Winter wildlife in the Lake District

During the quieter winter months there's still plenty to discover in the Lake District. From overwintering birds to elusive red squirrels, what wildlife will you spot in the Lakes this winter?

A red deer stag and two hinds

Winter in Ennerdale 

Ennerdale is a quiet valley in the height of summer, in winter you can have it almost to yourself.

A red squirrel standing on a tree trunk with a nut in its mouth
Walking trail

Aira Force, Lake District 

Aira Force, in the Lake District is a great spot for red squirrel watching, and there's even a volunteer squirrel ranger who looks after the resident population. The best way to spot these shy creatures is to visit the wildlife hide, which looks out at the squirrel feeders.

Sandscale Haws dunlin flock

Head to the coast at Sandscale Haws 

Out by the sea at Sandscale Haws National Nature Reserve there's plenty of winter wildlife to uncover. Take a walk along the beach and look out for mermaid's purses in the sand, or watch the roosting wading birds as they fly overhead.

Fieldfare can be seen in flocks at this time of year

Walking in a winter wonderland  

Can you spot a fieldfare from Claife Viewing Station? Enjoy the best of winter wildlife walks at Windermere West Shore.

Red squirrell on a branch, Borrowdale, Lake District

Wildlife at Borrowdale and Derwent Water

Home to creatures big and small Borrowdale is a perfect spot to look out for wildlife. It's even a habitat for red squirrels so make sure you bring along your camera to capture those wildlife finds.

Male hawfinch at Sizergh
Walking trail

Take a winter wildlife walk at Sizergh 

Take this circular walk around the Sizergh estate, keeping an eye out for Hawfinches. These shy birds are best seen in winter once the trees have shed their leaves.

The 12th-century church in the hamlet of Isel, Cumbria
Walking trail

Explore from Wordsworth House, Cumbria  

Try this lengthy circular walk from Wordsworth House in Cockermouth – the birthplace and childhood home of poet William Wordsworth. While the house itself may be closed for winter, take in fantastic wintry views looking out for wildlife on the route through woods and by the river Derwent. Remember to wear your muddy boots for this one.