We were delighted to welcome nearly seventy people who made their way from the Eden Valley and beyond to attend our first-ever Supporters’ Day at Melmerby Village Hall.
The day was billed as an opportunity to hear about the work we have undertaken to improve and protect the rivers in the Eden catchment and re-live the highlights of some amazing projects working with communities. Those who attended were treated to some fascinating talks and the chance to see some of our work in action.
Our aim was to give a flavour of the diverse projects we deliver to help us achieve our goal of creating A Healthy Eden for All. These included:
Rewilding expert, Derek Gow was the guest speaker, who, in a passionate and thought-provoking talk, shared his experiences and learnings, both good and bad from re-introducing species and improving wildlife habitats in the UK. He left the audience with a clear message – wildlife is in peril and we need to act now … whilst we still can.
The day also provided the opportunity for us to say thank you to all of our fantastic supporters – partner organisations and volunteers, for all their help over the last year.
This included the presentation of The Ploughlands Legacy Award to its first recipient, Andrew Dixon, for his significant contribution to the conservation of the rivers and lakes of the River Eden catchment. Sadly Andrew couldn’t be with us, but his partner Elaine stepped into the breach and collected it on his behalf!
In the afternoon, participants chose to either visit a conservation project site or take part in activities such as stream dipping, riverfly identification, and looking at ecosystem services mapping of the Eden catchment.
In summing up the day, Elizabeth Radford, CEO Eden Rivers Trust said:
“It was wonderful to be able to bring so many of our supporters together for the first time. They are integral to the delivery of our work and it was great to celebrate the year’s successes with them.
Derek’s impassioned and bold address inspired and challenged staff and supporters alike to think big about restoring our countryside so that it truly bursts with life.”
We’d like to say a huge thanks to Friends of the Lake District, Sainsbury’s Penrith and Asda Carlisle for their contributions to the event.
You can read more about what we did in 2018 in our report, In Full Flow: Creating A Healthy Eden for All