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Virtual Talk: Restoring Native Alpines with David Morris

June 10, 2020
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David Morris’s talk, ‘Restoring Native Alpine Plants,’ took place on 11th June 2020. You can now watch it in playback below!

Conservation at RSPB Haweswater

A few years ago, the fells around RSPB Haweswater were in a dilapidated state. Overgrazing of livestock had led to complete devastation of the alpine plants native to the area.

…and as the plants disappeared, so did the wildlife that depends on them. Haweswater was quickly becoming a barren landscape, devoid of diversity, as its native species abandoned ship.

But then, in March 2017… “Not so fast!” said the RSPB. “Hold on a second!” said United Utilities. “Don’t go there!” said Natural England.

“STOP THIS MADNESS!” said the Alpine Garden Society!

Together, over the course of the last two and a half years, these four organisations have forged ahead to restore the natural beauty and biodiversity of the fells around this RSPB reserve.

Native Flora and Fauna Return

Now, native flora and fauna are returning to the area in droves.

How did we do it?

This is your chance to find out.

Join us for David Morris’s virtual talk ‘Restoring Native Alpine Plants’ at 6pm (BST) on 11th June 2020 for all the glorious details. AGS Members can email for a ticket.

About David Morris

David has been a keen naturalist and gardener since his childhood years in North Yorkshire. His love of seeing plants on the uplands in the wild and his desire to conserve them for future generations, brought out an enthusiasm for growing alpine plants that continues to this day.

Today, David is an Alpine Garden Society Trustee, dedicated member and treasurer of the AGS North Lancashire Group, and a regular exhibitor at our alpine plant & flower shows. He is also part of the team that stages our popular Kendal Flower Show in conjunction with the Scottish Rock Garden Club.

David has had various roles at the RSPB, all with a focus on the upland areas he loves. He is now Area Operations Manager for the organisation across Cumbria and Northeast England. David and his team conserve the rich native alpine-arctic plant communities left hanging on at the Haweswater reserve in the Lake District National Park.

Following visits to projects in Scotland, Norway, the Pyrenees and the Alps, the team set up a project that gets AGS members to grow plants from locally-sourced seed. This helps speed up recovery for some of our most charismatic native plants in this newly protected area.

A recent house move sees David now settled with his family in North Cumbria at the heart of his work area, overlooking the North Lakes and North Pennines. David is taking on the restoration and custodianship of a mature quarter acre Georgian garden and house. Asiatic woodlanders, ericaceous shrubs and alpines take centre stage in the garden along with his two alpine houses and bulb frames that were painstakingly moved over the Christmas period.

In his spare time, David leads botanical and birdwatching tours for Naturetrek, notably to locations rich in alpine plants like the Pyrenees, Alps and Tien Shan mountains.

Free Access for AGS Members

This virtual talk is for Alpine Garden Society members.

If you’re not yet a member, you might want to consider signing up! You’ll get access to all of our exclusive virtual content, our respect quarterly journal, newsletter, and annual seed exchange. You’ll also be supporting our conservation efforts like those at RSPB Haweswater.

Membership is only £36 a year & we’re currently offering a 10% discount on membership! But hurry! Offer ends soon.

If you’re already a member, secure a ticket to this exclusive event by emailing

Join for Access

Virtual talks, quarterly journal, seed exchange & more when you sign up for membership today!

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