Fancy photographing Raptors With The Toons At Silverband ?

Few wildlife photographers have won so much praise for their work as Ann and Steve Toon. The active couple are conservation photographers famed particularly for their work with rhinos.

The husband and wife team will hold a Raptors Workshop Jun 26, Jul 31, Aug 7 in the Eden Valley, Cumbria. The Toons will team up with Silverband Falconry for what promises to be an amazing day of hawk and owl photography including Tawny , Barn , Snowy , European Eagle and Little Owls, also Kestrel, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon and others, all for £120*.

Wild Open Eye - Natural Vision, News from Wild Open Eye

White rhinos, Ceratotherium simum, Hlane Royal National Park game reserve, Swaziland, Africa “Project African Rhino came about because we’ve been passionate about rhinos since the first time we saw them in the wild.” Ann and Steve Toon photo and copyright.

Wildopeneye talks with Ann and Steve Toon, founders of Project African Rhino about what makes them ‘click’. 

Images are all copyright Ann and Steve Toon.

Ann Toon photographing white rhino at Hlane game reserve, Swaziland Ann Toon photographing white rhino at Hlane game reserve, Swaziland

Wildopeneye first heard of the enterprising husband and wife photographic team via a promising news release on their Project African Rhino website and was immediately impressed by the Toons’ use of multimedia photojournalism to raise the profile of African Rhino conservation work.

You may well have seen and admired their work yourselves over recent years as their outstanding nature photographs have appeared in a variety of prestigious and influential magazines and other news media in service of environmental education. The award-winning pair sell images directly from their online data-base and via specialist agencies and…

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Fathers Day Toy Fair In Chester-Le-Street, June 21st

Model trains

A variety of model trains like these will be among the many tables at Chester-Le-Street Toy Fair June 21, 2015

Make Fathers Day special this year at Chester-Le-Street Toy Fair


By Charles Paxton

Should you be looking to spoil your Dad this Fathers’ Day with some nostalgic toys, models or figures, consider popping over the Pennines with him to the Chester-Le-Street Toy Fair on Sunday. You can find the latest details at

Did you know that Carlisle Toy Fair has new organizers now? Jim and Therese Corr of Durham Vintage Toys have recently donned that mantle. They have plenty of experience in such things as they also run the Gateshead Toy Fair and Chester-Le-Street Toy Fair.

Jim tells me Chester-Le-Street Toy, Train and Sci-fi Collectors Fair will be open from 10.30 am – 3.30 pm with entry just £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for Senior citizens and children under 16. You can buy, sell or swap treasures from the toy box at

Park View Community School, North Lodge, Lombard Drive DH3 4BB

Note that Early Bird Tickets enable entry from 8 am for £5





C.Paxton is proud to serve as website designer for the Corrs.


Prehistoric Focus At Bowes Museum In 2015

The Carles of Castlerigg, one of Cumbria's great prehistoric stone circles, dated to about c. 3200 BC Photo and copyright C.Paxton

The Carles of Castlerigg, one of Cumbria’s great prehistoric stone circles, dated to about c. 3200 BC Photo and copyright C.Paxton

I hear that the Bowes Museum, just up the A66, has a family friendly prehistoric focus this month through to September 27th. Prehistoric artifact displays sound very good and there’s even a chance to make your own pottery and crafts prehistoric style! The following itinerary is from The Bowes Museum’s webpage and may be subject to change, so check their Prehistoric People page for the latest information.

Prehistoric Pottery
16 May, 10.00 – 12.30 or 1.30 – 4.00

Adults can enjoy a hands-on experience of with expert Graham Taylor during this practical workshop. Be transported back in time to see authentic prehistoric pottery and explore how people prepared clay to make pots, before creating your own replica. £17.50 per adult, which includes refreshments. To book a place, call 01833 690606; payment is required at the time of booking.

Prehistoric People Crafts
20 July, 6 & 21 August, 10.30 – 3.30

An opportunity to explore the exhibition and to try your hand at making Stone, Bronze and Iron Age inspired creations to take home in this drop in family activity. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

Stone Age to Iron Age – Family Fun Day
28 July, 11.00 – 4.00

Come along to a day crammed with fun and informative activities, including storytelling with children’s author Adam Bushnell, creating a hunting headdress, making a cave painting and following a themed trail. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

Creative Cave Painting
14, 24 & 25 August, 
10.30 – 3.30
Enjoy a unique opportunity to create your own cave painting in this exciting drop-in workshop. Children must be accompanied by an adult, for whom normal admission applies.

This may be of interest to Cumbrians and visitors, as we have perhaps the finest prehistoric heritage of any county in the UK.

See what’s happening at


366 Days of Kindness at Penrith Old Fire Station

Forwarded email from Eden Arts, 20th March at the Old Fire Station, Penrith
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Next up at the Old Fire Station  |  366 Days of KindnessSome fab performance and an artists conversation event (see below). And a Bar. And MusicWe’re extremely pleased to be bringing the White Rabbit/Birmingham Rep show 366 Days of Kindness to Penrith on 20 March.366 Days Of Kindness is written and performed by Bernadette Russell and Gareth Brierley of White Rabbit, and was created in response to the riots of August 2011, after which Artistic Director Bernadette committed to be kind to a stranger every single day for a year. This multi-media show tells the heartbreaking, surprising and challenging stories of that year, which began with burning buildings and ended with the flame of the Olympic torch, against a global backdrop of social unrest and economic crisis. Part storytelling, part stand-up, part live documentary, featuring a dinner party with surprise guests including the Dalai Lama, Liam Neeson and Princess Diana, this show attempts to answer the question: is it possible to change the world just by being kind?

Bernadette says of the project: “After the year was up, I realised that it was the best thing I had ever done, so I carried on! And I still do it every day.” She was also invited onto Radio 4’s Saturday Live to talk about her experiences, where Billy Bragg taught her the chords to “Milkman of Human Kindness” to use in the show.

The show has already had sell out audiences in its recent intensive tour of the U.K and U.S.

A book inspired by the project is published by Lewes Ivy Press (UK) and Kane Miller (US) called “Do Nice Be Kind Spread Happy” it’s a children’s activity book of kindnesses, aimed at 8+.

Another event not to be missed!

The Company
Award winning White Rabbit is an arts organisation creating theatre, cabaret, installation, film, audio and live-lit events.
White Rabbit has created work for National Theatre,Southbank Centre,Thames Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, Wandsworth Festival, Brighton Festival, Deptford X and Southbank Centre.
They have a long-term residency with Arts Admin at Toynbee Studios with their live-lit cabaret “Are You Sitting Comfortably?”

On the same evening at the Old Fire Station artists are invited to ‘Connecting the Conversation’
6-7pm.  A connected conversation of 1000 people over a 10 day period celebrating the practice of artists. Eden Arts and Art Works invite artists to this discussion led by Peter Moser, Artistic Director of More Music.  As the Artworks special initiative ends in its present form and enters a new phase of development, there will be a series of conversations across the UK that will celebrate the practice and generate valuable networking opportunities for artists.
Join us a a relaxed and open format where you will be able to share your experience, dream a little about the future and suggest some actions to take forward.

Artists wishing to join in are invited to lease RSVP 01768 899 444 or email
Doors open at 5pm for a relaxing drink etc, conversation event starts at 6pm, evening entertainment starts 7.45pm.
The Old Fire Station events are relaxed and informal and tickets are ‘sold’ on a pay what you wish (on the night) basis, however as space is limited it is best to reserve tickets through or by calling Eden Arts on 01768 899444.



Carlisle Toy Fair Expands Stall Space For March 15th


Daleks and steam engines, there's a wide range of models and toys at Carlisle Toy Fair to suit varied tastes.

Daleks and steam engines, there’s a wide range of models and toys at Carlisle Toy Fair to suit varied tastes.

Additional stall space made available for next Sunday’s Toy Fair in Carlisle. Time to clear your attic and share the joy? 

by Charles Paxton

Carlisle Toy Fair organiser Alan Gunston is having such a positive response to table bookings that they have decided to open up more space near the cafeteria area, offering would-be stallholders the chance to be there to sell, buy or swap a few yards further down from the main hall.

Carlisle Toy Fair offers classic, vintage and new trains. planes, trucks, tanks, dolls, soft toys, movie and TV memorabilia, posters, games and more besides.

So if any reader is interested in running a stall at Carlisle Toy Fair on Sunday March 15th  enquiries are still being taken on 07855 289271. See for details.


Charles Paxton manages the Carlisle Toy Fair website for profit.

Atlantic Salmon Spawning Again In River Lyvennet

Children fishwatching in the River Lyvennet, Cumbria

Fish watchers on the banks of the Lyvennet river, Maulds Meaburn may now see Atlantic Salmon.

Local children designed the information signs beside Maulds Meaburn’s Salmon ladder at the Lyvennet Weir, and today’s news release from The Environment Agency (8th December 2014) will be greeted with excitement by young and old in the Eden Valley, Cumbria.

These Lyvennet trout, now share their river with Atlantic Salmon again.

These Lyvennet trout, now share their river with Atlantic Salmon again.

According to the release, over 20 Atlantic Salmon spawning sites or redds as they are known, were documented this week along the stretch of river that was improved by Eden Rivers Trust (ERT) earlier this year in a joint project to naturalise the course of the Lyvennet river.

This highly ambitious groundwork project restored straightened parts of the Lyvennet and Howe Beck back to a natural meandering state, for benefits to people and wildlife (See related article). The project is already reaping great success with over 20 salmon redds seen this week in the restored reach of the Lyvennet river at Maulds Meaburn.

The Atlantic Salmon had completed one of the most iconic migrations in the natural world, they travelled to the rich feeding grounds of Iceland and Greenland, before journeying some 3000 km home to the becks of their birth to become parents themselves!

The Lyvennet river channel was originally straightened for land management purposes and the increased energy in the river water leads to the river removing the smaller gravels necessary to support spawning. Furthermore, the lack of bends, associated scour and natural features, prevented the formation of vital pool and riffle habitats for a range of wildlife to thrive.

Reinstating the river back to its natural state has brought multiple benefits, including creating larger, diverse habitats for plants and animals to flourish. More natural, meandering rivers also help alleviate flood risk by slowing the flow of the river, and reducing bottle necks. This can delay both the height and timing of flood flows, benefiting communities downstream, without increasing flood risk upstream.

The Lyvennet scheme is part of a wider Cumbrian River Restoration Strategy that is tasked with restoring rivers back to a more natural condition, made possible by a partnership between the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Rivers Trusts across the county.
It is part of an ambitious package of significant restoration projects being delivered in the UK right now which all deliver improvements for ecology, habitat and local residents.

Charles Lowther, landowner at Barnskew and Meaburn Hall at Maulds Meaburn, said:

“Hopefully this scheme along with the other excellent work Eden Rivers Trust is doing will help reverse the trend of decline in spawning salmon in the river Eden.
“It has been amazing to see the river Lyvennet transformed in such a short space of time and to have evidence of spawning so soon after the restoration is fantastic news and confirmation that this improvement in habitat has measurable results.  We, the community in the area, are very proud of what ERT have achieved and wish to thank them very much.”

Simon Johnson, Director Eden Rivers Trust, said,

“The welcome return of spawning salmon to this section of restored river is wonderful news. Key to the success of the project has been the close co-operation and support we have received from farmers, landowners and partners.
However, we should remember that Eden salmon populations are in a state of decline. This project is part of ERT’s Saving Eden Strategy which will help to conserve this iconic species for future generations”.

Ben Bayliss, Environment Agency Programme Manager, said:

“It is fantastic news that following our river restoration project, already Atlantic Salmon have been recorded in the reach building redds.
However, while improving the river environment will help to improve salmon stocks, it is not enough on its own and we need to work together with anglers so we can review measures that would increase the number of salmon surviving to spawn.”

In early 2015, ERT will be organising a community tour of the restored reach of the Lyvennet including an opportunity to plant riverside trees. See for future announcements!



Eden Arts Presents Top Comedy With Rob Newman at Rheged 28th November

Eden Arts just alerted me to this event

Top comedy in Penrith! limited tickets available!
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Following the massive Winter Droving, a last treat from Eden Arts in 2014 – more top comedy – get along if you can and say hello to us, (the last one sold out mind….)

Comedy fans are in for a rare treat next weekend as comedian Rob Newman of ‘Newman & Baddiel’ fame comes to Rheged as part of his New Theory of Evolution tour.

Newman sprang into the limelight in the 90’s with The Mary Whitehouse Experience and his comedy partnership with David Baddiel. His solo career followed with a clear social agenda and a attention on political activism.

This tour marks a hotly anticipated return to comedy for the comedian, journalist and novelist with his first complete show in 7 years.

