Paddling on Ennerdale Water

By Antony Pike Bower

Paddling on Ennerdale Water gives you a different point of view to enjoy the landscape that you don’t get from being on a bike or on foot.

The surrounding landscape is of European conservation importance for its special habitats and is home to a range of wildlife including red squirrels, cuckoo, deer, and peregrine.

Ennerdale water is the Lake District’s most westerly lake and supplies a lot of homes in west Cumbria with their drinking water. The lake extends to three square kilometres, with a length of just over 2.4 miles and 0.8 miles at its widest point.

Access to the lake can be made from either of the car parks (Bowness Knott or Bleach Green) with a 300m to 400m carry down to the shoreline. While on the water you can see many of the changes that have been made to the Ennerdale valley over the years. From The Old Angler’s Hotel site – the building was demolished in preparation for the raising of the lake in the 1970’s but it never happened – to the work of the Wild Ennerdale partnership to allow the evolution of Ennerdale as a wild valley for the benefit of people. The aim is to rely more on natural processes to shape its landscape and ecology, such as the introduction of freely roaming herds of Galloway cattle on the southern side.

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