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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 17:32 GMT
Windfall for osprey project
Osprey chick - Norman Healy/Forestry Commission
Thousands of people saw the ospreys on a special web cam
A project to monitor threatened birds of prey is to get an unexpected government handout.

The Lake District Osprey Project at Bassenthwaite is among several schemes to share in the 200,000 grant.

The cash will be used to improve facilities at the site, which has proved a massive hit with the public.

The Lake District National Park and a pedestrianisation project for Keswick, are also due to benefit.

Part of the cash will go to creating a Lake District National Park Authority website which will highlight the issues and opportunities surrounding Windermere.

Nesting birds

The cash awards come as an unexpected addition to Defra's 2003/4 budget.

The Osprey project, which attracts thousands of visitors every year, has been one of Cumbria's biggest tourism success stories in the wake of the damaging foot-and-mouth outbreak.

In 2003 the project saw two chicks born to a nesting pair of Ospreys at Bassenthwaite, near Keswick.

Only one of the newborn birds survived.

A special web cam set up to monitor the nesting site, attracted tens of thousands of viewers.

The project is a partnership between The Forestry Commission, the Lake District National Park Authority and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The pair of ospreys first nested at Bassenthwaite Lake in 2001 as the result of a natural recolonisation of England and they were the first recorded pair to breed in Lakeland for at least 150 years.

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03 Aug 03  |  Cumbria
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20 Apr 03  |  Cumbria


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