just the fact that 500 additional trees were planted including hawthorn, alder, elder and oak. It was also a very successful day for bringing together members of the local community and people from further afield. Explorer Scouts from Kirkby Stephen and Penrith joined the Keswick group to help with the planting. Working towards an environmental award they learnt valuable practical skills from the staff who work at the Park. The Park Manager Richard and Conservation Education Officer Lucy educated the group about the natural environment and the reasons behind their conservation efforts.

Scout Leader Norman expertly erected a couple of tarps in the woodland for a well-earned lunch break. Plenty of cake, biscuits and hot chocolate was then delivered by quad bike for the hungry work party! The afternoon planting went extremely well fuelled with calories and good humour. There was a fantastic team spirit and many new friends were made which overall made the day feel a great success. It is very satisfying at the end of hard days work to see what has been achieved.

The woodland nature reserve is part of an ongoing bigger conservation project on the Armathwaite Hall Estate which is home to the Lake District Wildlife Park. The estate comprises upland hay meadows, lake shore which is a SSSI (Site of Scientific Special Interest) and woodland. The native conservation work is in addition to the Park’s ongoing efforts to conserve endangered animals. Read the next zoo diary to find out how the Park and Armathwaite Hall have generously contributed to the planting of bamboo and reforesting Red Panda habitat, Lemur habitat and helping to save critically endangered Vultures.

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