A COCKERMOUTH environmentalist has bought a piece of land to create a haven for wildlife.

Sally Philipps wanted to do her bit for the planet and decided to buy a seven-acre field at Bassenthwaite for the only purpose of giving it back to nature.

Sally, who runs her eco-company Chimney Sheep from Maryport, teamed up with partner Darren Ward and started working on the land two months ago.

She has since planted 3,000 trees, some of which were donated to her by local people.

Sally said: "It's really satisfying to see the trees established there, the field was very overgrown when I bought it and it wasn't being used for grazing or anything. It was nice to see people donating their trees to us and it means we have different trees and plants. The field is in a lovely place with views of Ullock Pike, the main purpose for me is to get the trees established, you hear of the Rainforest being destroyed and this is our way of doing something about it."

Sally’s Chimney Sheep, woolly devices that are stuck into chimneys to exclude draughts, gained her a national reputation and led to her being invited to have a stall at the prestigious Grand Designs Live show in London. Earlier this year she also created the Laundry Mac, a breathable raincoat that can cover rotary washing lines which keeps washing dry and drying during showers.

Sally said that no matter what changes will be made in the area or what will be built around her field, that space will remain there for the wildlife to enjoy.

So far she has spotted birds, otters badgers and deer at the site.

The couple is also planting species like aspen, poplar, including rare black poplar, and willow to help stabilise riverbanks and alleviate flooding.

Sally said: "It's about taking direct action in a way that's really positive."