Visit Upper Eden

Nature Reserves

Upper Eden boasts one of the county’s – and the country’s – favourite nature reserves: Smardale Gill.

Stunning scenery provides a backdrop to this lovely reserve. The steep wooded slopes contrast with the views of open rolling countryside from the viaduct. It’s a great place for flowers, birds and butterflies – and is one of only two sites in England where the Scotch argus butterfly can be seen.

Seasonal highlights are:

In spring: bluebells, primrose and early purple orchid.

In summer: orchids, bird’seye primrose, melancholy thistle, bloody cranesbill and butterflies.

In autumn: find fellwort, devil’s bit scabious, scotch argus butterflies.

Later in autumn and through the winter: flocks of birds such as goldfinch, field fare and redwing feeding on the berries.

At any time: look out for red squirrels and roe deer or explore the archaeology and geology.

Find out more at:

There are many other fabulous CWT nature reserves in Upper Eden. You can visit:

Waitby Greenriggs

Tarn Sike

Augill Pasture

Argill Woods

Crossbank Nature Reserve

This private nature reserve encompasses seven acres of wooded waterways, marshland and open water, surrounded by flower rich meadows at the foot of the Howgill Fells. Find out more at