Exhibition

Intimate osprey nest experience at Whinlatter Forest. Opening Monday April 1st to August 31st 2019.

Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre CA12 5TW

Video play showing the osprey year from egg to migration, allowing a great indoor experience offering close up views of the ospreys of Bassenthwaite.  The centre is fully accessible.

ExhibitionOpening Times

Whinlatter Forest is open all year round,and the Visitor Centre is staffed from 10am until 5pm.  Staff will be on hand to answer questions and give information on the birds’ behaviour and other wildlife to be seen in the area.

Getting There

The Osprey Exhibition is located at Whinlatter Visitor Centre west of Keswick (CA12 5TW NY209245). There are good public transport links with the daily X4 and X5 Stagecoach bus services between Penrith and Workington calling at Keswick. The Honister Rambler Service 77 and 77A runs seasonally from Keswick to Whinlatter (Easter to October.)

From Penrith and Workington there are rail links to and from the west coast to the  mainline between Glasgow, Carlisle and London.

‘Pay on exit’ car and coach parking is available at Whinlatter.

Other Activities At Whinlatter

In addition to the Osprey exhibition,  Siskins Cafe offers delicious home made food in comfortable surroundings with great views of Grisedale Pike.

School parties are welcome. Many combine a visit to see the ospreys with a Ranger led learning session with Classrooms in the Forest.

Other facilities include a children’s play area, outdoor picnic area and the start of a number of walking and running waymarked trails around the Forest. In addition Whinlatter offers a fantastic Go Ape Course and the Lake District’s highest single track mountain bike trails . Whinlatter is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility.

If you have a comment to make about the Lake District Osprey Project, the viewpoints or the exhibition please contact Nathan Fox by email or phone 017687 78469.


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Lunchtime, but not Cowed by Longhorns!

Photo L Baum   Rutpela maculata

Lunchtimes at the Viewpoint always give bonuses, in between looking at ospreys. Sometimes it’s a large slice of home-made cake on your plate, sometimes it’s a large beetle on your water bottle.

It’s quite a big beetle, 20mm long,  and although common in the South of England becomes rarer the closer you get to Scotland so we don’t see them that often. Due to its long antennae and colour its common name is ‘the black and yellow longhorn beetle’. No surprises there. It’s one of a herd of 68 different longhorn species in Britain, many of which are equally beautiful with patterns of orange, green and yellow but sadly, along with most other insects, in decline.

Dodd Wood is an ideal spot for it to live, particularly as the forest has been thinned over the past couple of years. Its larvae feeds on rotting wood, favouring the damp debris  of birch and pine and as an adult it eats nectar and pollen from flower-heads such as hog-weed and cow parsley that spring up as more light hits the forest floor.

Its life cycle can take up to 4 years but for nearly all of that time it is a pale grub and then a pupae. The colourful adult only lasts a couple of months in which it needs to find a mate. This one is probably a female as her ‘horns’ are more stripy than the males’. They are valuable members of the forest eco system, as decomposers when young and pollinators when adult.

However, not all longhorns are so benign, as the world warms the their Chinese cousin the Asian long horn beetle Anoplophora glabripennis  is able to advance North, often brought to Britain in consignments of untreated wood  and, as with many non-native species, this beefy individual has no natural predator. Unlike our natives it does not confine itself to dead wood but lays its eggs in living branches, its larvae creating long galleries, invisible inside the tree, until at last it hatches out from holes larger than 5p pieces. Attacking both timber and fruit trees it is of top concern to the Forestry Commission,  Forest Research Department and is a notifiable insect -this means  if you see one it is vital that you report it, following this link, through Tree Alert

Here’s its picture.

Asian long horn beetle Anoplophora glabripennis

The only way to control the spread is through felling with a buffer zone of 2km The last outbreak in Kent in 2012 saw 2229 trees felled of which 66 contained larvae. Only the quick response prevented 1000’s more trees being felled.

Forest Research is at the forefront, protecting our trees from pests and diseases. Find out more and see what other fantastic and fascinating work Forest Research does. Click on this link .https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/pest-and-disease-resources/asian-longhorn-beetle/

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