Cumbria Crack

Will it be fifth year running for osprey chicks at Foulshaw Moss?

Ospreys return to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve near Witherslack. Credit: Cumbria Wildlife Trust

[A] pair of breeding ospreys has returned to South Lakeland’s biggest nature reserve, Foulshaw Moss near Witherslack, giving rise to the hope that chicks will be soon be hatching. This would be the fifth consecutive year that this pair of breeding ospreys has raised chicks at this site – a total of 11 chicks have been successfully raised so far.

Blue 35 and White YW, the two ospreys who successfully raised and fledged two chicks last year, returned to Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve this week. The female, Blue 35, returned on Good Friday (30 March), following weeks of speculation and anticipation, especially among the online osprey-watching community! A tense few days followed as osprey-watchers waited for Blue 35’s mate to return, and it was with relief that he appeared on Wednesday afternoon (4 April).

Paul Waterhouse, Reserves Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, says: “It’s always a hugely exciting event when the breeding ospreys return to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve. As one of only a small handful of breeding sites in Cumbria, it’s wonderful to have these magnificent birds returning to us year on year. Ospreys are on the whole faithful to both their mate and their nest site, with some nests known to have been in use for 20 years. So we hope to welcome them back to Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve for many more years to come!”

Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve is open daily to visitors and throughout the breeding season, there will be staff on hand to show visitors the osprey nest, using binoculars and telescopes set up on viewing platforms. The nature reserve is fully accessible, with an all-weather boardwalk which was recently extended to open up previously inaccessible parts of the nature reserve. This season visitors will also benefit from newly-installed information panels, which help to bring the nature reserve to life. The boardwalk extension and information panels were both funded by LEADER.

Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve is located off the A590 near Witherslack. Full directions are available on

To view the osprey cam online go to You can also join in the conversation on social media using #FoulshawOspreys.

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