Wildlife & Nature

getting around

Osprey Viewing Point & Bird Watching

Ospreys’ are spectacular fish eating birds of prey with a wingspan over over 5 feet. In 2001 a pair of Ospreys visited Bassenthwaite Lake they nested and became the first pair to breed in the Lake District in over 150 years.

The Birds were encouraged to stay with the help of man made nests provided by the forestry commission. Ospreys have summered in the area since 1990 but did not pay until 2001. Numbers of Osprey are growing however they remine the 4th rarest bird of prey, with collectors trying to steal the eggs.

Bassenthwaite Lake is a national nature reserve, and it is surrounded by forestry commission woods here, at Dodd Wood there are two viewing points. Dodd Wood is located just off the A591 just 5 minutes drive from the Campsite. You can also get there by footpath both low level and by climbing over Ullock Pike.

There are two viewing points within three miles of Kestrel Lodge Campsite and you can see the large yellow AA signs directing you to the Osprey viewing Point. This endangered bird has been visiting Bassenthwaite Lake and breeding here for the last 15 years and it is a huge thing for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.

The Lower View Point

The lower viewpoint is open from 10am to 5pm daily and it is suggested that everyone visits here first. It is sometimes possible from this area to see the ospreys fishing over the lake. The ospreys may be the main event but there are also resident red squirrels and a host of other woodland birds to enjoy. At this view point the staff and volunteers will give you the information help and advice they will also tell you how to access the upper view point.

The Upper View point

The upper view point is half a mile further into the forest and can be accessed via the forest road from the lower view point. The walk will take about 30 minutes and is a steady climb. Again there is staff at this view point and there are also optics available giving spectacular views of the nest which is approximately 1 km away. The upper view point is open from 10.30am until 4.30pm and high powered binoculars and telescopes are provided.

Alternative View Point

If you fancy a longer walk Dodd Fell, a Wainwright walk in its own right, is another viewing point, with spectacular views over Bassenthwaite Lake. There are a number of footpaths through Dodd Wood that will take you up the fell side to this viewing point. It is signposted as a view point but not staffed and as such you will find it quieter as not many will venture this far. Approximately a mile and a half walk from the Car Park with steep inclines but good path. You will pass this viewing point on the way down if you have approached Dodd Wood via the footpath from Ullock Pike.

Osprey Exhibition

There is an osprey exhibition at Winlatter Forrest where live HD pictures are streamed to the exhibition centre allowing an indoor experience that offer close up views of the ospreys from the edge of the nest via nest cameras. Although Winlatter Forrest is open year round the osprey exhibition is staffed from 10am to 5pm during the period the ospreys are nesting (April to September)

Follow the Ospreys and there journey on facebook.

What can be seen

  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Great Cormorant
  • Grey Heron
  • Mute Swan
  • Greylag Goose
  • Barnacle Goose
  • Eurasian Wigeon
  • Gadwall
  • Eurasian Teal
  • Mallard
  • Northern Pintail
  • Pied Wagtail
  • Common Swift
  • Eurasian Treecreeper
  • Eurasian Magpie
  • Eurasian Jackdaw
  • Rook
  • Carrion Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Eurasian Jay
  • Common Starling
  • Eurasian Wren
  • Dunnock
  • Common Redstart
  • Great Tit
  • Eurasian Nuthatch
  • Northern House Martin
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Common Pochard
  • Tufted Duck
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Goosander
  • Osprey
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • European Robin
  • Common Buzzard
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Pheasant
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Sand Martin
  • Barn Swallow
  • Eurasian Reed Warbler
  • Common Whitethroat
  • Blackcap
  • Wood Warbler
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Willow Warbler
  • Common Redshank
  • Goldcrest
  • European Pied Flycatcher
  • Spotted Flycatcher
  • Long-tailed Tit
  • Coal Tit
  • Blue Tit
  • Water Rail
  • Common Moorhen
  • Common Coot
  • Eurasian Oystercatcher
  • Northern Lapwing
  • Common Snipe
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Black-headed Gull
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Eurasian Blackbird
  • Song Thrush
  • Redwing
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Common Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Common Woodpigeon
  • Tawny Owl
  • House Sparrow
  • Chaffinch
  • European Greenfinch
  • European Goldfinch
  • Eurasian Siskin
  • Lesser Redpoll
  • Common Crossbill
  • Eurasian Bullfinch

More unusual Birds to look out for

  • Osprey
  • Barnacle Goose - these are most probably birds from a resident flock on nearby Derwentwater
  • Common Redstart
  • Red Kite (28 April 2010)
  • European Pied Flycatcher
  • Eurasian Treecreeper
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Tawny Owl
  • Eurasian Oystercatcher
  • Common Dipper

Bassenthwaite Lake and the surrounding area is a Mecca for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. From our campsite we regularly see red squirrels, badgers, deer, and foxes. You will also see a variety of birds from your tent flap; birds like our resident buzzards, among others.