A PROJECT aiming to promote the countryside and wildlife of Upper Teesdale has been given an important boost.

Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT) has been awarded a grant of £9,700 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support th initiative which will provide up to date information to residents and visitors about the wonders of the area.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the money will fund a new edition of the authoritative book, ‘The Natural History of Upper Teesdale’, talks, guided walks and educational activities for local schools.

Durham Wildlife Trust will link up with The Upper Teesdale Botany group, run by Margaret Bradshaw, MBE, PhD and based in Middleton-in-Teesdale, to publish an updated edition of the highly informative ‘The Natural History of Upper Teesdale’ that will be available in early 2018.

Local experts will revise the text and invite extra information from local residents to inform their writing. Look out for exhibitions and opportunities to attend workshops in the coming months. Talks and guided walks are planned for spring and summer 2018.

Durham Wildlife Trust will also work with local schools to provide learning days to enthuse and inform children about the very special nature of Upper Teesdale, with visits for them and their families to see and understand the natural wonders of the area.

By fully informing and engaging as many people as possible, residents and visitors alike, the project aims to increase the overall respect for habitats and wildlife in Upper Teesdale and help to promote better conservation.

Commenting on the award, Dr Margaret Bradshaw, MBE, said: “It is more than 50 years since the 1st edition was printed to reveal the wonderful structure and great variety of wildlife in Upper Teesdale to all. Much is unique and rare in Britain and this project aims to show how precious the wildlife and habitats are. The 5th edition will have a new look, will be updated with some new authors and will fill the gap from the publication of the previous much sought-after editions.”

Kirsty Pollard, Education Officer at Durham Wildlife Trust, added: “Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will highlight how rich and striking the landscape of this region is. Education sessions and Community Events will provide engaging hands-on activities which will bring to life the dazzling world of the Upper Teesdale flora and fauna. We are excited to have this opportunity to link with local schools bringing ‘Young Scientists’ into the wild to explore the rich diversity of wildlife and geology in the Upper Teesdale area.”

Ivor Crowther, Head of HLF North East, said: “Our natural world is incredibly important for the wildlife that call it home, the heritage it reveals and the communities who enjoy it. So, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to support this project to put people of all ages at the heart of celebrating the wonders of Upper Teesdale.”