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Not quite the Dawn Chorus at Haweswater

If you don’t quite fancy being an early bird for Dawn Chorus Day, then experience the magic of nature’s music festival on this exclusive event, at a slightly more manageable hour of the morning, and be immersed in the birdsong here at Haweswater.

Under the expert eyes and ears of our Warden Spike, amble through the enchanting ancient oak woodland of Naddle Forest, as an array of woodland birds come to life with their morning song. 

Haweswater's woodlands explode with the sounds of birds such as Great spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and a variety of Finches, Tits, and Thrushes – each with their own unique melody. The yaffling of Green Woodpeckers and the mewing of Buzzards is a great way to start the day! At this time of year, these resident birds are also joined by migrant birds such as Chiffchaffs, Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts, who arrive here in spring from Africa, to raise their families in this special site.

Being the first on the reserve you will have the opportunity to look out for Haweswater's other secretive wildlife, with the possibility of Red Squirrels and Badgers too.

We’ll round off the event with a hot drink back at our office base at Naddle Farm, where you’ll have the chance to ask questions and discover more about Spike’s 20+ years of experience working here.

(Image of a male Redstart by Ben Andrew

Important Information and Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who do I contact with any questions?  
🐦 Please contact our team on the phone number or email listed above, if you have any queries, and we will be happy to help.

2) Where is the meeting place?
🐦 You will be greeted by Spike and another member of our team at the RSPB office at Haweswater. You will be sent more detailed directions a week before the event, but our address is: Naddle Farm, Burn Banks, Bampton, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2RP.
Find us on What3Words here:

3) What are my transport/parking options for getting to and from the event?
🐦 Unfortunately public transport to Haweswater is currently unavailable. There is parking available at Naddle Farm. Simply drive up the lane to Naddle Farm until you reach the farmhouse (the RSPB office at Haweswater), where we will be waiting for you.

4) What is the terrain of the walk like?
🐦 The walk will largely take place on stone/earth paths in and around the forest. The gradient is steep in places and it can be muddy underfoot. There are opportunities to explore further on site after the event should you wish to discover more of our beautiful corner of the Lake District. Our team can advise you on some other excellent places to explore.

5) Who is the walk suitable for / what is the accessibility of the walk?
🐦 You don’t have to know anything about birds or birdsong. Whether you’re a seasoned dawn chorus festival-goer or a newcomer keen to experience nature’s celebratory symphony, you will enjoy the magic of this experience. Unfortunately due to the terrain, this walk is unsuitable for wheelchairs (unless you have a Terrain Hopper or similar) and those with limited mobility. Please contact us if you have additional questions about accessibility. Due to the length and pitch of the walk, this event is unsuitable for children under 12. Sorry, no dogs on this event.

6) What should I bring with me?
🐦 You should wear comfortable, waterproof, outdoor footwear and clothing appropriate for the weather - including a light raincoat. It can be chilly in the early morning so bring layers. We also recommend bringing a pair of binoculars if you have them, or we can lend you a pair. You may like to bring a camera or take pictures on your phone. A notepad and pen to record what you learn is useful, but not essential if you simply want to absorb the experience. Feel free to bring snacks/drinks. Hot drinks will be available at the end of the walk.  

7) What facilities are available on site?

🐦 Our toilets are located in the car park. There is single step access to one toilet and two steps to access the other.

8) What else can I do whilst at Haweswater?
🐦 We have a whole host of events and experiences available, or you might just like to explore other parts of the site at your leisure. See question 11 for places to eat and drink.
Visit for full details, or ask our team on the day and we'd be happy to point you at some great places to go.

9) What is the difference between a booking of £32 and £25.50?
🐦 £32 is the full non-member price. As a thank you for regularly donating to our nature conservation work, RSPB members receive a 20% discount on all RSPB events, so have a lower price of £25.50. If you are not an RSPB member and would like to join, we would be happy to sign you up on your visit. 75p is added to each booking as a booking fee, for the third party booking system used by the RSPB.

10) What if I need to re-schedule or cancel?
🐦 Full details of the RSPB’s events refund policy can be found here.. Please contact our team on 01931 713376 or if you have any other queries, and we will be happy to help.

11) Where can I eat and drink locally?
🐦 You won’t go hungry when visiting Haweswater, with plenty of nearby places to eat and drink. The closest are the 4* Haweswater Hotel, our local community pub the Mardale Inn at Bampton and Bampton Community Shop, all just 5 minutes drive away. There is also the Queen’s Head and the Punchbowl Inn at Askham, both 15 minutes drive away as well as the Askham village shop with a selection of hot drinks, pies, sandwiches and cakes. There is a café at Lowther Castle, 20 minutes drive away and a number of options in Shap, also 20 minutes drive away, including The Greyhound pub, a chip shop and The Abbey Kitchen café.

12) Where can I stay locally?
🐦 There’s lots of lovely options for places to stay nearby. Our local community pub, The Mardale Inn at Bampton,is 5 minutes drive away and offers newly refurbished rooms at a discounted overnight rate to Wild Haweswater visitors, available using the code “WildHawes23YTS.” The 4* Haweswater Hotel is just 5 minutes drive away overlooking the reservoir and the Queen’s Head and the Punchbowl Inn, both at Askham are 15 minutes drive away. There are a number of bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages and pubs with rooms 20 minutes away in Shap such as New Ing Lodge and the Greyhound pub.  Campsites include Setterah Park Farm, New Ing Lodge and Aragon Camping. Further afield in the Lake District, you can find lots more options here.

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