Osprey Watch

Lake District Osprey Project :

Bassenthwaite / Braithwaite / Keswick

Places to stay nearby

The public viewpoint in Dodd Wood


Park at the Mirehouse/Dodd Wood carpark, and from there it is a short walk (up a fairly steep climb) to the viewing position, which is open at all times. Between 10am and 5pm project staff will be present with telescopes available for public use. Live CCTV coverage of the nest may be seen at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre, also staffed by Osprey Project staff.

Ospreys returned to breed at Loch Garten in the Scottish Highlands in 1954, after many years of absence. Since then, the Scottish osprey population has expanded and now numbers about 150 pairs.
In the late 90s ospreys were increasingly to be seen fishing over a number of Cumbrian Lakes, raising the hope that they might breed one day. It was with this aim in mind that the Lake District Osprey Project partners built a nest platform in Wythop Woods overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake.

The ospreys’ return to the Lakes was the culmination of several years of hard work to encourage ospreys to stay. The Forestry Commission and the Lake District National Park Authority have built a number of these platforms at suitable locations throughout the Lakes. Volunteers have supported this work, carried out with the full support of local landowners.
“In 2001, all the hard work paid off and amid great excitement a pair of ospreys took to the platform and nested, successfully rearing one chick. For the first time in over 150 years, and as a result of natural re-colonisation, ospreys had been recorded nesting successfully in the Lake District!
The ospreys have returned every year since swappng to a different nest site in Dodd Wood and have successfully raised at least one chick and often two chicks each year.”
– Lake District Osprey Project 2012
Ospreys are spectacular fish-eating birds of prey with a wingspan of nearly five feet. Look out for their white head and undersides, which contrast with the rich brown upperparts. With razor sharp eyesight, an Osprey can spot a fish whilst hovering high above the Lake.

Osprey chicks aged five weeks – 24th July 2002

From the Lake District Osprey Project 2012
” 2012 started out a fantastic year with great intrigue and some sadness as our long standing male “No Ring” has not returned but instead a chick from 2007 “YV” has taken his place and between them they have produced three eggs and raised one chick which fledged in mid July. The chick,Lucky 13, has left the Lake District before the end of August. This is quite unusual as it is normally the adult female that departs first. Fitted with a satellite tag, Lucky 13’s movements are being followed by the Lake District Osprey Project team. On 29 August he was recorded on the south coast between Eastbourne and Hastings. ”
Lake District Osprey Project 2014
Ospreys returned to the nest at the beginning of April and laid their clutch of 3 eggs at the end of the same month. Hatching of the 3 eggs took place at the beginning of June but sadly one chick did not survive and died on the 22nd of June. Keep up to date with the Osprey family on their facebook page – www.facebook.com/ospreywatch
Lake District Osprey Project (August 2019)
After a much wetter than average August it is time to take stock of the Bassenthwaite osprey family. Blue 400 has had a difficult time learning to fish after her very successful fledging. This has not been for lack of trying!
We also know also from our own observations that osprey Dads encourage their chicks to fledge initially by holding out fish as they fly past, so Blue 400 will have been watching both parents’ fishing patterns and picking up skills that way. At 5 weeks she was a big strong bird but has she caught enough and fed enough to make the migration?
See The Lake District Osprey Project, for more information about the project, which is managed by a partnership of the Forestry Commission, Lake District National Park Authority and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Due to the current situation the telescopes at the view points are not open and there will be no staffed information throughout the 2021 season, However you are welcome to take your own optics to the viewpoints and watch the nesting ospreys.
Likewise the CCTV of the nests at the Whinlatter Visitor Centre will not be open, but you are able to view webcams on their website.
(Updated 22/06/2021)
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Grid Ref: NY 235282
Dodd Wood, Bassenthwaite, Keswick.