The first Shap Outdoor Festival has now drawn to an end!
The Old Courthouse would like to say a huge thank you to all those who came along and showed us so much support over the month.
We were so lucky with the weather on our outdoor walks – only a few spots of rain and, for Shap, that’s a miracle! Our fabulous new lighting and projection technology worked flawlessly too!
If you came along on one of the events, please leave a comment below and let us know what you enjoyed, what didn’t work well and what you would like to see as part of a future festival.
The month started with a very interesting talk from Jim Bliss on the wilding work going on at Lowther Estates, followed by Eve Borrino with a talk on the amazing world of bats – the group making it all the way to the River Lowther on a fine evening to watch and listen to these wonderful creatures.
The weekend saw Jerry Moss and Sarah McNeil from Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group taking 3 groups of eager squirrel watchers around the quiet woods at Shap Wells Hotel. The squirrels did not disappoint us and we had many close encounters with one of our favourite local inhabitants!
Lee Schofield from RSPB/Wild Haweswater was met with a full house when he came to give us a talk on the work being carried out at Haweswater and kept us all entertained and enthralled reading from his award winning book – Wild Fell.
An overcast and drizzly Bank Holiday Monday morning did not dampen the spirits of the large group of lichen hunters who came along to join Caz Walker & Chris Cant as they gave us a brief talk on what things to look out for on our walk up to the church, scanning walls and trees for these small and fascinating organisms.
A busy week of events followed.
Robert Benson, chair of the Penrith & Distrist Red Squirrel Group told us all about these special little mammals, the different species around the world and the ever-growing threat to our local, much-loved red squirrels.
Jack Ellerby from Friends of the Lake District enlightened us all with regard to the problem of light pollution in Cumbria and the work being carried out to bring back ‘Dark Skies’ to the county.
Jack also organised the Friends of the Lake District Walling Competition – on a scorching hot day in the village. You can check out the winners here.
After spending a busy day at the primary school, Freya & Roman from Lancaster University Outreach Team – brought the LUniverse Planetarium experience to Shap! A wonderful evening spent amongst the stars – planets, galaxies and black holes too!
Our final excursion was a walk throughout the stone monuments of Shap. Another beautiful day drew a large crowd to join Patrick Neaves as he led them along the route of the prehistoric monuments of Shap.
A special thank you to those people who made these events possible.
Annabel Rushton – RSPB/Wild Haweswater
Lee Schofield – RSPB/Wild Haweswater
Katie & Phil – RSPB/Wild Haweswter
Kay Andrews – Friends of the Lake District
Jack Ellerby – Friends of the Lake District
Robert Benson – Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group
Jerry Moss – Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group
Sarah McNeil – Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group
Gary & Jill – Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group
Caz Walker – Cumbria Lichens & Bryophytes Group
Chris Cant – Cumbria Lichens & Bryophytes Group
Freya & Roman – Lancaster University
Mel Sugden – Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Sean Prokopiw – Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Ruth Kirk – At Nature’s Pace
To everyone who helped advertise and promote the events during the festival
And especially – all those who came along, joined in and supported us!