Local residents in the village of Staveley are urging the public to get behind their campaign to keep Craggy Wood in public hands, saying there are only a few weeks left to reach their target of £120,000. There is currently a shortfall of £15,000 which must be raised by the end of September, in order for Cumbria Wildlife Trust to take over the long-term management of the woodland.
Anne Salisbury, Staveley Parish Councillor and Chair of Craggy Wood Steering Group, said: “Staveley residents are working hard to raise the £120,000 needed to buy Craggy Wood, which forms the backdrop to Staveley village and which the National Park is selling. Cumbria Wildlife Trust, who will buy and manage the woodland, has been receiving very generous donations from people far and wide and with some grant funding, the total reached so far is around £105,000, but the appeal is still short of about £15,000 with only a few weeks left to find the money. We are asking local people to dig deep and support the campaign, to ensure that this iconic woodland remains in public hands. Please contact Cumbria Wildlife Trust today – however big or small, your donation will make a difference!”
People who have already supported the appeal have highlighted the value of the woodland, saying what it means to them. Their comments include:
“I hope you will be successful in saving the woodland for wildlife, locals and holiday-makers like myself.”
“Craggy Wood is a fantastic place that should remain accessible for future generations to enjoy. I love Craggy Wood and used to walk there regularly when I lived in Staveley.”
“Over 70 years ago, after his Sunday dinner nap, my grandfather Tommy Johnson of Bridge End would often say ‘Go get the dogs out of the kennel and we’ll go for a walk up through Craggy’.”
“I’m donating in memory of my dogs past and present.”
David Harpley, Conservation Manager at Cumbria Wildlife Trust said: “Craggy Wood is an important habitat for wildlife conservation and biodiversity. It’s a wonderful place to see bluebells in the spring or to listen out for the call of the buzzard and owls have been seen after dusk. Red squirrels have been sighted close by in the Kentmere valley and they too could move into Craggy Wood. It’s part of a network of woodland next to Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood and Mike’s Wood, which are currently managed for conservation and together they form an important corridor for wildlife above Staveley.”
Staveley Parish Councillors and the village community were opposed to the decision to sell the woodland and a campaign was set up to keep it in public hands, now spearheaded by the Craggy Wood Steering Group. The ancient woodland was bought from a private owner in 1985 by the Lake District Special Planning Board, as it then was, to preserve its diverse and environmentally important nature, but in June 2016 the National Park Authority informed the Staveley Parish Council that they were proposing to sell Craggy Wood to raise funds for other projects. Since the wood was put up for sale the Steering Group, through the Parish Council, has had Craggy Wood designated as an Asset of Community Value by South Lakes District Council.
Donations towards the purchase of Craggy Wood should be made directly to Cumbria Wildlife Trust:
By phone on 01539 816300.
Cheques can be made payable to Cumbria Wildlife Trust and sent to:
Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Kendal LA8 8LX