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Innovative scheme funds access to the countryside for everyone

Lake District by Night exhibition at Moot Hall in Keswick supported with funding from the ‘Discover Cumbria’ grant scheme. Image of Derwentwater and Catbells. (Photo Rod Ireland)
Lake District by Night exhibition at Moot Hall in Keswick supported with funding from the ‘Discover Cumbria’ grant scheme. Image of Derwentwater and Catbells. (Photo Rod Ireland)

Landscape charity Friends of the Lake District and Natural England have created a joint scheme enabling organisations, schools and groups to create new and innovative opportunities for people and communities to get outside, discover and enjoy something new about the landscape and the natural environment.

If you’re organising an event and activity for local people or visitors this year, it may qualify for a ‘Discover Cumbria’ grant of up to £500.

Grants will be awarded to activities or events which encourage access to the countryside or make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing.  Activities can be for local people or visitors, but funders are particularly interested in those aimed at young people, older people, less abled people or others who may not normally go out and enjoy the landscape and wildlife that Cumbria has to offer .

The funding has already benefitting numerous organisations with individual awards of up to £500 supporting events and activities across Cumbria.

Ceremony to open footpath link between Unthank and Skelton supported with funding from the ‘Discover Cumbria’ grant scheme.
Ceremony to open footpath link between Unthank and Skelton supported with funding from the ‘Discover Cumbria’ grant scheme.

The Lindley Educational Trust took families from Ashton-under-Lyne, an area of chronic deprivation, on a day out to Glenridding. The day taught families about the Lake District landscape and built their appreciation of the natural environment. It was a day designed to empower families with the confidence to venture into the outdoors themselves in the future.

Jan Darrall, Policy Officer at Friends of the Lake District said: “We fund a diverse range of activities through the Discover Cumbria scheme. We’re looking for innovative ideas that provide support for people and communities to get outside, discover and enjoy something new about the natural environment.

“We’re really interested in events that focus on landscape, flora and fauna and land management or those celebrating local events or Cumbria’s fantastic cultural heritage.“

Events must be free to attend and can run anytime until December 2017. Grant money is available but limited so funding is being offered on a rolling basis. Events must be new or have a funding gap and won’t be funded retrospectively.

Information and an application form are available on Friends of the Lake District’s website at https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/discover-cumbria-grants-guidance. Or by emailing Policy Officer Jan Darrall at [email protected].

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