Boathouse Field

Image of boathouse field nature reserve lake -copyright john morrison

© John Morrison

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.



OS Map Reference

OS 1:50,000. Sheet No. 90.
Grid reference NY 253 23
A static map of Boathouse Field

Know before you go

1 hectare

Entry fee

All donations are gratefully received.

Parking information

No parking

Bicycle parking


Grazing animals


Walking trails

here are no paths on this nature reserve. The site is very wet (particularly in the winter) and wellington boots are recommended.

Take care! Warning – deep water is present.


Boathouse Field nature reserve is accessed directly from a public road, however there is no parking on the road side.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open all year round

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

Wildlife highlights

  • Coots, mallards and mute swans may be seen around the lake edge.
  • Planted in the woodland many years ago, summer snowflake is in flower between April and May and thrives in the wet conditions.
  • Woodland birds include great spotted woodpecker, long-tailed tit, treecreeper and spotted flycatcher.

Boathouse Field nature reserve is a tiny fragment of undisturbed lake shore.

Where the field grades into wet woodland, ash, willow, bird cherry, elder and holly have become established, with reeds near the lake shore. This habitat of reedbed has been lost, due to man's activities, from many lake margins and is home to breeding sedge warblers. Here, you may see coot, mallard and mute swan.

Keeping it special

Cumbria Wildllife Trust manages this nature 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.

Old hedges are being allowed to grow up and tree regeneration is being encouraged.

Recent history

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

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.

Getting here

By car:

From A66 take minor road signed for Portinscale and Lingholm Gardens.  Pass Derwent Marina and the nature reserve is immediately on the left. 

By bicycle:

The nature reserve is on National Route 71 Coast to Coast.

By public transport:

Buses run from Keswick to Portinscale.

Contact us

Kevin Scott
Contact number: 01228 829570

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

Upcoming events at Boathouse Field Nature Reserve

If there are any upcoming events at Boathouse Field Nature Reserve we'll show them to you below.