After enjoying an African winter, the Lake District Ospreys have returned again to nest and breed beside our beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake. So far, two chicks have hatched and many of our guests have been avidly watching developments from the special viewing points at Dodd Wood – just 10 minutes drive from The Pheasant.
After an absence of over 150 years, and thanks to a lot of hard work from the Lake District Osprey Project partners, the magnificent fish-eating bird of prey originally came back to the area to nest and breed at Bassenthwaite Lake in 2001. Each year the returning ospreys successfully raise at least one chick at the site.
Known for its striking fishing style, it is quite breathtaking to watch the osprey plunge down into Bassenthwaite Lake and emerge with pike, brown trout, and eels sometimes weighing up to 1kg.
If you’re lucky, the ospreys aren’t the only treat you’ll see from the Dodd Wood viewing points. Just below the platform, a bird feeder regularly attracts the native, and very rare, red squirrel. Sometimes, during June, there’s even the chance to see a baby red – a kitten – if they’ve successfully produced a second litter in May.
With so much to see amongst a beautiful forest backdrop, why not pre-order one of our Pheasant packed lunches and make a day of it? There are lots of pretty picnic spots dotted around as well as some excellent walking trails for all levels. Our favourite is a steeper circular trail taking in an ascent of Dodd Fell (502m) for stunning views over Bassenthwaite Lake and out to the Solway Coast and Scotland.