We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

Foulshaw Moss Flagship Nature Reserve

To make this wetland an even better place for wildlife, nature & the environment.
Restoring & creating habitat for rare species including ospreys, marsh harrier, white-faced darter dragonfly, otters, butterflies & more. At the same time making it easy for people to experience this rare habitat.

4 years

Charity information: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Cumbria Wildlife Trust logo
  • Need


    Lack of space for wildlife - lagg fen habitat is an exceptionally rare habitat, sadly, almost completely lost from the UK. This habitat provides valuable breeding grounds for dragonflies, shelter for birds & sites for adolescent bitterns.

    Lack of access - Foulshaw Moss has so much for people to see, enjoy & experience. At the moment, there is a limited amount of boardwalk so access is restricted.

    Lack of information - people visiting don't always know what they can see or its importance.


    Planting creates areas of lagg fen habitat (which is exceptionally rare) making space for wildlife to shelter & breed.

    Water level monitors will track & help maintain the habitat.

    Boardwalk, information boards, hides & screening will allow people to experience more of the nature reserve without damaging the fragile habitat by trampling underfoot or disturbing the wildlife.

    Installing information boards will give people the information about what they can search for & enjoy seeing.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To keep raised mire habitat healthy, improve biodiversity & maintain correct water levels


    » Water-loggers will allow us to monitor & take action where needed
    » Habitat works including pool boundary maintenance to ensure correct water levels

    What success will look like

    Success is:
    >Improvement to habitat will be tracked & reported and will also be evident as you will be able to see the change
    >Diversity of species will show better habitat

    Aim 2

    To create lagg fen habitat, providing dragonfly breeding grounds & shelter for birds


    » Planting blocks of reeds & other seedlings will create new areas of lagg fen habitat
    » Monitoring and keeping the water levels & health of the seedlings will ensure a healthy habitat

    What success will look like

    Success is:
    More habitat.
    >Over the years, monitoring & fixed point photography will show increase of lagg fen areas.
    >An abundance of dragonflies & birds will be evident.

    Aim 3

    To make it easier to visit & enjoy this nature reserve & to see the wildlife it provides a home for


    » Installing all access boardwalk will allow people, including wheelchair users, pushchairs & less agile, to easily enjoy their visit
    » Hides & screening will give people a great experience of, & the opportunity to, see wildlife close-up (whilst having somewhere to shelter too!)
    » Information will enhance a visit to the nature reserve & will let people know what they can keep a look out for

    What success will look like

    Success is:
    >All access boardwalk in place providing easy routes for people
    >Hides & screening will enable wildlife viewing without disturbance
    >People telling us they enjoy it

    Aim 4

    Ensure the white-faced darter (introduced to the nature reserve) continue to breed sucessfully


    » Survey the white-faced darter to monitor population

    What success will look like

    Success is:
    >We will monitor & report on population & health of this dragonfly.
    >Quality & reach of the habitat the white-faced darter dragonfly needs will also be monitored.

  • Impact


    Long-term, the environment will benefit from there being more good quality habitat and increased biodiversity.

    Wildlife will benefit from increased places to shelter and breed. Fauna will flourish in the new habitats.

    People will be able to get closer to nature and to enjoy their natural environment. This will also positively impact their health, well-being and understanding of the role we all play in nature.


    If the suitable plants and seedlings are not available the habitat extension will not happen. We work with local providers to ensure a supply is available. Where this is not possible, we have worked with the local prison service and set up an in-house growing scheme.

    Not being able to secure the money needed is the biggest challenge to the project. However, the nature of work needed means that we can do individual parts as the money is secured.


    We will:
    -write to supporters with updates of progress & work undertaken
    -organise visits & guided walks so people may experience first-hand the wonderful habitat
    -provide information & updates through our website & other publications
    -information boards
    -press releases (to tell the world!)

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £161,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £15,000 Planting £5k will plant three blocks of lagg fen habitat
      £10,000 New trail New trail around the whole nature reserve will provide a great experience whilst protecting habitat
      £12,500 Monitoring & surveys Water-level loggers, dragonfly monitoring and surveys
      £25,000 Hides and screening This means people will be able to see and get close to the wildlife without disturbing it
      £14,600 Information boards 7 information boards placed at key places
      £60,900 Boardwalk All access boardwalk for levels of mobility
      £20,000 Raised platform Replacement of the raised viewing platform, currently in danger of rotting away into the bog
      £3,000 Telescope So people visiting can get a close up view of the nature and wildlife

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Donations from individuals £13,400 Guaranteed
    South Lakeland District Council £4,000 Guaranteed
    Yorkshire Bank - Spirit of the Community Award £5,000 Guaranteed
    Tesco Bags of Help grant £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve is in the Lake District National Park in the south of Cumbria (grid reference SD 458 837).

    In terms of scale, rarity of habitat and diversity of species, it doesn't get any better than the stunning Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve. The nature reserve as you see it today is the result of an impressive 15-year restoration, which has transformed the site to create this haven for wildlife.

    It is only one of just four sites in England where you can easily view osprey.


    Habitat improvements and protection will benefit the environment - peatbogs lock up carbon now and for the future. Maintaining a healthy functioning peatbog will prevent this carbon being released into the atmosphere.

    Wildlife will have more space to shelter and to breed.

    People of different levels of mobility will be able to enjoy this space, see wildlife and connect with their natural environment - benefiting their mental and physical health.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are recognised for our conservation work which has created 44 spectacular nature reserves across Cumbria. These nature reserves support valuable habitats such as flower-rich hay meadows, vast expanses of wetlands, wild coastal landscapes, species-rich pastures and native woodlands.

    Our 55-year history has seen us undertake many specialised projects. Including one of the largest peatland restoration projects in England at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve for which we have won a national award.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Paul Waiting, Nature Reserve Officer

    Paul has the experience & knowledge to deliver this project and is key to the work being successfully delivered.

    Peter Bullard, Director

    Peter is the Director of the Trust and has been in post for over 20 years, originally as a nature reserves officer. He will oversee the project.

    Trustess And Conservation Group

    Our Trustees are people with a wide range of expertise including financial, nature conservation and people engagement. They have approved the work.

    Fundraising Team

    We can only undertake the project if we secure the money. Our fundraising team is responsible for this.


Plants 3 blocks of lagg fen-extremely rare habitat

“No one will protect what they don't care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”

David Attenborough