Discover a lost rain forest in Cumbria

You might think rainforests only exist in far-flung locations, but we have them here in Cumbria, too. Join us at Staveley Woodlands to spot tell-tale signs that we’re actually exploring a fragment of an ancient, lost world.

You’ll start your adventure strolling along the banks of the River Kent (look out for kingfishers – they go by in a flash!) and continue on to the peaceful Staveley Woodlands. Beneath the tree canopy, your guide will tell you more about the importance of temperate rainforests and help you discover the signs that tell you you’re in one.

The seasons bring different species, from fragrant daffodils, bluebells and wild garlic in spring, to fantastic fungi in autumn. Look out for intricate lichen and trailing ferns, as well as signs of badgers and bats.

Lift your eyes to the branches above to spot pied and spotted flycatchers, redstart, willow warblers, blackcaps, and great spotted woodpeckers. Nuthatches and treecreepers scuttle along tree trunks, while you might spot red kites soaring above the canopy.

Your guide will provide equipment to help you get a closer look at the species you find, such as binoculars, magnifying glasses and microscopes. You can also bring your own, if you like.

Later on, tuck into a picnic lunch and a warm drink under our woodland shelter, taking the opportunity to listen to the birds singing in the trees above – a great time to learn or test out your ID skills!

This adventure includes a 3.5 mile walk that can be steep and slippery in places. It’s best for those who are physically mobile and able to walk through potentially tricky terrain. Your guide, Danni, keeps the walk very relaxed and will make sure that no one is left behind. Families are welcome, though children should be old enough to focus for a longer period of time and understand the need to be fairly quiet in order to see the wildlife emerge.

Location: Staveley Woodlands
Meet at: Staveley Mill Yard in the area in front of More Bakery, LA8 9LR