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.

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 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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‘All quiet on the nesting front, honey.’

With only a couple more weeks to go with incubation our female bird has surpassed expectations in her commitment to brooding. Bathed in bright sunlight and open to every breeze that blows she has been diligently turning the eggs and keeping them alternately warm or shaded by lifting her body up or snuggling down. Unring, as we would expect has been keeping them both supplied with fish as well as taking his turn with daytime sitting.

As Spring warmth has been seeping into the bones of the earth insects are now waking up or hatching out in their myriads. A dull rumble filled the air late one afternoon last week – another Chinook approaching up the valley perhaps? But no, the rumble took on a more sizzling tone, reverberating closer at hand and directly above. For a moment or two the sun lost its radiance and our black shadows faded as if a cloud was passing. We all stared up as a swarm of bees undulated through the tops of the pines, each individual weaving its own way to avoid collision with its sisters and the waving branches, following their Queen to a new home.

A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.                                                                A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon.                                                             A swarm in July isn’t worth a fly.

Sadly, they passed too quickly for us to follow, so we missed out on the load of hay!

 

A weary worker, left behind.

 

 

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