Juniper on the path to Green Crag in Eskdale. Photo: Derek Cockell

Juniper on the path to Green Crag in Eskdale. Photo: Derek Cockell

Followers of the late fellwalking guide book author Alfred Wainwright will celebrate the group’s 10th birthday by raising funds for a wildlife charity which will be marking its own 50th anniversary.

The Wainwright Society has named the Cumbria Wildlife Trust as its main charity beneficiary next year.

The trust was a favourite of Wainwright and his second wife Betty, and Wainwright Society members decided to back the conservation organisation’s Uplands for Juniper project with its main fundraising challenge and annual calendar.

Derek Cockell of the Wainwright Society said: “The Lake District has more extensive stands of juniper than anywhere else in England.

“Sadly, a decline in the use and management of juniper in recent years, coupled with reduced seed production of older plants and overgrazing of young saplings has taken its toll on the viability of juniper to continue to flourish in its natural habitat.

“The project aims to survey the 231 identified juniper sites in order to establish the condition and extent of juniper. Following the survey practical steps will be taken to improve the condition of existing juniper sites, expand juniper woodland sites and create new stands through planting locally sourced saplings.

“Alfred Wainwright must have loved juniper trees as he mapped the extent of juniper meticulously on his explorations during the 1950s and 60s.

“Juniper stands are recorded on 19 of the 214 fells in the Pictorial Guides. Of Holme Fell he wrote: ‘the glorious jungle of juniper and birch, heather and bracken make this one of the most attractive of Lakeland’s fells’.”

Alfred and Betty Wainwright were both members of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, which protects diverse natural habitats in the county.

Money raised by the society will be matched 10:1 through a landfill tax funding scheme.

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