Borrowdale and Its Environs. a Lake District Treat.

Rosthwaite Cumbria

Rosthwaite and Borrowdale Valley. Among the breathtaking scenery in the Lake District. Photograph courtesy of Steve Mason -Licensed for reuse.
Rosthwaite and Borrowdale Valley. Among the breathtaking scenery in the Lake District. Photograph courtesy of Steve Mason -Licensed for reuse.

Notes from a Lancashire Countryman.

Another journey north along the M6 motorway from my native Lancashire to the neighbouring county of Cumbria, proved to be another memorable experience. Junction 40 the Penrith turn off is a good gateway to the northern and central lakes. On this particular trip I took the A66 to Keswick.. From here I joined the B5289 {the Borrowdale road} before arriving at one of the lake side car parks situated by Derwent water.

Borrowdale Valley is a place of outstanding natural beauty with slopes draped with woodland adorn the valley. Walking through this leafy serenity is a pleasant experience, enhanced by the opulent bird life. Perching birds are alert and often proclaim their presence long before they are seen. In late spring a thousand blended notes reverberate around the tree tops.

Many of the trees insuch woods are composed of sessile oaks which play host to beautiful birds such as the pied flycatcher, redstart and wood warbler. Many of these oaks are of ample girth. Because the air is so clean along with ample rain fall they are often clad with lichen and mosses.

Top. Willow warbler. Redstart. Sessile oak woods. Lichen on trees

Willow warblers enhance the woodland. Photograph courtesy of Oskila.
Willow warblers enhance the woodland. Photograph courtesy of Oskila.
Redstarts are becoming less abundant. They readily take to nest boxes to raise their young.Photograph courtesy of Monique Bogaerts.
Redstarts are becoming less abundant. They readily take to nest boxes to raise their young.Photograph courtesy of Monique Bogaerts.
Sessile oak woods are a haven for bird life. Photograph courtesy of Jean Pol Grandmont.
Sessile oak woods are a haven for bird life. Photograph courtesy of Jean Pol Grandmont.
Lichen clad trees are common in the region. Photograph courtesy of H.Debussy-Jones.
Lichen clad trees are common in the region. Photograph courtesy of H.Debussy-Jones.

The valley

Sometimes the valley can be obstinately cloudy and wet, but, at other times it lies under clear blue skies without even a wisp of a cloud. My journey was undertaken on the latter sort of day. The woodlands count for much of the ambience of this beautiful location. Within the woods there is a mosaic of habitat from the shady depth in the heart of the wood to open clearings. In my opinion the ferns that tenanted the shady banks give an illusion of tropical splendour. Along with mosses they help to soften the rocky banks. Even old dilapidated walls are cushioned with moss, making them an ideal habitat for a myriad of creatures.

Now and again the meandering footpath passes by gaps in the trees which afford excellent views over Keswick to Skiddaw and Blencathra. The soft bleating of the numerous sheep that frequent the fells only enhance this breathtaking beauty. ndeed the landscape we have become accustomed to on the fells would look very different if it were not for the plethora of grass nibblers, a lot of its beauty would be lost.

The valley itself is surrounded by a sentinel of mountains and hills that make up the fells so appreciated by the walking and climbing fraternities. Out of the woodland some of the terrain is uncompromising, rocky and steep. Narrow pathways have been grooved out by the passing of innumerable feet, over the centuries. From the rock y summit of Castlehead a magnificent view of Derwent Water is afforded with to the south the jaws of Borrowdale's Valley.

Derwent water.

The magnificent view of Derwent Water. Photograph courtesy of Angel Storm.
The magnificent view of Derwent Water. Photograph courtesy of Angel Storm.

In Borrowdale there are---

In Borrowdale there is a boulder strewn region known as Brockle Beck { I love this name} brock being the old name for a badger, beck being a small stream or brook. From here I walked along a path that was signed with the legend,Rakefoot farm. I continued along this pathway as it started to climb up hill past a radar mast. Soon i came upon a grassy footpath on the right hand side that conveyed this is the way to Great Wood which affords another view of Derwent water.

It is not long before the path starts to descend through the woodland. This particular woodland consists of coniferous trees with Larch being the most dominant of them , with a sprinkling of native trees such as oak. The pathway becomes a foresters track as it descends. The track is tenanted with plants such as the majestic foxglove which seems to spread like a pink fire along the sides. I also encountered the heath speedwell, among the more common flora.

On the left hand side clearings in the woodland allow views of Walla Crag, which was my intended destination, for I had come to see the Crags' birds of prey such as the buzzard and in particular the peregrine falcon. I chose a suitable location to settle down with my binoculars to wait. Regular readers will know that this is a philosophy of mine, were I wait and let nature come to me. A buzzard circling high on the thermals was first to catch my attention. These are large birds of prey, sometimes mistaken for the much larger golden eagle, especially in Scotland. Indeed in that country they are known by the locals as the "tourist's eagle"


Common Buzzard

Buzzards fly high on the thermals. Photograph courtesy of Aviceda.
Buzzards fly high on the thermals. Photograph courtesy of Aviceda.

My patience was eventually rewarded by the sighting of a peregrine. The catabatic stoop of this fine bird is awesome. In the U.K. this is a protected species yet they still suffer persecution in many areas. This sighting was all to brief but worthy of my patience. Somewhere close by, that most welcome of April sounds " cuckoo, cuckoo" carried from deep in the heart of the wood. A little later I heard it again, farther away this time. Later still it seemed closer again. It brought to mind a verse from one of the Lake District's favourite sons-William Wordsworth----------

"O, blythe new comer I have heard,

I hear thee and rejoice;

O, cuckoo, shall I call thee bird,

Or but a wandering voice"

Herdwick sheep

This beautiful photograph of a Herdwick Sheep was taken by Alexander Baxevanis.
This beautiful photograph of a Herdwick Sheep was taken by Alexander Baxevanis.

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Comments 6 comments

D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England Author

Darlene, thank you so much for reading and for leaving your kind comments.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

What beautiful countryside, I love and enjoy every moment of your awesome hub, thumbs up my friend, thank you for sharing...darski


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 6 years ago from Lancashire north west England Author

mike1242. Thanks for reading and for leaving your comment

Rose West,Thank you for reading and for leaving your comment.

Falcons are fantastic to watch.

lelane55, thank you,also, for reading and for leaving your appreciate comments.


lelanew55 profile image

lelanew55 6 years ago

Beautiful scenery and nice description. Makes me want to go to such a place and commune with nature.


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

I really enjoy your perspective of things - it's very peaceful and outdoorsy. Colorado (I used to live there) has falcons too; it was exciting when one was spotted soaring above in the mountains.


mike1242 profile image

mike1242 6 years ago from London

Nice Images

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