Ivy Crag Wood
Know before you go
Entry feeAll donations are gratefully received.
Parking informationNo designated parking
Ivy Crag Wood nature reserve is extremely steep and there are no waymarked paths.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen all year round
Best time to visitApril to July, September to November
About the reserve
- Red squirrels are still common in the area so be sure to look out for them.
- Pied flycatcher are a speciality of upland oak woodland in the summer as they use the holes in the trees for nesting.
- Look out for redstart, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper and tawny owl.
Remnant oak woodland
Ivy Crag Wood is one of the only areas of oak woodland on the Dodd below Skiddaw and the mature trees are incredibly valuable for wildlife.
The attractive ground flora includes wood sage, bluebell and wood anemone, reflecting the acidic nature of the underlying Skiddaw slate, which outcrops in some areas.
The oaks are now mature and provide nest holes and dead wood making them extremely valuable for wildlife.
As well as oak, ash, sycamore and sweet chestnut are present.
Keeping it special
Main management is the removal of conifers and beech which colonise the site from the surrounding forestry plantation.
Rhododendron, which occurs in the lower part of the nature reserve, is also being removed.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust also maintains a number of nest boxes on the nature reserve to provide additional nest sites.
Ivy Crag Wood nature reserve was given to the Trust in 1969 by Miss F M Linley.
Although it appears natural, records show that the whole of the Dodd was planted at the end of the 18th century, probably with oak and other native tree species.
Since then, the rest of the Dodd has been managed for commercial forestry with exotic conifers and beech being planted.
Ivy Crag Wood is one of the only areas which still has the original oak woodland. Traditionally the wood would have been harvested regularly by coppicing and there is evidence of charcoal burning on the site in the form of a level pitstead. However at some point, coppicing ceased and high forest was allowed to develop.
From A591 take the road signed for Millbeck. Almost immediately after the junction turn left into the entrance of a forest track. Park here and follow the track (which runs parallel to the main road) to its end. Continue ahead on a narrow path until the reserve is reached
The reserve is on Regional Route 38.
By public transport:
Buses run past Ivy Crag nature reserve from Keswick to Bassenthwaite.
Upcoming events at Ivy Crag Wood Nature Reserve
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