Jenkin Hill Cottage Guest House, Thornthwaite, Keswick, CA12 5SG :: Tel: 017687 78443

Our local Lake District wildlife

Red SquirrelJenkin Hill Cottage overlooks the wooded slopes of Seat How, part of the ancient Thornthwaite Forest. Being located on the edge of the forest, we see a lot of wildlife visiting the garden. Most new visitors are surprised by the large number and variety of wild birds seen here, such as coal tits, blue tits, siskins, chaffinches, nuthatches, dunnocks, goldfinches, greater spotted woodpeckers, robins and ravens.

Red squirrels are regular visitors during late autumn and early winter, foraging for food. The forest here is a protected area for the squirrels, with every effort being made to prevent invasion from greys.

Pheasants are also likely to be seen foraging under our bird feeders.

Whinlatter Forest


About 100 yards away a track through the forest can be taken which leads to miles of walking or cycling unhindered by motor vehicles. Alternatively a route from the village leads up beside Comb Beck, providing a sometimes steep but very attractive path into the forest. The Whinlatter Forest visitor centre is within easy walking distance.

The forest provides a habitat for a wide range of wildlife including badgers, frogs, toads, foxes, roe deer and red squirrels. Overhead you may see buzzards, peregrines and many other varieties of bird life.

The Bassenthwaite Ospreys

Osprey in flightA breeding pair of Ospreys has become established beside Bassenthwaite Lake. With a wingspan of up to 5 feet these magnificent birds can be seen catching fish on the Lake during Spring and Summer, and occasionally are seen from our garden. They overwinter in North Africa, some 4,000 miles away! Other Ospreys have also been seen in this area, a good sign that more breeding pairs may take up residence. A public viewpoint from which to observe the ospreys is open from April until September in Dodd Wood on the east side of the lake.
Information about the ospreys may be found on the Osprey Watch website.

Bassenthwaite Lake

Bassenthwaite Lake is a National Nature Reserve and SSSI. Four miles long, it is one of the largest lakes in the Lake District, but is very shallow, with a maximum depth of about 70ft. There are no motor boats here, and the Southern part of the Lake is a World renown site for water fowl. Otters are becoming re-established in the area and on rare occasions may be seen.
Download a map of Bassenthwaite Lake


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