COUNTRYSTRIDE #76: WILD FELL – Restoring Haweswater, with Lee Schofield

...in which we explore the lonely eastern valley of Haweswater, where one of the Lake District's largest landscape-scale restoration projects is being managed by author and ecologist Lee Schofield. Celebrating the publication of Lee's new book Wild Fell, we set out from sunshine-bathed Naddle Farm to visit a range of projects – from tree nurseries to reborn tarns – that showcase the RSPB and United Utilities' vision of marrying light-touch farming with ecological recovery. As we wander, we recall the declining years of England's last golden eagle, we seek the ghosts of beasts that once roamed the fells, we consider why fighting for change in a heritage landscape can be a lonely – sometimes bruising – business, and we learn why Lee sees hope taking root across the Lakes.





Naddle Farm - the heart of RSPB operations at Haweswater.

Haweswater dam.

The tree nursery.


Our guest for the day: Lee Schofield.


Ascending Naddle valley.

Naddle Head - and the diverse landscape looking east.

A gorgeous light as we approach the Shap–Mardale Head Corpse Road.

Losing light – Kidsty Pike across the valley.

Leaky dam.

Possible one-time wolf cave below Woof Crag.

The re-discovered lochan.

Low Loupe – Hillside shepherds' hut ?