Walking in the glorious Ennerdale Valley is one of my favourite pastimes. The valley has the River Liza meandering through its centre, is lined with an assortment of trees, has a wealth of wildlife and has impressive mountains at the sides. It’s a truly stunning place, and offers up peace and tranquillity.
The Liza flows from its source below Windy Gap on Great Gable through a steep-sided valley to Ennerdale Water. The river’s catchment is in the Lake District National Park. The name of the Liza derives from the Old Norse, conferring a meaning of “light (or shining) river.
In 2002, a plot was hatched between landowners to let their land run wild. In 2003, the plot became a project: Wild Ennerdale.
The agreement between the Forestry Commission, the National Trust and United Utilities – which together owned the Ennerdale valley, was to “allow the evolution of Ennerdale as a wild valley, for the benefit of people, relying more on natural processes to shape its ecology and landscape.”
William Wordsworth said that whoever makes the long walk to Ennerdale will “discover a vista which cannot fail to strike the most indifferent observer with astonishment and pleasure.”