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 chicks, some of which have been satellite tracked to their West African wintering grounds in Guinea-Bissau. The ospreys can be watched from viewing platforms and for those who prefer a more comfortable experience,the Whinlatter Forest visitor centre hosts an interesting osprey exhibition (including the remains, rings and transmitter of chick no. 11 which died in West Africa in its first winter) and a large screen live video of the nest streamed live via cameras during the breeding season. Since returning to the Lakes, the ospreys have attracted more than half a million visitors: a remarkable example of successful wildlife tourism. A study in 2003 estimated the presence of the ospreys had directly generated some £420,000 in spending by visitors, the equivalent to 34 local jobs over the four months of the osprey breeding season. As an added attraction, the feeders at the visitor centre attract siskins, while the surrounding forest is also a good place for red squirrels.