Nestled between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, the village of Shap lies in the picturesque Lowther Valley. Perhaps most famous for its award-winning chip shop, it is now keen to also become known for its landscape and wildlife, by launching the first ever Shap Outdoor Festival on Saturday 22 April.
The festival is a celebration of the stunning scenery and nature that can be explored in the Lowther Valley, with a number of individuals and organisations coming together to provide a packed programme of events for locals and visitors alike.
Patrick Neaves, Shap Outdoor Festival Co-ordinator said: “The nearby National Parks are undoubtedly beautiful, but the Lowther Valley has its own, unique story to tell. Shap Outdoor Festival is showcasing how this area is an equally exciting place to explore, for anyone looking for dramatic scenery and wonderful wildlife. Easily accessible from the M6, we’ve got ancient woodland, expanses of open moorland and peatland, tranquil lakes and rivers, and a whole host of plants, animals and views to experience in this quieter corner of Cumbria.”
From bats, badgers and bluebells to red squirrels, lichens, and birds. There’s talks, walks and even a Friends of the Lake District walling competition throughout the festival month.
A whole host of organisations and individuals including the RSPB, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group, Lowther Estate, a local bat expert, Friends of the Lake District Dark Skies Cumbria, LUniverse Planetarium (Lancaster University), At Nature’s Pace, Cumbria Lichens and Bryophytes Group have come together to create the exciting programme of activities and events. The festival will be officially launched at Shap Farmers Market on Saturday 22nd April, where a variety of stalls will be present for locals and visitors to find out more.
Information, artwork and photographs will be on display at The Exhibit ‘A’ Gallery at The Old Courthouse during the festival.
Lee Schofield, RSPB Site Manager at Haweswater said: “We’re delighted to be involved in the first ever Shap Outdoor Festival with our Dawn Chorus and Bluebell walks as well as Badger Watching and Red Squirrel photography opportunities. My book talk ‘Wild Fell: Fighting for Nature on a Lake District Hill Farm’ has toured around England so it’s a pleasure to be bringing it back on local turf for the Festival. We hope to see some familiar faces as well as new ones there, and at the host of other special events going on throughout the Festival.”
For full details on the range of experiences taking place throughout the festival, visit theoldcourthouse.org/