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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Monday, 14 March 2011
Squirrels and fells vie for award
Red squirrel at a feeding table in Ennerdale
Cumbria is one of few areas to still have a red squirrel population

Two Cumbrian conservation projects are vying for a grant of £17,000 (20,000 euros).

Wild Ennerdale, in the western Lake District, wants the money to protect oak woodland - an important habitat for the threatened red squirrel.

Fix the Fells wants to spend it on mountain routes at Striding Edge and Scafell Pike.

To get the award, the projects must win a public vote - open until 23 March, 2011.

Saving the red squirrel

The prize money from this competition would go a long way towards ensuring their (red squirrels) future survival.
Alistair Starling, Wild Ennerdale

Wild Ennerdale was set up to preserve and develop the natural environment in one of the Lake District's most remote valleys.

The ancient oak woodland in Ennerdale is filled with the sound of cuckoo, the sight of roe deer and red squirrels scurrying about picking up acorns.

But the red squirrel has come under increasing threat because of rival, non-native greys. The greys out-compete the reds for food and carry squirrel pox which is deadly to the red squirrel.

Alistair Starling from Wild Ennerdale said: "The red squirrels are a very important part of the diversity of Wild Ennerdale and the prize money from this competition would go a long way towards ensuring their future."

Fixing the Fells

Helvellyn
Paths along Striding Edge on Helvellyn would be repaired by Fix the Fells

Fix the Fells was set up in 2007 with Heritage Lottery money, to restore damaged and eroded paths across the Lake District.

The organisation said its work is vital to keep the fells open for everyone and to protect Cumbria's natural heritage.

It wants to spend the grant on two iconic routes - the razor-sharp Striding Edge at Helvellyn and Scafell Pike, England's highest peak.

Richard Fox, project officer for Fix the Fells said: "This award will help us protect these landscapes and ensure that we all continue to enjoy the freedom to walk these paths."

Both projects have been submitted to the European Outdoor Conservation Association for an award.

They are up against projects in Snowdonia in Wales, and the Three Peaks in Yorkshire.




SEE ALSO
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18 Feb 11 |  Cumbria
Cash helps protect red squirrels
10 Oct 10 |  Tyne
Volunteers needed to repair fells
23 Dec 07 |  Cumbria


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