One of the Lake District’s wildest areas
This is a great lakeland walk for hardy walkers, but can be shortened to include just woodland flushes and a river walk. I have visited the area for its dragonflies, especially as it can be matched with a trip higher up the valley for one of the rare butterflies still found in England – the Mountain Ringlet. With so many old oak trees found here, don’t be surprised to find the ‘big three’ here in spring and summer – Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart. The area is full of ferns with Hard, Male, Broad Buckler, Hart’s Tongue and Shield Ferns are everywhere. Listen out for woodpeckers, with both Great Spotted and Green very common, while Lesser Spotted is rare, even in these amazing woods. High on the fell, look out for Peregrines hunting as Falcon Crag is nearby, with Ravens found on several crags. I was amazed to find a male Stock Dove calling way up here! The tops are very acid, so no waders other than Woodcock are found here (Golden Plover is very rare in the Lakes), while Meadow Pipit, Sky Lark and Wheatear are still here in small numbers along with Whinchat and Stonechat. Both Buzzard and Sparrowhawk hunt the area while a passing Osprey can come off Derwent Water. Other warblers found include Willow, Garden and Grasshopper Warbler, with Blackcap and Chiffchaff in the deep woods. Both Nuthatch and Treecreeper are here, and once back down by the river, look out for Goosander and Common Sandpiper in the open areas.