Charity cheer as iconic Mawson finds a new Cumbria home at Flagship Holgates Holiday Parks
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.
Who is Mawson?
Have you met our Mawson, the Red Squirrel? When you next come to Holgates’ Silverdale holiday park, you really can’t miss him.
He’s our brand-new mascot, and he’s eager to make new friends, so pay him a visit. We’re simply over the moon to have him!
Our sweet Mawson was born on the 21st of June of 2011, which means he just turned 7 years old. We bet he celebrated his birthday with lots of yummy treats, like delicious nuts and berries.
Mawson was made from a huge larch tree that was taken down at the Langdale Chase Hotel and carved there over 2.5 days. He now happily welcomes visitors to Holgates, a job he takes very seriously. In the eyes of everyone at Holgates, he truly is the perfect mascot for our park.
After all, red squirrels used to be seen around Holgates Silverdale when the Holgate family first came to Silverdale, and Michael Holgate and the Westmorland Red Squirrels (an organisation working to raise awareness about red squirrels and how they’re threatened) have been trying to reintroduce them to the area ever since.
Mawson lives at Holgates Silverdale, where you can visit him anytime you wish. The timber-carved squirrel used to live in Windermere before coming to stay with us forever, after we won him at a charity auction.
All of us love red squirrels, so we just had to have Mawson. And the Holgates’ logo is the red squirrel as well, so a more perfect combination couldn’t exist – a true match made in heaven.
When you next see Mawson, don’t forget to take a picture with him. Our friendly red squirrel is more than happy to pose with you and will look adorable in any photo you take. You’ll also have a keepsake that you can cherish forever and show to all your friends – or share it with us on @holgatescaravanparks.
How Much do You Know About Red Squirrels?
We’ll leave you with some facts about these amazing animals, so that you can impress your family and friends with your knowledge on red squirrels when you show off your Mawson photo:
- Red squirrels are good swimmers and can even hang upside down.
- They’re shy and like to be alone when temperatures are warmer.
- Red squirrels eat things like fungi, berries, seeds, flowers and nuts.
- Beatrix Potter’s Squirrel Nutkin is a red squirrel.
- Red squirrels moult their ear tufts once a year (in late autumn).
- They weigh the same as four Mars bars or a pack of biscuits (275-300g).
- Baby red squirrels are called kittens.
- They can be left or right-handed.
Red squirrels are still rare in the UK but, with conservation, sightings of these beautiful squirrels may become more and more common. Who knows, you might even get a glimpse of a fluffy tail or a gorgeous red coat as you stroll around our Holgates park.