BOOM - Back On Our Map Project
Back On Our Map (BOOM) is a pioneering project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the University of Cumbria, and supported by a wider partnership including Morecambe Bay Partnership, Natural England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Forestry England.
The team work with communities to restore the landscape, and reintroduce a suite of locally threatened or extinct species to the distinctive lowland fells of south Cumbria and the coast of Morecambe Bay. By working together, the project will restore and connect whole ecosystems to reverse the decline in biodiversity through community action.
The four year project (2019-2022) is fighting to save the future for the hazel dormouse, the Duke of Burgundy butterfly and the small blue butterfly in South Cumbria. Seven rare plants are also to be reintroduced to their habitats including: goldilocks aster, greater and oblong sundew, green-winged orchid, maidenhair fern, spiked speedwell, and aspen. Community based feasibility studies are also being undertaken to support the potential reintroduction of two further species, the corncrake and pine marten.
Eadha was the main partner in the aspen work, undertaking a number of activities during 2019 and early 2020. First Eadha conducted a survey of the Furness Peninsula to identify any local stands of native aspen. Four stands were identified of which two at Roudsea Wood and Moss National Nature Reserve near Haverthwaite were considered wild native stands which were easily accessible for the collection of root cuttings for propagation.
Roudsea Aspen Clone
Eadha then delivered an aspen workshop at Barrow-in-Furness. This involved conducting an illustrated talk at Art-Gene an arts organisation based in Barrow and one of the project delivery partners. Art-Gene, manage allotments on the Walney Peninsula and a practical workshop was then delivered at "Allotment Soup" focusing on propagation techniques. Five Galloway and ten Lake District clones were provided from Eadha's National Aspen Clone Collection. A visit was then made to Roudsea to demonstrate the collection of root cuttings from wild trees for propagation.
The Aspen trees grown by the project and those supplied by Eadha were then planted out in a range of sites by a number of organisations across the project area. This included for example establishing aspen within the grounds of Haverigg Prison.