whinlatter natural environment...
Whinlatter Forest Park (NY 208 245)
England’s only true mountain forest, Whinlatter is just west of Keswick and is a great day out for everyone. The forest has walking trails of varying lengths to suit all abilities, giving you lovely views across Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water, Skiddaw, Grisedale Pike and to Helvellyn. It is home to the Lake District Osprey Project which runs from April to September as well as a range of other wonderful wildlife such as red squirrels, woodland birds and deer. The Whinlatter WildPlay trail is a unique play trail for children, with 9 different play zones to explore through the trees. If you're a mountain biker, try the Altura or Quercus trails, which make full use of the stunning mountain setting. Or if you’ve got a head for heights, swing through the trees on the Go-Ape course. The team at the Visitor Centre and Forest Shop can help you plan your day and sell forest maps and a range of quality gifts. Siskins Café offers home cooked food in a lovely setting, with great views of Grisedale Pike from its balcony. Cyclewise is the onsite bike shop and hires out bike as well as selling a range of bikes and kit, and running mountain bike training courses..
Lake District Osprey Project
In 2001, ospreys returned to the Lake District after an absence of over 150 years. Every year since then, the birds have reared their young on a specially built nesting platform in Wythop Woods overlooking Bassenthwaite Lake; that is until 2008, when the birds unexpectedly moved to a new nest site. There are now two viewpoints in Dodd Wood, with telescopes and Osprey Project staff on hand from 10.00 to 5.00 every day (early April to end of September*) to provide information. The lower viewpoint is a 10-minute walk uphill from the car park at Mirehouse, with the option of ascending to the upper viewpoint. Alternatively, visitors can see the ospreys on a video link at Whinlatter Visitor Centre*Telephone 017687 78469 for actual dates, as the arrival and departure of the ospreys cannot be predicted in advance.