The boathouse at Devoke Water was built around 1772 from stones gathered on the shore of the tarn. It was originally designed to provide shelter, and had a fireplace. Peat was dug from nearby to fuel the fire.
The building was constructed by John Jackson, a farmer from Dalegarth, and John Bowman, a fisherman. Locals would pay 2 shillings a year for the right to fish the tarn.
Devoke is pronounce “Duvvock”.
A tarn is a mountain lake.
Devoke Water is the largest tarn in the Lake District and is owned by Millom Anglers. It is situated at an altitude of 766ft and has a maximum depth of 46ft. Due to the sparse and low bank side vegetation the tarn lends itself perfectly to the fly fisherman.
This is #40 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.
This week’s photo is of a former Iron Ore mine in West Cumbria, which is now a lovely little nature reserve. In 1939 the mine started to subside and flood the area, creating Longlands Lake. Longlands was acquired by Cumbria County Council in 1980.
Longlands Lake nestles between Egremont and Cleator Moor and supports an abundance of wildlife within a variety of habitats, which include: broadleaf woodland, unimproved grassland and aquatic vegetation.
The lake is important for its bird population and breeding species include mute swan, coot, moorhen, goosander, tufted duck and mallard.
A circular walk provides safe and enjoyable access all year round for walkers, wheelchair users and those with pushchairs and young children. The surface material is finely crushed local quarry stone which provides a hardwearing, compact surface.
Crummock Water is located between Loweswater and Buttermere. The lake is 2 ½ miles long, ¾ mile wide and 140 feet deep and is a clear, rocky bottomed lake flanked by steep fells.
The lake is fed by numerous streams including the beck from Scale Force, which with a drop of 170 feet is Lakeland’s tallest waterfall. The waterfall is set back in a gorge part way up Scale Fell, and there are several paths that lead up to the waterfall. The River Cocker starts from here, flowing towards Cockermouth where it joins the River Derwent.
Visiting Crummock Water gives you a chance to see the ‘secret valley’ of Rannerdale where a fabled battle took place. It is said that local settlers and Norsemen resisted invasion from the Normans: they lured them into the valley and slaughtered them all. Come April-May, the valley is covered in bluebells and local legend has it that this is because of the blood spilt.
This is picture #30 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.
This week’s photo was captured while visiting the Cogra Moss reservoir, near Lamplugh in West Cumbria.
Cogra Moss is an artificial water retained by a substantial dam across Rakegill Beck, created as a reservoir about 1880, and discontinued as a public water supply in 1975. It has a pleasant setting surrounded on three sides by Forestry Commission planting.
This morning, I had a lovely 7 mile walk up Blake Fell in West Cumbria, which commenced from the Lamplugh side of the fell. It was hard going at times, with legs burning and my heart pumping away like a knackered old steam engine, but I did eventually get to the summit. Phew!
During the ascent of the fell, I met a cheery fella called John Black who had earlier taken off from me like a whippet in a race. Wow – he could walk. John urged me to join Whitehaven Ramblers, of which he is a current vice president. I am actually considering, but not sure if I could commit due to working shifts. Perhaps it’s something for me to do in my retirement years – the countdown for retirement has begun, with 9 years left on the clock.
Blake Fell is the highest point of the Loweswater Fells, an area of low grassy hills with steep sides overlooking the lake of Loweswater on one side, with the Cogra Moss reservoir on the other. Blake Fell is designated as a Marilyn.
The Loweswater Fells have been compared to the digits of a hand, radiating out south westward from the “palm” centred on Loweswater village. From the west these are Burnbank Fell, Blake Fell, Gavel Fell, Hen Comb and Mellbreak, the “thumb”. Blake Fell is the highest in this group, the summit area being a long ridge running southwest along the “finger”.
Descending south west from the summit are High Pen (1,558 ft), Low Pen (1,427 ft), Godworth (1,197 ft) and Kelton Fell (1,020 ft). Beyond lie the Croasdale road and the West Cumberland plain.
Standing aloof from these tops, but still within Blake Fell’s orbit, is Knock Murton (1,467 ft). This is a steep sided fell, forested on the western flank and with sufficient prominence that it is only barely excluded from the list of Marilyns in its own right. Blake Fell also extends a western ridge over the prominent top of Sharp Knott (1,581 ft) and the wooded High Howes (1,027 ft), falling gently to the village of Lamplugh. There are fantastic views of Cogra Moss reservoir from most locations.
Knock Murton and Kelton Fell bear the scars of mining activity, having been the site of extensive haematite workings. Between 1853 and their closure in 1914 these mines produced anything up to 60,000 tons of ore per year. A railway, the Rowrah and Kelton Fell Line, was built up the valley between the two hills, the line of which can still be traced. A further working, the Croasdale Iron Mine, operated to the south of Kelton Fell.
The summit of Blake Fell is a grassy dome decorated with a large cairn, the meeting point of paths from the various ridges. Westwards there is no higher ground to interrupt the sea view. To the east is a fine array of hills stretching from Binsey in the north to Grike in the south. The North Western Fells across Crummock Water are particularly fine, although much better seen from Loweswater End.
From Loweswater village a direct line can be taken up Carling Knott, or a more southerly approach made via High Nook Beck. From the west, Lamplugh or Felldyke provide good access, lying at either end of a network of footpaths. These connect to the track alongside Cogra Moss which can be used to gain the high ground via Low Pen. Knock Murton can also be ascended from the head of the reservoir.
You might have gathered by now, that I love Ennerdale Water in West Cumbria. The lake and surrounding area is devoid of tourists and shops selling cheap memorabilia. Quite simply, it is how the Lake District should be. Tourism has so many negative impacts on the county: From damage to the environment to pollution; congestion and expensive homes for locals.
In 1724 Daniel Defoe described the area as “the wildest, most barren and frightful of any that I have passed over in England”.
I wish the Lake District had stayed as Defoe had described it. Sadly, tourism in the Lake District began in the late eighteenth century when a number of guide books had been published, along with the railway finally reaching these parts in the mid 1800’s.
Thankfully, Wild Ennerdale has been left relatively untouched by man and his destructive touch. Long may that continue.
On the western edge of the Lake District National Park, Ennerdale runs east to west from the high central fells to the rolling hills and moorland of West Cumbria and the Irish Sea coastal plain. Perhaps key to the very special feel of the place is the fact that it’s the only major Lake District valley to have no public road along it. Ennerdale Water, quiet and solitary, is one of the least developed of the English lakes. The water of the lake is extremely pure, and has been used as a source of drinking water for around 150 years.
In the 1920s, the Forestry Commission purchased Ennerdale and created a blanket of commercial conifer forest. This had an effect on the tradition of farming Herdwick sheep. Up until then, Ennerdale held a vital place in the Herdwick story, but 2,000 sheep had to be removed from Gillerthwaite and Ennerdale Dale when the valley was forested. However, there are still 16 farms with fell-grazing livestock in the wider Ennerdale valley.
Originally known as Broadwater, Ennerdale measures two and a half miles long, three quarters of a mile wide and 45 metres (150 feet) deep. Ennerdale’s western end is mountainous and panoramic and is dominated by the rocky bulk of Pillar (892 metres), Haycock (797m), Steeple ( 819m) and Great Scoat Fell (802m). Its eastern end is set in a flatter landscape which looks out over the West Cumbrian plain towards Whitehaven and Workington.