[I]t’s 40 years since Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve, a four hectare stretch of the old Stainmore Railway and Eden Valley branch line near Kirkby Stephen, was purchased by Cumbria Wildlife Trust from British Rail. The cuttings and embankments of the disused lines are home to an incredibly wide range of flora, including some stunning fragrant orchids.
To mark the 40th anniversary of the nature reserve, a group of dedicated members, volunteers and friends recently joined Cumbria Wildlife Trust staff and Honorary Warden of the nature reserve Alan Glendle at a celebratory event. Among the several long-standing supporters were Trustee Margaret Albon of Kirkby Stephen, a member of the Trust for 30 years, as well as Frank and Shelagh Mawby of Kirkbride and Chris and Helen Lates of Carlisle – both couples have been members and volunteers at the Trust for over 30 years.
Sonya Skinner, Individual Giving Officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “It was a pleasure to share this key birthday with so many of our committed members and hardworking volunteers and supporters. We are so grateful for their amazing contribution over many years – they help protect wild places like Waitby Greenriggs Nature Reserve for wildlife and we were delighted to celebrate this important milestone with them.”
On a walk through the nature reserve, Alan Glendle pointed out many common spotted orchids and helped the group identify fragrant orchids. He was also able to point out a rare hybrid of the two orchids, which shared the distinctive fragrance.
The nature reserve is open to the public and is located just over two miles from Ravenstonedale. For details go to www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk