The Winter Droving – 7 days to go!

I just received this notification that Winter Droving 2015 is coming soon and it’s going to be fun, again!

The Winter Droving 14th Nov 2015
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Winter Droving 2015 is going to be the biggest and best yet!
With over 20 live bands, 12 local and international street acts, Kyloes’ Drovers Cup, dog fancy dress, a delicious fantastic Cumbrian market consisting of over 60 stalls, a VICTORIAN FUNFAIR!, a magical lantern procession and not to forget the new addition this year… THE MASQUED MASHUP AFTER PARTY!

A wild Bacchanalian night of dancing under the cloak of disguise!

Daytime is FREE!

Evening after party tickets available NOW
AND….the Winter Droving has also been shortlisted by Cumbria Life in the 2015 Culture Awards (for Event of the Year) and Eden Arts are shortlisted for Arts Organisation of the Year!! Awards announced at Theatre by the Lake on Thursday 12th.

See you on the 14th NOV

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C-Art 2015 Starts Tomorrow!

I just got this timely reminder from Eden Arts that C-Art Open Studios commences tomorrow and lasts until Sept. 27th.

Over to them!

Subject: C-Art 2015 Starts Tomorrow!

Starting Tomorrow
C-Art Open Studios 12th – 27th September 2015
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C-Art 2015 Starts Tomorrow | 12 – 27 September

It’s finally here. Tomorrow sees the start of C-Art 2015 with a huge variety of artists, designers and independent galleries opening their doors to visitors. There will be special exhibitions and installations, workshops, events and a special opportunity to step into the studios of Cumbria’s finest artists.

You can keep up to date with what’s going on via our Facebook and Twitter.

Highlights | C-Art 2015

John Hewitt, Millom
John Millom will be showing his bold, colourful and unique abstract acrylic art at his studio in Millom alongside works in progress to show the process involved. New to C-Art, his work has been exhibited internationally and more recently around Millom.

Highlights | C-Art 2015
Lionel Playford, Garrigill

Lionel Playford‘s recent work refers to the land, it’s weather and our place in it. The studio will be showing paintings and collages, drawings made with natural materials and sculptures and collages made from artist-made grass papers.

Events 2015

There are a number of associated events happening as part of C-Art 2015. Some are ticketed and some are free so please look at the links below for more details.

Rowena Beaty at St Mary’s Church, Wreay | 11- 14 September
Friends of St Mary’s Church, Wreay, present an exhibition of the work of the sculptor Rowena Beaty set within the beautiful interior of St Mary’s Church. On Saturday 12th September, as part of the Friends of St Mary’s Open Day, Rowena will talk about the creative act of sculpture and her reaction to and affinity with the work of Sarah Losh, creator of this unique church: Tickets £10 (including lunch and tea)

Alex Jakob-Whitworth and Barbara Gilbertson, Synesthesia at Dufton Ghyll Woods | 12 September at 10am
What colour is the sound of a violin? What note is bright light? How do we paint a tune?

These questions are posed by visual artist, Alex Jakob-Whitworth working in ink and paint and pastels, and a professional violinist, Barbara Gilbertson, at Dufton Ghyll Woods – responding to their surroundings and each other’s work…in a beautiful natural amphitheatre with stunning acoustics.

Brougham PhotoFest 3 | 11 – 13 September
This year’s festival has a photography and poetry theme and will be taking place from 11th-13th September 2015. There will be live performances, national and local exhibitions, work for sale and the workshops by photography experts. Featuring Ian McMillan and Ian Beesley. The programme is available via

Abandon Normal Devices Festival at Grizedale Forest | 18 – 20 September
The Festival will create a site for exploration and uncover the secret architecture of the forest through a programme of artworks, events, trails and film happenings.

Poetry Performance at Brantwood in the Severn Studio | 20 September
This collaboration of artist Sally Bamber and poet Maggie Norton celebrates ignored and unheralded/overlooked wild flowers. Maggie will perform her poems in the Severn Studio among the watercolours of wild flowers by Sally Bamber.

Film PINA (U) at the Old Fire Station, Penrith | 24 September 7pm
PINA is a feature-length dance film with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, featuring the unique and inspiring art of the great German choreographer, who died in the summer of 2009. Part of the Remote Cinema screenings this Autumn.

Click herefor further details and to view the catalogue.

Order your copy of the artist directory here or pick one up from selected galleries here

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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.