Headed up by Wetheral Parish Council, village residents in Aglionby created a working group to improve a small area of the village. The initial hope was to include village residents young and old in transforming a small village pond and the surrounding area of land. The impacts of lockdown meant that volunteering was restricted with some of the older residents were unable to participate in the work but this didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of a small band of volunteers.

The pond was cleared of weeds, overhanging branches removed and ditches cleared of weeds and overgrowth. Verges were cut around the pond and Himalayan Balsam pulled from the pond area and verges. Non-native conifers were removed from an adjacent woodland area together with weeds and brash.

The aim is to attract visitors to the area, as there are many public footpaths and attractions towards the Hadrian’s Wall walks.

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

“This kind of small scale community activity is exactly what we designed our ‘Landscape grants’ scheme to support. We were delighted to be able to support this project with a small grant of £2,000. We’re never short of enthusiasm in this county and in many cases like this, all that’s called for is a little financial assistance to help communities help themselves.”  

The legacy will be on going, the project will continue over the next 4 years, by this time the area will be opened up for general access, creation of a meadow with native flowers and plants encouraging bees. Non-native trees will be removed, and native species planted.

  • Applications can be made to Friends of the Lake District, and information on the new grant scheme can be found at friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/how-to-apply-for-a-grant
  • Support is open to charitable organisations, voluntary and community groups, schools, social enterprises and local councils or conservation agencies. There are no application deadlines as the grant is open all year round. For more information contact [email protected]