Viewpoints

The Upper and Lower Viewpoints at Dodd Wood – open Monday April 1st to August 31st 2019.

Osprey Project staff with telescopes on hand to offer advice and help with viewing.

Parking  at the Sawmill Tearooms CA12 4QE

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: Views of the nest from the Lower Viewpoint may be restricted at certain times of the season, with the focus being on the beautiful  Bassenthwaite Lake fishing grounds.

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.

Reduced Mobility

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 during the season. 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, Forestry England 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.


Print

Recent Posts

August Ospreys

 

photo James Vaitkevicius

Now

Blue 400 and Unring are still to be seen around the valley together with other migrating ospreys , so it is worth taking your optics and having a look! Let us know if you see Blue 400 catch a fish!

August review

After a much wetter than average August it is time to take stock of the Bassenthwaite osprey family.  Blue 400 has had a difficult time learning to fish after her very successful fledging. This has not been for lack of trying!

Rain in itself does not bother ospreys, although they always look very bedraggled and miserable in a downpour with the rain dripping off their beaks. The problem is in the quality of the water they are trying to fish in. Rain on Lakeland’s bare fell tops loosens soil already eroded by centuries of overgrazing and mining and the many feet and bikes that churn up the paths. Streams in spate, with little in the way of bigger vegetation on their banks pull away more earth and this all rolls down into Bassenthwaite. Indeed Bassenthwaite, having one of the largest catchments, is the Lake most liable to silt up. Estimates put this at being between 15% and 20 % faster than it should. Nearly every day this month we have seen the Lake water turn milky brown spilling from Newlands Beck and the Derwent River. Ospreys hunt by sight so murky water inhibits them. (It must be uncomfortable for the gill-breathing fish as well) . Rain also creates flooded areas in the marsh and Blue 400 did much of her practising in these clearer lagoons. Wonderful viewing, with her wings held back like an avenging angel’s in classical pose, head forward til the last second and then feet plunging in the water. However, lagoons will only have a very few stranded fish in them so we have not seen her catch there.

It is always difficult to know how much behaviour is instinct and how much learnt. Fishing itself we know is instinctive, as has been proved by the re-introduction programs of osprey to Rutland in the early 2000’s and now at Poole in Dorset. Young birds are transferred to large open fronted cages so they can fly over the water and supplementary fish are posted in from behind a screen to keep their energy levels up. (A surrogate Dad technique). We also know also from our own observations that osprey Dads encourage their chicks to fledge initially by holding out fish as they fly past, so Blue 400 will have been watching both parents’ fishing patterns and picking up skills that way. At 5 weeks she was a big strong bird but has she caught enough and fed enough to make the migration?

 

 

  1. Lunchtime, but not Cowed by Longhorns! Leave a reply
  2. We have lift off! Leave a reply
  3. That’s one small step for Blue 400 Leave a reply
  4. Royal raptor rumble Leave a reply
  5. Blue Ring Over Water Leave a reply
  6. Bad neighbours Leave a reply
  7. Flying 101 Leave a reply
  8. Chick Check Leave a reply
  9. The North Sea for Breakfast Leave a reply