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Supporting endangered wildlife to thrive at Appleby Station

Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company has been working to make red squirrels even more welcome at Appleby Station, following reports from passengers of seeing the endangered native species running along the platform.

As part of a wider initiative to create a green corridor and support wildlife along the 70 miles of the community line, the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company has joined forces with charity Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group to install nesting and feeding boxes, as well as an information board.

Now these resources have been installed, the next step is to host Red Squirrel guided walks with local experts, linking into train services so people can travel to Appleby by train to see the rare species.

John Moorhouse, vice chair of the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company, said: “We are keen to help encourage wildlife and improve the environments around the stations along the line, and when we saw the videos of red squirrels on our platform at Appleby Station, we wanted to do everything we could to support.

“Working with Gary Murphy, the Upper Eden Valley ranger with the Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group, we have been able to ensure we have the right feeders in the right places around the station, and we are able to fill them with the food the red squirrels needs and like. Now we are working with Gary to organise events to encourage people to come and see the rare, endangered, native reds, linking into trains coming from both the north and south.

“To have red squirrels in Appleby is a real bonus for the town, and we hope people will travel to Appleby by train to learn more about these rare animals and have the opportunity of seeing them for themselves.”

Gary Murphy, Penrith & District Red Squirrel Group Range for the Appleby area, said: “We are delighted to be able to have an information board about the red squirrels and help the team at Appleby Station install the feeders. We need to do everything we can to help these endangered animals.

“The station is only a short walk from Holms Farm Wood along the banks of the river Eden where there is a thriving colony of red squirrels. They can be spotted on the feeders which have been sponsored by Appleby Pet Shop and the Crown and Cushion Pub. Many people come to take photographs of them in the wood, and if you take some hazel or monkey nuts for them, they often come very close to feed.

“We have feeders available from Appleby Pet Shop when you can get squirrel nut bags if you want to feed them yourselves.”

Keep up to date with future news, projects and events from the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company via their website.