Viewpoints

The Upper and Lower Viewpoints at Dodd Wood – open Good Friday March 30th to August 31st 2018.

There are two viewpoints at Dodd Wood, the Lower and the Upper.

The Lower Viewpoint

Lower ViewpointThis viewpoint is open between 10am and 5pm daily, and it is suggested that all visitors should make their way here first. From this viewpoint resident red squirrels are our stars, and there are a host of woodland birds to enjoy at the feeding station. Views over the Lake and Marshland add more such as goosander, heron and the occasional otter. If you are lucky, views of the osprey fishing may be seen.   Whilst at the Lower Viewpoint, the staff and volunteers will give you the information you require to get you safely to the Upper viewpoint.

Important: Since the ospreys moved nest, views from the Lower Viewpoint may be restricted at certain times of the season.

Please note: in inclement or severe weather, we may need to close the Lower Viewpoint.

The Upper Viewpoint

This viewpoint is half a mile further into the forest, and can be accessed via the forest road from the Lower Viewpoint.  It should take about 20 minutes to walk from there, and is a steady climb, but is really worth the effort.

The Upper Viewpoint is staffed by volunteers and there are optics available giving some spectacular views of the nest, which is on the marsh approximately one km away.

The nest site is bathed in fabulous scenery, with some of North Lakeland’s most iconic fells and mountains providing the backdrop.  The Upper Viewpoint is open from 10.30am until 4.30pm daily, and high powered telescopes and binoculars are provided, but by all means bring your own.

Please note: in inclement or severe weather, we may need to close the Upper Viewpoint.

Getting There

Both of our open-air viewpoints are located in Dodd Wood which is about 3 miles North of Keswick off the A591. Facilities include public toilets, Old Sawmill Tearoom and pay and display car parking spaces.

There are good public transport links with the daily X4 and X5 Stagecoach bus services between Penrith and Workington calling at Keswick.

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

Parking

Pay and Display car parking is available opposite the entrance to Mirehouse. From the car park the Lower Viewpoint is a fifteen to twenty minute walk uphill along a gravel woodland path.

No coach parking is available at Dodd Wood – please disembark passengers on the main road and park offsite.

For people with reduced mobility, access to the Lower viewpoint by car can be made by prior arrangement. Please contact 0789 9818 421, between 10am and 5pm daily. We can book a time directly although 24 hours notice is preferred to arrange a pick up .

Inclement or Severe Weather

In severe or extreme weather,  we may need to close one or both of the viewpoints without prior notice, but we will endeavour to erect signage in the car park making visitors aware. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Other Activities to do at Dodd Wood

Dodd CafeThe Old Sawmill Tearoom at Dodd Wood offers an appetising selection of home baking, snacks, ice creams etc. and is open throughout the Osprey season.

Mirehouse can be found across the road from the Old Sawmill Tearoom. Mirehouse, family home of the Speddings, and its grounds which include four playgrounds, a heather maze and lakeside walk, is open to visit at a reasonable charge.

The Forestry Commission provides a network of forest walks starting from Dodd Wood car park through some huge Douglas Fir and there are stunning 360 degree views from the top of the Dodd. There are also access routes onto Skiddaw. Ask for a leaflet at the Old Sawmill Tearoom.


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Cordulagaster Boltonii  – Golden Ringed dragon fly m (photo David Kitching)

If you miss the ‘Kersplosh!’ of the hunting osprey look a bit closer to hand to witness aeriel chases at least as exciting.

Dragonflies are one of the most spectacular insects of the summer months, the rustle of their wings whilst they hawk for unwary insect prey amongst foliage is as typical as their strikingly colourful bodies. One like this was spotted sitting on a shale bank by a Volunteer, on their way to the Upper Viewpoint at Dodd.

Most Dragonflies spend a couple of years underwater but these Golden Ringed ones spend  5 years of their lives there as ferocious larva. Tadpoles and Toadpoles beware! They have a few weeks flying free in Oriental splendour before the cycle starts again. The biggest is the female Golden Ringed dragon fly, her length marked like a black  finger set with with a series of multiple wedding bands. After the nuptial flight she lays her eggs by hovering over shallow water and vertically stabbing her abdomen into the stream beds.The acid upper waters of Skill Beck or the margins of the marsh land lagoons would do equally for a nursery.

At Whinlatter, smaller but in greater profusion, Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula are darting in linked heart-shaped pairs around the ponds. But if you look deep into the water you can sometimes spot the next year’s generation showing their true nature stalking the mud in search of dinner.

 

 

 

 

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