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  • Oliver Hodgson

Out of puff Pandas - Lake District Wildlife Park team raise money for Red Panda Network

Despite the current difficult times, the team at Lake District Wildlife Park and Armathwaite Hall Hotel are keeping positive and showing their support for conservation, by signing up to take part in a virtual 5km run organised by the Red Panda Network.

Red Pandas an endangered species live in the wild in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal, China and Bhutan. It is estimated that only 2500 remain in the wild. The Lake District Wildlife Park houses two Red Pandas, Mei Li and Charu and they are an important part of the European Endangered Species breeding programme.

For the last 7 years, the Lake District Wildlife Park and Armathwaite Hall Hotel have supported the charity Red Panda Network by sending an annual donation.  This money helps to pay the wages of Forest Guardians, who protect Red Pandas from poaching and work with local communities to prevent further destruction of Red Panda habitat and food.

For the last 3 years the Lake District Wildlife Park team have taken their fundraising a step further by taking on challenges dressed as Red Pandas. These have included climbing a local mountain Skiddaw in howling wind and rain and tackling the Via Ferrata Extreme at Honister Slate Mine.

In 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation, staff at the Lake District Wildlife Park and the Armathwatie Hall Hotel took on the challenge of running. With the appropriate name of “Out of Puff Pandas”, the Keeper team completed a socially distanced 5km run on the Armathwaite Hall Estate. Other staff members completed their own 5km runs closer to home. Dressed as Red Pandas other runs included the cliffs at St Bees Head and running on the beach.  In total the whole team has manged to clock up approximately 60km of running!

The challenge of running and being outside in the beautiful scenery around the Armathwaite Hall Estate has been a positive thing in two ways: it has helped the Red Panda Network in the great work that it does and it has also helped the staff appreciate the benefits of being outside in nature and keeping positive for the future.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Red Panda Network you can find our fundraising page here:

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