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Boathouse Field

A tiny fragment of undisturbed lake shore at the northern end of Derwentwater. Wet woodland fringed by reed beds are home to a variety of woodland and lake shore birds.


  • An undisturbed lake shore.
  • Haven for woodland and  lakeshore birds.

How the reserve got its name

In the early part of the 20th century, a magnificent wooden boathouse was present on the site but this was dismantled in the 1930s. The field known as Boathouse field was formerly grazed and was managed as grassland until the 1990s when it was decided to allow woodland to develop on this area. Old hedges are being allowed to grow up and tree regeneration is being encouraged.

Into the woodland

The field grades into wet woodland.  Ash and willow, with bird cherry, elder and holly beneath, are the main tree and shrub species.  Summer snowflake, planted in the woodland many years ago, thrives in the wet conditions. You may find great spotted woodpecker, long tailed tit, treecreeper and spotted flycatcher and other woodland birds here.

Nearing the lake edge

As the ground becomes wetter, willow becomes more frequent and reeds start to appear. The lake edge has an area of reedbed, a habitat which has been lost from many lake margins due to man's activities. Here, you may see coot, mallard and mute swan. Sedge warblers have also bred here.

Keeping it special

We manage this reserve largely by non-intervention although we carry out some control of non-native plant species such as sycamore and Japanese knotweed from time to time.

Boathouse Field was given to Cumbria Wildlife Trust by Miss M Birkett and Miss D Ramsey in 1979.

Getting here

By car:  From A66 take minor road signed for Portinscale and Lingholm Gardens.  Pass Derwent Marina and the reserve is immediately on the left.  Parking is limited.
By bicycle: The reserve is on National Route 71 Coast to Coast.
By public transport: Buses run from Keswick to Portinscale.

Nature Reserves Guide

Cumbria Wildlife Trust's Nature Reserve Guide, which provides information about all the Trust's reserves is available to buy now from our online shop.

Species and habitats

Wetland, Woodland
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sedge Warbler

Nearby nature reserves

Ivy Crag Wood
2 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Eycott Hill
10 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Dubbs Moss
10 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Map reference
NY 253 231
Great for...
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
0.70 hectares
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
Special Site of Scientific Interest
Walking information
The site is very wet particularly in the winter and wellington boots are recommended. There are no paths on the reserve. Warning - deep water is present.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Kevin Scott
Tel: 01228 829570