The Lake district and Cumbria

Haweswater’s golden eagle

The RSPB reserve at Haweswater offers the chance to see, as of 2015, the only remaining golden eagle in England, whose partner partner disappeared in 2004. Read

Bassenthwaite Lake ospreys

After an absence of more than 150 years from the Lakes, a pair of ospreys began to breed at Bassenthwaite Lake in 2001, and as of 2014 have fledged more than 20 chick. More

Grizedale Forest red kites

Another successful raptor programme is being carried out by the Forestry Commission in Grizedale Forest, where it is involved in reintroducing red kites. Ninety birds have been released since 2010, and 2014, two returned to the forest and successfully fledged three chicks, the first confirmed breeding of kites in Cumbria since 1807. Here

Ennerdale rewilding

Far less visited by tourists and today with no public access by vehicle, the dramatic valley of Ennerdale is home to one of the longest running rewilding projects in the UK. Read 

Freshwater pearl mussels on the River Ehen

Flowing seawards from the west end of Ennerdale Water, the short River Ehen supports the largest population in England of the critically endangered freshwater pearl mussel. Read

Only named wind in Britain

Helm Wind is the only named wind in Britain and describes a strong north-easterly wind which blows down the south-west slope of the Cross Fell, itself the highest mountain in the Pennines and the highest point in England outside of the Lake District. It can blow for days at a time and cause headaches among locals. Wikipedia and Winds of the World

Natterjack stronghold

The Duddon estuary supports 20-25% of all natterjack toads in Britain. More

Rydal’s badgers

As a curiosity, the Glen Rothay Pub in Rydal puts food out on the lawns every night for the local badgers giving visitors a great chance to see the animals up close. Camping is available nearby.

England’s last wolf?

The limestone outcrop of Humphrey Head is claimed to be the place where the last wolf in England was killed in the 14th century. More

Another last wolf?

A skeleton of a young wolf found in 1880 in a cave at Helsfell near Kendal may date from the 16th century, making it possibly one of the last wolves to die in England. Here

The skeleton can be seen here at Kendal museum. A new study is being carried out to date the finding.

Desmond

Storm Desmond broke the UK’s 24-hour rainfall record with 341.4mm  of rain in 24 hours in the Honister Pass in Cumbria on 5 December 2015, wreaking terrible damage to the Lake District.

Lake District peregrines

The Lake District reputably supports the highest density of Peregrine Falcons in Europe.

Langdale stone axe industry

Langdale was the site of a remarkable stone axe industry during the Neolithic, perhaps the first manufacturing centre in Britain. Of all the Neolithic polished stone axes that have been examined in the UK, around 27% come from the Langdale region, for example around Pike O’Stickle. More on Wikipedia

Deepest lake in England

Wastwater is the deepest lake in England (79 m), and is considered a superb example of a glacially ‘over-deepened’ valley, formed by glacial erosion during the Ice Ages until 10,000 years ago. The screes on the south-east shore of the lake are among the best and most famous in Britain.

Radio and TV online about wildlife of the Lake District

  • BBC radio 4 documentary with Lionel Kelleway about red squirrels in the mixed woodlands of Thirlmere. Here
  • Lionel Keelleway goes to Lake Windermere in the Lake District to look for the Arctic Char, Britain’s rarest fish. Here
  • Costing the Earth – England’s wilderness (BBC Radio 4)