Excitement is building at Bassenthwaite Lake as the staff and volunteers on the Lake District Osprey Project (LDOP) eagerly await the return of the famous ospreys.
This will hopefully be the 18th year that these iconic birds of prey have bred at Bassenthwaite. The viewpoints at Dodd Wood will re-open again on Good Friday 31 March, and visitors are invited to help spot the ospreys as they arrive back from Africa for another breeding season in the Lakes.
Nathan Fox from the LDOP said: "We are eagerly awaiting the return of the ospreys to Bassenthwaite, after what seems like a very long and hard winter, and we are now looking forward to another successful osprey season.
Hopefully, our breeding female known as ‘KL’ and her mate known as ‘unring’, will reunite at the nest for a 6th year. In addition, 2017 saw a number of different birds in the valley, so we are expecting an even busier season as the ospreys increase their range and population, and hopefully the number of breeding pairs.
Whatever happens, I am sure it will be all action, and can guarantee that it will be a natural-history soap opera of the highest quality. We hope that we can continue to share it with the thousands of visitors who visit, support and follow the project."
The viewpoints at Dodd Wood will be open every day from 10 am-5 pm from Friday 30 March until Friday 31 August.
Nathan added: "We have a fantastic team of volunteers who help us to show visitors not only the ospreys, but also a whole range of other amazing wildlife that lives in the forest, on the marshland and in the Lake. We are looking to recruit more volunteers to support the project this year, so if you can spare half a day a week, we’d love to hear from you."
Full details of the volunteering role and who to contact can be found here: www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/
Since the LDOP began in 2001, the ospreys have nested successfully at Bassenthwaite every year, raising over 30 chicks, while over 1.5 million people have visited the project.
Osprey fans around the world can keep an eye on the action from the nest by following the webcam on the LDOP homepage ospreywatch.co.uk and get the latest news at facebook.com/ospreywatch, or by following on Twitter @lakelandosprey.
To help support the project, which has attracted more than 1.5 million visitors since it started, people can also donate at justgiving.com/lakesospreys
The Lake District Osprey Project is a partnership between the Forestry Commission, the RSPB and the Lake District National Park Authority.