Fighting for nature on a Lake District hill farm
In 2015, England’s last and loneliest golden eagle died in an unmarked spot
among the remote eastern fells of the Lake District. It was a tragic day for the
nation’s wildlife, but the fight to restore the landscape had already begun.
Lee Schofield, ecologist and site manager for RSPB Haweswater, is leading
efforts to breathe life back into 3,000 hectares of sprawling upland habitat. In his
search for inspiration, Lee has sought out the UK’s rarest mountain flower and
travelled from the wild fells of Norway to the pristine meadows of the Alps.
But in the contested landscape of the Lake District, change is not always
welcomed, and success relies on finding a balance between rewilding and
respecting cherished farming traditions. This is not only a story of nature in
recovery, it is also the story of Lee’s personal connection to place, and the
highs and lows of working for nature amid fierce opposition.
‘Wild Fell’ is a call to recognise that the solutions for a richer world lie at our feet;
by focusing on flowers, we can rebuild landscapes fit to welcome the majestic
golden eagle again.
A landscape of flowers is a landscape of hope.
Lee Schofield is site manager at RSPB Haweswater in the Lake District, a
landscape scale nature reserve incorporating working farms. ‘Wild Fell’ is his first
240 x 156 mm Hardback