For breathtaking Lakeland views, intriguing geology and diverse wildlife, Eycott Hill Nature Reserve near Berrier, Penrith, is an excellent site to visit.

With the status of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), this 216-hectare reserve is a haven for birds, insects and mammals alike, spanning a range of different habitats. There are no visitor facilities, making it a rugged and completely wild site, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in Cumbrian nature.

Evidence of 460 million year old volcanic activity can still be seen in the form of lava flows, including areas with pale feldspar crystals on the west side of the reserve. Over time, wetlands have formed amongst these ancient lava patches, where 20 species of sedge and 18 species of Sphagnum mosses now thrive.

As well as upland habitat, Eycott Hill is also made up of moorland, wildflower meadows and wetlands, providing homes for dozens of species. While butterflies such as the pearl-bordered fritillary are drawn to flowers in the meadow and wetland areas, mammals and ground-nesting birds can be found in the heathland. This diverse range of habitats makes Eycott Hill a place anyone can enjoy. Just make sure to keep dogs on leads to avoid disturbing the wildlife and grazing animals.

During the summer months, look out for wheatear scurrying across the ground. These migratory birds are here from March to September before flying back to Africa for the winter. Also look out for snipe, curlew, meadow pipit and skylark, which all breed on the reserve. For insect enthusiasts, keep your eyes peeled for the golden-ringed dragonfly, which can be seen from June to September. This dragonfly is named for the gold lines around its long tail, and can be found along the streams of Eycott Hill, such as Naddles Beck.

To find out why nature reserve is so special, Join Cumbria Wildlife Trust for a guided walk around Eycott Hill from 10am to noon on Tuesday September 3, where you can learn more about the wildlife and geology of this upland reserve. Wear sturdy footwear, as the ground can be wet and uneven. To book visit