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Our work here

Staff at work - Bill Kenmir, warden at Haweswater RSPB reserve

Image: Andy Hay

Haweswater is home to a variety of upland birds, including England’s only territorial Golden Eagle.

The reserve's habitats include moorland, woodland and farmland. The RSPB is managing all these in order to protect and, where possible, increase their biodiversity.

Up on the moors

We are working with local land-users to improve the moorland for wildlife. Our aim is to maintain a good balance of moorland habitats, including blanket bog, scrub, mire, fen and grassland. This will provide the right conditions for breeding birds such as golden eagle, red grouse and curlew, as well as a colony of small mountain ringlet butterflies. 

Measures include carefully controlled grazing, burning and cutting. We also use 'grip blocking' (blocking old drainage ditches) to restore plant communities in boggy areas. We plan to expand the moorland by replanting overgrazed areas with heather.

Down in the woods

There are two important kinds of woodland on the reserve: rare juniper woodland and broad-leaved woodland - the latter being home to breeding redstarts, pied flycatchers and wood warblers. 

We are working with UU (United Utilities) and EN (English Nature) to help manage and restore these habitats. Measures include fencing off the woodland from deer and sheep, and replanting it with local trees. 

Woodland plans

We are working with other organisations, including the Lake District National Parks Authority (LDNPA), towards a 'Forest Design Plan' for the long term. This plan aims to maximise the potential for native woodland, by protecting existing woodland, encouraging new growth, and ensuring that those who use or manage the land follow an agreed code of practice. 

Working with farmers 

Enclosed areas of hilly farmland on the reserve, known as 'in-bye' land, are important for breeding birds such as skylarks, lapwings, redshanks and snipe, as well as wintering reed buntings and yellowhammers. We are conducting wildlife surveys of each farm holding, and helping farmers to manage the land for the wildlife's benefit.

We are also helping farmers look after areas of open water, by controlling artificial inputs and, where necessary, keeping livestock away. We hope this will increase biodiversity and secure the habitat for our dipper population.