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Funding for summer events in Cumbria

Crummock Water in the Lake District in Cumbria Credit: PA

A new scheme means grants are available for people hosting summer events in Cumbria.

"Discover Cumbria" aims to encourage organisations, schools, and groups to run activities that help people and communities "enjoy something new about the natural environment".

It is being jointly run by Friends of the Lake District and Natural England.

We’ve already funded a diverse range of activities this year and I’d encourage anybody organising events and activities to visit our website to find out more about their eligibility and how to apply for the funding.

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

– Jan Darrall, Policy Officer at Friends of the Lake District


Natural England: We are disappointed the woodland "was so severely damaged"

"Legal action is always regrettable and we were disappointed that a woodland of such ecological importance and one that was very special to the local community, was so severely damaged.

'We work with landowners across the country to ensure that such special areas of our natural heritage can be protected.

"We welcome the fact that Mr Day has undertaken a programme of voluntary restoration and hope that he will now work with us to manage this special area more appropriately in the future."

– Janette Ward, Natural England's regulation director

Response: Tycoon will appeal

"As acknowledged by the judge in this case, Philip Day did not deliberately set out to damage a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

"Mr Day is passionate about the countryside and committed to conservation. He was shocked to find that damage had been caused to the site by contractors.

"As soon as he became aware of this, he worked closely with Natural England to carry out a full restoration programme, which was completed over two years ago.

"Mr Day intends to appeal against the sentence. The fine is nine times the amount imposed for previous similar offences."

– Spokesperson for Philip Day


Business tycoon fined over woodland damage in Cumbria

A business tycoon has been ordered to pay almost £1 million in fines and costs after damaging ancient woodland on his land in Cumbria.

A court heard how Philip Day, owner of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain of shops, had tried to use the "power of his wealth to avoid responsibility".

Mr Day has been fined £450,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £475,000. His own defence legal costs are not known.

Mr Day, 47, whose firm has a turnover of £240 million, admitted two counts of damaging Gelt Woods, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Natural England, a quango with responsibility to protect the environment, brought the prosecution after it said he caused unauthorised damaging work to be carried out on the site, which is protected.

Whitehaven to Allonby coastal path consultations ends

A three month consultation into whether a coastal path between Whitehaven and Allonby in west Cumbria should be created ended today.

The 36km stretch would be the first section in North West to be enhanced as part of plans for a path around the English coastline.

Landowners, farmers, businesses and residents took part. Natural England will use the feedback from the consultation to finalise proposals for the new route, which will then be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval.