River Liza, Ennerdale

River Liza, Ennerdale

The Shining River:

Each week, I will post a photograph as part of a challenge from the Daily Post – you are invited to participate. This week, the challenge is entitled, Heritage!

Please show me your interpretation of the subject by adding a comment, with a link to your Website post, Facebook photo, Flickr image, etc.

This week, share a photo of something that says “heritage” to you. It can be from your own family or culture — a library, a work of public art, a place of worship, an object passed down to you from previous generations, or something else…

A Wonderful Walk:

This was a really enjoyable walk through forestry plantations, and alongside the meandering River Liza at Ennerdale, which flows through the wonderfully remote Ennerdale Valley. The river spawns Trout, Salmon, Charr, among others.

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Natural Heritage

The name of the Liza derives from old Norse, conferring a meaning of “light (or shining) river”. The river is also subject to the Wild Ennerdale Project which aims to introduce more wildlife to the Ennerdale Valley. The Wild Ennerdale Project uses a policy similar to managed retreat which means the river is subject to no human interference or maintenance such as dredging, straightening or even flood defences. The aims of the project is conservation and protection of natural heritage.

The Girt Dog Of Ennerdale

Thankfully, while out walking, I didn’t see the Girt Dog of Ennerdale – just Poppy, scampering about everywhere as usual. The Girt Dog (also known as the ‘Vampire Dog of Ennerdale’) was a mysterious creature that killed between 300 and 400 sheep over six months in the fells of Cumberland, England, in 1810. The current theory is that the mystical creature was in fact, a thylacine (otherwise known as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf.) You can read more about the Girt Dog of Ennerdale, here.

Anyways… I hope you enjoy my POV (point of view) video:

The Route:

For this walk, park at the Bowness Knott car-park (NY109154) and walk alongside the lake. After a few hundred metres, head into the trees at the red way-marker post. Follow the trail up, stopping for photo opportunity at the lovely Smithy Beck waterfall. Cross the wooden bridge, and head further up, and follow the forest road until you find yourself at the ruined, medieval Smithy Beck longhouses. A number of these structures are ‘double walled’, a design unusual in the Lake District. These structures were probably the homes of the iron miners working at Clewes Gill or those involved in the smelting operation down by the lake.

Turn right, and keep the first longhouse to your right hand side. Head towards the trees, and an opening will become visible. Follow the undulating route through the trees. Soon, you will begin to head down. The trail at this point can feel very claustrophobic – just keep going, and you will soon arrive at the lake. Now, take a left and continue along the lakeside.

Once at the end of the lake, cross the concrete bridge at Char Dub and head towards the Woundell Beck vaccary. Continue along the well established path, and over the wooden bridge. Follow the trail for a short distance, and then take a left. Follow the narrow track which will take you alongside the River Liza. Along the way, you will pass by the River Liza Settlement – this is thought to have been occupied during the Iron Age, over 2000 years ago. The interior is likely to have contained round houses and animal pounds and outside there is a cairnfield, an area of ground that had been cleared of stone for farming.

After trudging along the often boggy ground, alongside the Liza, a bridge will present itself to you. Head up onto the forest road, go straight ahead, heading down the fabulous Ennerdale Valley. After approximately 1,000 metres take a right and follow the forest road up, skirting alongside Pillar. Watch out for a roaring waterfall!

After approximately 1.5 miles, the forest road will come to a halt. Keep walking straight ahead, and a trail appear, which will take you alongside Low Beck, back down to the forest road.

Take a left, passing by Moss Dub, back to the the bridge over Woundell Beck. Continue towards Char Dub, then left along the forest road, back to your starting point.


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