Shap Outdoor Festival '24

Celebrating the Wildlife and Landscape of Shap and the Lowther Valley

Nestled between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, the village of Shap lies in the picturesque Lowther Valley.

Shap Outdoor Festival ’24 is a celebration of the stunning scenery and nature that can be explored in the Lowther Valley, with a number of individuals and organisations coming together to provide a packed programme of events for locals and visitors alike.  

Building upon previous events and exhibitions, Shap Outdoor Festival ’24 promises an enthralling line up of activities and events for both locals and visitors. With captivating talks, immersive walks and engaging workshops, there’s something for everyone to enjoy amidst the stunning scenery and diverse wildlife of the Lowther Valley.

Red Squirrel
34114983656_f7fabb40ca_o

Guided Nature Walks: Participants can join guided walks led by expert naturalists to explore the diverse landscapes and wildlife habitats in the area. These walks provide opportunities to observe local flora and fauna while learning about their ecological significance and conservation needs as well as showcasing the biodiversity and natural beauty of the area. There will also be wildlife viewing opportunities for attendees to observe animals and birds in their natural habitats.

Educational Talks: Local conservationists and environmentalists will deliver informative talks and participate in panel discussions on topics such as biodiversity conservation, habitat restoration, sustainable tourism and the impacts of climate change on the environment. These sessions aim to educate and inspire participants to take action for the protection of nature and their local area.

Shap Outdoor Festival ’24 will allow you to explore our wonderful local countryside and its incredible wildlife – from lichens in our ancient woodlands to the high fell and limestone escarpment. From river restoration and wetland habitats – home to our recent water vole re-introduction, to a ‘lost-word’ wander; delving into tales and poetry from nature and the wilds!

You will need to book to reserve a place at a talk or on a walk. Most of our events are free to join – please help us by leaving a donation if you can!

Click below to see all our events.

Click below to see who is coming to the markets and all the local events.

Meet the teams!

Conservation organisations will be present at Shap Farmers’ & Makers’ Markets (27th April and 25th May) to raise awareness of the projects taking place within our local area, promote activities occurring throughout the festival and engage with visitors and the local community alike to discuss the issues encountered with landscape restoration and habitat preservation as well as encouraging volunteer involvement.

The market also features many eco-friendly products, sustainable crafts, and locally sourced goods that can promote ethical consumerism and support small-scale artisans and conservation initiatives. Vendors can also offer information on environmentally friendly practices and products that benefit both people and the community.

Family-friendly activities at the market will encourage children and families to connect with nature in fun and meaningful ways. These activities foster a sense of stewardship and instil values of conservation and environmental responsibility from a young age.

Our Aims

  • Increased Awareness and Education: Shap Outdoor Festival ‘24 will provide valuable opportunities for attendees to learn about the importance of landscape restoration and wildlife habitats, biodiversity conservation and environmental stewardship as well as the actions they can take to protect these resources.
  • Community Engagement and Collaboration: We will bring together individuals, organizations, and local communities with shared interests in conservation, fostering collaboration and networking opportunities that can lead to long-term partnerships and initiatives.
  • Generating economic benefits for local businesses, tourism operators, and conservation initiatives through increased visitor numbers and engagement with festival attendees.
  • Support for Conservation Initiatives: The potential to raise funds and generate support for conservation projects and organisations through ticket sales, donations, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.
  • Providing opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing, and capacity building among conservation professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts.
  • Promotion of Eco-Tourism: By showcasing the natural beauty and biodiversity of this area, we can attract eco-conscious tourists and contribute to the local economy while promoting sustainable tourism practices.
  • Cultivating a sense of connection to nature and appreciation for the intrinsic value of wildlife and wild places among festival participants leading to benefits in physical fitness, improved mental health and well-being.
  • Encouraging attendees to become advocates for conservation in their own communities, leading to positive changes in attitudes, behaviours, and policies related to environmental stewardship.
  • Inspiration for Action: Experiencing the beauty and wonder of nature first-hand can inspire individuals to take action to protect the environment in their own communities and support conservation initiatives through engagement and volunteering opportunities

EVENTS

Click on the event for more info & to book.

Talks & Films at The Old Courthouse

Tues 30th April

Bringing ratty back to Cumbria's riverbanks

Last summer saw the return of ratty to the Lake District. Virtually wiped out in Cumbria, the release of 365 water voles was the culmination of 18 months' hard work.

Wed 1st May

"Cumbrian Red"

Join us for an evening with multi-award winning photographer and film maker Terry Abraham. After a showing of his latest work 'Cumbrian Red', there will be an opportunity to hear Terry talk about the film and answer any questions from the audience.

Tues 7th May

Cumbria's Ancient Woodlands

Join Graham Watson & Jamie Chaplin-Bryce to discover Cumbria's ancient woodlands and ancient woodland restoration.

Wed 8th May

For the love of Badgers

Join Sally Heesom, the project co-ordinator for Cumbria Badger Vaccination Project and is the lead for a small but dedicated group of volunteers. They have spent the last 3 years sett surveying and monitoring the badgers at RSPB Haweswater.

