The Lake District is one of the most spectacular landscapes in Britain, idealised
by Victorian poets and painters as a rural idyll and an escape for city dwellers.
Look out for England's only Golden Eagle plus a wide range of rambling opportunities.
|Ullswater. Photo - Eden Council|
The Ullswater area retains much of its wilderness charm with its lakes,
mountains, and picturesque towns, in spite of the thousands of tourists which
visit the area.
Ullswater and Haweswater are both located in the northern
Lakes, and both provide a wildlife paradise for nature lovers.
is also one of Britain's great walking destinations where ramblers can enjoy stunning
scenery as they climb above the Lakes District's second largest lake, which is
7.5 miles long and 3/4 mile wide.
The lake is surrounded by dramatic mountains
including High Street, High Raise and Helvellyn, one of the most famous peaks
in the country.
The hills around Ullswater have been sculpted by the great
forces of nature particularly during the period when Britain was emerging from
the grip of the last Ice Age.
Evidence of this deep freeze, which took
place about 12,000 years ago, can still be seen today.
Ullswater's 'U' shaped
valleys are a classic sign that a glacier has carved its way through the area.
Look carefully and you can see deep scratch marks or striations on the
rocks, showing that a glacier was once here, pushing rubble ahead of it like a
giant conveyor belt.
When the ice melted, it left a hollow which filled
with the melting ice water and rain, resulting in today's lake.
ice melted the plant life moved upwards to the fell tops, and it's still possible
to see a few small plants which are survivors from the Ice Age.
As you walk
up the fells, you can see the plant life changing from plants that live in the
damp valley bottoms to the alpine survivors up on the summits.
In the nineteenth
century William Wordsworth wrote his classic poem about daffodils at Ullswater,
and modern visitors can still see these flowers dancing in the breeze throughout
on the valley bottom near Ullswater there is some great nature to explore, and
much of this is due to man's intervention in the landscape.
There are many
different types of small mammal including Mice and Voles.
The Lake District
is also a very good place to see Dragonflies in all their glory. They breed in
water and a warm Summer day is the best time to see them.
to watch out for are Adders with their distinctive zig-zag patterns, but be careful
to watch from a safe distance as they are Britain's only venomous reptile.
balance in the plant species has been starting to change with new farming methods,
and the introduction of new animals to the area such as sheep.
relatively newcomers to Ullswater, and their style of grazing means that many
flowers on the fells get nibbled before they have the chance to seed.
other areas there are fewer sheep and farmers being encouraged to farm in a more
environmentally sensitive way, resulting in the return of heather and plants to
hillsides that were previously grazed bare.
At Glenamara Park cattle are
being used as a tool for nature conservation management in woodlands.
have been replaced for at least part of the year by cows, which feed in a different
way, and are good for regenerating the land because they eat vegetation of a low
digestibility and break up vegetation mats with their hooves.
also less likely to browse on young tree growth than sheep which means that they
are good for tree regeneration and result in a greater variety of vegetation types
and associated insects and birds.
you fancy spotting large birds of prey, then you head a few miles south of Ullswater
This beautiful reservoir was created in the 1930s to provide
water for Manchester, but today it is home to a very special bird, the Golden
Haweswater is the only place in England where Golden Eagles nest,
and the current solo Golden Eagle is the only one in the country.
are hoping to attract another bird from Scotland to breed with this majestic creature.
The male bird at Haweswater is about eight-years-old. He feeds off medium
sized mammals up to the size of a Roe Deer, and rules his territory in the valley
This large bird has a wingspan of six feet with a distinctive shaped
head and large yellow talons.
He often puts on spectacular display flights
over the Riggindale valley, probably in the hope of attracting a new female to
Since 1969, the various Haweswater Golden Eagles have produced
16 young, but none have fledged since 1996 and no eggs have been laid in four
of the last five years.
The Haweswater Estate is also important for a wide range
of birds and other wildlife.
Its oak woodlands are an important habitat
for Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and Wood Warblers.
Ramblers should also
watch out for Peregrine Falcons nesting on the crags, and Ring Ouzels and Wheatears
nesting on the sides of the fells.
Another of species which is flourishing
in the Lake District is the Otter.
To get a glimpse of one you'll need
to be up early or be around at dusk.