Rob describes the 150-year controversy in evolutionary theory and explores how the latest science demonstrates that DNA is not destiny. From a Devil’s Orchard made by lemon ants, to female buffalo voting which way to go, from Prince Kropotkin escaping a Tsarist dungeon to altruistic vampire bats and Richard Dawkins’ postman wrestling naked, Rob Newman argues that cooperation drives evolution more than competition.

Rob said: “Natural history is so full of freaky facts that when you tackle the complexity, you find that there is a wealth of detail, oodles of oddity which lend themselves to comedy.”

Eden Arts, who organise the comedy nights, are delighted to bring this tour to Rheged “It’s fantastic for local audiences to get access to national comedy right on their doorstep. Rob Newman has a massive following. The recent Mark Thomas show was a huge success and we expect this show to be a big hit too.” Says Eden Arts Director Adrian Lochhead.

Rob Newman’s New Theory of Evolution shows at Rheged on 28th November at 8pm. Tickets are £12.50 and £10. To book tickets please call 01768 868000 or email enquiries.

This is going to be a great night! can’t wait!

Fri 28 Nov – open from 5.30pm – Curry* with Naan or Rice Plus a drink (Draught beer, house wine or soft drink) £11.95 • Performance 8pm • Ticket Price £12.50 adult, £10 conc • 14+ • To book tickets please call 01768 868000 or email enquiries
*Beef Madras, Thai green chicken curry and vegetable curry

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Join Healthwatch Eden Meeting Tuesday 18th November 2014 at The Parish Rooms, St Andrews Churchyard, Penrith

the invitation poster for our next Healthwatch Eden District meeting, to be held on Tuesday 18th November 2014.   The venue is The Parish Rooms, St Andrews Churchyard, Penrith

Come along to find out more and have your say!

Here’s the invitation poster for the next Healthwatch Eden District meeting, to be held on Tuesday 18th November 2014 at The Parish Rooms, St Andrews Churchyard, Penrith with tea/coffee available from 9.45am, and the meeting will be from 10am to 12 noon.

Healthwatch exists to champion the views of patients and people who use health and social care in Cumbria with a view to improving services and health and well-being  where possible.


Do please share this invitation with others, when the opportunity arises, as we are especially keen to have more members of the public to come along to share their experiences and to learn about the work of the organisations that will be in attendance.

Cumbria Rural Women’s Growth Network offer free ‘Time Management Skills for Social Media’ workshop, 21st October 10am to 4pm, Appleby.

Good day


Join Cumbria Rural Women’s Growth Network and Paul Teague for a free ‘Time Management Skills for Social Media’ workshop, 21st October 10am to 4pm, Appleby Growth Hub, Appleby.


Title: Time Management Skills For Social Media


Hours: 10am-4pm


Description: This one day introductory session is suitable for beginners to social media time management. Cumbrian internet marketer Paul Teague will show you how to manage your time on social media better by combining a clear social media strategy with some superb time management tools.


The day will be jam-packed with practical tips, techniques and tools to help you to manage time spent on social media much more effectively.


Content covered during this beginner-friendly training:


  • Setting targets: determining why you are using social media
  • Developing a time management strategy for social media
  • The hazards of always-on notifications and how to manage them
  • Effective content curation and useful tools
  • The benefits of using editorial calendars
  • Listening/automation/scheduling and measuring in social media
  • Some time management basics and great resources
  • A look at some of the free tools that you can use for effective social media management
  • Speed Dial
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Evernote
  • SocialOomph
  • Hootlet


PLUS Ask any questions that you want to in order to help focus your time better when dealing with social media


Note: Laptops and mains leads essential (we’ll provide the mains extension cables). Please do not use tablets as you will often encounter technical restrictions if you do so.
To book your place(s) on this free event please email or call 0845 226 0040.


Cumbria Rural Women’s Growth Network is part of the Cumbria Business Growth Hub aiming to help businesses in Cumbria unleash their potential. It is an exciting community for professional women based in Rural Cumbria to connect, contribute and grow. Whether employed or a business owner, being a part of the Rural Women’s Enterprise is where you want to be. To find out how you can be involved and start benefitting, have a look online at or join us on LinkedIn Cumbria Rural Women’s’ Growth Network or on Twitter @CumbriaWomenHub


Kind regards



Catherynn Dunstan


Cumbria Business Growth Hub


t: 0844 257 84 50





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