Tues 30th April

Bringing ratty back to Cumbria's riverbanks

Last summer saw the return of ratty to the Lake District. Virtually wiped out in Cumbria, the release of 365 water voles was the culmination of 18 months' hard work.

Wed 1st May

"Cumbrian Red"

Join us for an evening with multi-award winning photographer and film maker Terry Abraham. After a showing of his latest work 'Cumbrian Red', there will be an opportunity to hear Terry talk about the film and answer any questions from the audience.

Tues 7th May

Cumbria's Ancient Woodlands

Join Graham Watson & Jamie Chaplin-Bryce to discover Cumbria's ancient woodlands and ancient woodland restoration.

Wed 8th May

For the love of Badgers

Join Sally Heesom, the project co-ordinator for Cumbria Badger Vaccination Project and is the lead for a small but dedicated group of volunteers. They have spent the last 3 years sett surveying and monitoring the badgers at RSPB Haweswater.

Tues 14th April

Nature Crisis? What Nature Crisis?

Join Martin Varley, Programme Manager from the new large-scale nature restoration programme called Cumbria Connect covering the Lowther Valley, Haweswater and Orton Fells. 

Wed 15th May

Coast to Coast Nature Walk

In June 2019, Jamie walked 200 miles across Northern England to fundraise for “The Lost Words” nature books for 200 Cumbrian schools, visiting communities and schools each day along the way.

Tues 14th May

Nature Crisis? What Nature Crisis?

Join Martin Varley, Programme Manager from the new large-scale nature restoration programme called Cumbria Connect covering the Lowther Valley, Haweswater and Orton Fells. 

Wed 15th May

Coast to Coast Nature Walk

In June 2019, Jamie walked 200 miles across Northern England to fundraise for “The Lost Words” nature books for 200 Cumbrian schools, visiting communities and schools each day along the way.

Tues 21st May

Zero Carbon Cumbria 2037

Helen Attewell and Tim Duckmanton will give an overview of ZCC and the work which has been undertaken to date to understand our carbon footprint and discuss what actions will need to take place to cut our carbon emissions.

Wed 22nd May

Lichens: Looking at Small Things

Join Pete Martin, one of the founders of Cumbria Lichen and Bryophyte Group. He is fascinated by the patterns lichens make, the stories they tell and the questions they raise.

Tues 21st May

Zero Carbon Cumbria 2037

Helen Attewell and Tim Duckmanton will give an overview of ZCC and the work which has been undertaken to date to understand our carbon footprint and discuss what actions will need to take place to cut our carbon emissions.

Wed 22nd May

Lichens: Looking at Small Things

Join Pete Martin, one of the founders of Cumbria Lichen and Bryophyte Group. He is fascinated by the patterns lichens make, the stories they tell and the questions they raise.

Out & About – Walks & Workshops

Sun 28th April

Nature Doodling

Unlock the joy of nature doodling – no drawing expertise required! Learn the art of observation and discover the therapeutic benefits of doodling nature for your health and wellbeing.

Sat 4th May

red squirrel

Red Squirrel Walk & Watch

Join rangers for a short walk to watch the red squirrels and see the fantastic work they are carrying out to protect the habitat and create an amazing site for visitors to watch and interact with these beautiful and charismatic animals.

Sun 5th May

Making space for water … and water voles

Join Lev Dahl, Eden Rivers Trust’s River Restoration Manager for a Sunday stroll through the Lowther countryside.

Wed 8th May

River and Peatlands Restoration

Explore the captivating Wasdale Beck on a guided walk led by local river restoration experts Bill Kenmir.

Thurs 9th May

Not quite the Dawn Chorus at Haweswater

Experience the magic of nature’s music festival on this exclusive event, at a slightly more manageable hour of the morning, and be immersed in the birdsong here at Haweswater.

Sat 11th May

Oddendale Landscape and Heritage Walk

A walk led by David Evans, from Friends of the Lake District, exploring the hidden heritage of the westernmost part of the Westmorland Dales on the fells to the east of Shap.

Wed 15th May

Ancient Woodlands Walk

Explore a local ancient woodland close to Shap with Cumbria Woodlands tree specialist Jamie Chaplin-Bryce.

Sun 19th May

Lost Words Wander

Jamie Norminton  from Cumbria Wildlife Trust will lead 2 walks. One will take in a walk to high ground overlooking the Lowther Valley. The other; a gentle stroll along the lanes close to Shap - much easier walking for those who don't wish to climb too high!

Thurs 23rd May

Conservation Grazing

Discover how the Lowther Estate is using traditional native livestock breeds to revitalise habitats and help restore lost biodiversity.

Sun 26th May

Looking at Lichens in Naddle Forest

Have a look for lichens on the trees and rocks in Naddle Forest at Wild Haweswater, - including includes some temperate rainforest species such as tree lungwort.

A huge thank you to all the organisations, groups and individuals who supported the festival!