Mawson The Giant Red Squirrel Finds a New Home at Holgates

Charity cheer as iconic Mawson finds a new Cumbria home at Flagship Holgates Holiday Parks

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A new Cumbrian home has been found for a landmark sculpture of a giant red squirrel - and provided St Mary's Hospice in Ulverston with a £2,250 windfall.

Named Mawson, the timber-carved squirrel was for many years a familiar feature standing at the entrance to Windermere's Langdale Chase hotel.

In spring 2017, however, the hotel's owner Thomas Noblett sold the business – and its new owners served Mawson with his marching orders.

But rather than keep Mawson to himself, Thomas decided that the sculpture could play a valuable role in raising much-needed funds for St Mary's Hospice.

So he entered Mawson into an online auction, promising to donate every penny to the charity.

The auction sparked fierce bidding from inside and outside the county – and when the online hammer finally fell last week, the winner was revealed as local businessman Michael Holgate.

And thanks to Michael, Mawson will remain in his native Cumbria and enjoy a sea view from the entrance to Silverdale Holiday Park near Arnside which features a red squirrel as its logo.

"It's a great result, and means that Mawson will not leave the Lake District, and will still be proudly displayed to the public," said Thomas Noblett.

"Even better, he has raised a handsome sum for a very worthwhile cause, and one to which my family has a special reason to be grateful.

"Now his future in Cumbria is assured, thanks to Michel Holgate's generosity," added Thomas.

Michael's family has owned Silverdale Holiday Park for over 60 years, and works closely with the Westmorland Red Squirrels charity to help encourage the return of the endangered reds.

He said that Mawson will have a dual role in becoming the park's new mascot, and in helping to raise awareness of how people can help Cumbria's native red squirrels to thrive.

Michael presented his cheque to St Mary's Hospice area fundraiser Charlotte Windle when he arrived to collect Mawson from Low Wood Marina in Windermere, his temporary home.