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.


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Flying 101

It is true what they say, time really does fly when you are having fun! (Pun intended).

At six and a half weeks old, Bassethwaite’s little osprey is not so little anymore. In fact it is looking so grown up that we do occasionally have to look twice through the scopes to be sure who exactly we are looking at. Of course she is not finished developing quite yet and we aren’t expecting fledging for another week and a half…give or take!  

Mum is now happy to leave the youngster alone on the nest for periods, settling on a perch next to dad where she can see the youngster or taking herself off for some all important me time.

Mum and dad enjoying a moments peace and quiet

The youngster has been making good use of the extra space to get in some exercise: warm up with some stretches, moving on to vigourous flapping before the grand finale…helicoptering! This is named for the way that the chick rises vertically off the nest a few inches before touching down in a manner similar to a helicopter. Friday’s practise was a touch nerve-wracking for those of us watching as it was a windy day but the osprey-copter seemed to handle it with ease!  

One of the things that makes Dodd Wood such a great place to see ospreys, is that not only can we show you them on or around their nest, but we are also well placed to observe fishing and bathing activity. Mum in particular seems to enjoy a good bath, usually in the shallow water right below the viewpoint. It is always lovely to see an osprey enjoying splashing in the water in much the same way that a sparrow might splash in a bird bath. Except Bassethwaite is one really big bird bath! 

 

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