Lake District Ospreys

The Lake District has had a pair of Ospreys nesting near Bassenthwaite since 2001. They have successfully raised a number of chicks. The have been several sightings of other Ospreys in the area, most recently near the foot of Windermere.

This week's Westmorland Gazette has a picture of one taken at Staveley-in-Cartmel, just last week. The terrain around the south end of the lake is similar to that where the Bassenthwaite birds are nesting with limited public lakeshore access which would give any resident birds an opportunity to hunt in peace. There are also other smaller tarns and reservoirs in the area which would afford a good source of hunting for these magnificent birds.

Further information on the RSPB Bassenthwaite Ospreys can be found here.

New Bridge at Skelwith

A recently built footbridge at Skelwith Bridge offers Windermere Way walkers an alternative crossing point. The bridge is about 300 metres upstream of the road bridge, just above the impressive Skelwith Force. A new footpath has been constructed through the woods that also has links to Little Langdale and Elterwater.

However, I think the most amazing thing about this bridge is it's contemporary design. Usually in places like this the Planning Board insist on local stone and timber construction. Here they have been brave and allowed an outstanding design which beautifully compliments it's surroundings.

The paths that link the bridge to the roads are gently graded and suitable for wheelchairs users. It's well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Arthur Ransome and Windermere

It's forty years today since the death of Arthur Ransome. For many people their first introduction to the Lake District may well be the writings of A. Wainwright. For others it's Wordsworth or maybe Beatrix Potter.
For me however, my first literary encounter was through the books of Arthur Ransome. My uncle, Alex Kirby, an inveterate traveller and another renown journalist was given many of the Swallows and Amazons books as a child and passed them on to me whilst I was still young and they remain amongst my most treasured possessions.
Arthur Ransoms books are notionally set on Coniston Water but for several years he lived at Ludderburn in the Cartmel Valley, which is just a short distance from the route of the Windermere Way. The house is in private ownership, but it is possible to view it from the road. The best approach is to leave the route at the Birks Road crossroads and take the road that goes East, rising slightly.
The house is only a couple of hundred yards on the left.

WoW Festival

If you fancy taking to the water rather than walking around it, biggest festival to ever happen in the Lake District gets underway this month on and around England’s longest lake. The two-day WOW event - Windermere On Water – features over 50 events over the weekend of June 8-10th. Headline acts from France and Africa; a major fireworks display along with dozens of have-a-go watersports activities for adults and children.
The fun begins from 9am each day and goes on until 9.30pm. For details of the full programme go to Windermere – inspiration for the famous children’s book Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome – will see Pirate-style island treasure hunts for kids through to taster events in sailing, canoeing and kayaking on the 10-mile-long lake.