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Fundraising festival goers explore the Riverlands with Max, Paddy and Harry

L-R: Becky Powell, Gillian Pimblett, Kerry Irving and spaniels, Rob Webster and Jessie Binns at Ashness Bridge

The Lake District’s own celebrity spaniels Max, Paddy and Harry have met fundraisers who will be taking part in events at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival to support the National Trust’s new Riverlands project.  Gillian Pimblett and Rob Webster joined the three dogs, owner Kerry Irving and Jessie Binns and Becky Powell from the National Trust for a walk around part of Derwentwater, to find out more about Riverlands and some of the other work that the Trust is doing in the area.

For the first time, visitors at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival are being encouraged to actively fundraise for the event’s official charity partner, the National Trust, when they sign up for outdoor and sporting activities during the festival, which will run from 16-19 May.

Everyone who enters an event is being given the option to sign up to fundraise for the Trust’s Riverlands project which aims to improve the health of mountain rivers, such as the Derwent. Working with locals, farmers and businesses communities, the National Trust hopes to ‘slow the flow’ of water from summit to sea and in doing so protect the river, the mountains and valleys it flows through, and the wildlife and people who depend on it. Festival goers who agree to support Riverlands when they sign up for an outdoor or sports event receive a fundraising pack and a limited-edition top.

L-R: Kerry Irving, Rob Webster, Gillian Pimblett and Jessie Binns

Kerry Irving, along with the Lake District’s celebrity spaniels Max, Paddy and Harry, are supporters of the National Trust and lead fundraising walks for the organisation.  They met up with Gillian Pimblett, from Huddersfield, and Rob Webster, from Ambleside, who have signed up to support the trust during events at this year’s festival.  Gillian will cycle the Back o’ Skiddaw Sportive, while Rob will run in the Adidas Terrex 25km Trail Race, both raising money for Riverlands in the process.  Gillian, Rob, Kerry and the dogs were accompanied by Jessie Binns and Becky Powell from the National Trust, who were able to provide some insights into the trust’s work around Derwentwater, which fundraising at Keswick Mountain Festival will contribute to.

Jessie Binns, visitor experience and engagement manager for the National Trust, comments: “We’re so chuffed that people are choosing to raise funds for our Riverlands project as part of their Keswick Mountain Festival event. Rivers are the lifeblood of the countryside and, if we can make the mountain river Derwent healthier, it will bring benefits for farmers, for wildlife, and for sports enthusiasts alike. Nearly all the race routes for the festival go through or beside countryside that’s cared for by the National Trust. These landscapes are beautiful but surprisingly fragile and easily damaged, so it’s wonderful that people want to give back in this way.”

Kerry Irving adds: “We really enjoyed meeting fellow National Trust fundraisers while showing them one of our favourite walks.  It’s great to support the Riverlands project and hopefully many more will join us.”

Places at the various events taking place during this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival are available at  For full details about this year’s festival, visit the website and for the latest updates follow @keswickfestival on Twitter and Instagram, and find Keswick Mountain Festival on Facebook.

To find out more about the National Trust and the work it is doing in the Lake District through Riverlands and other projects, visit its website.

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