Hawes, South Dales

Details for Semerwater

Semerwater backed by Addlebrough

Semerwater is a beautiful, natural lake in the tiny valley of Raydale on the edge of Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales.

The lake was formed at the end of the ice age, when melt water from the melting glaciers was unable to escape from the valley because of the driftwood and debris which had blocked its exit to Wensleydale. The result was the formation of the lake, which eventually did manage to drain out and create what is now known as the River Bain, the shortest river in England. The lakes waters are replenished by streams which run down from the neighbouring dales of Raydale, Bardale and Cragdale.

During periods of heavy rainfall the lake can flood to double its size, submerging the surrounding marshes and cutting off the roads. Wildlife flourishes here and a great place to see many species of water birds and waders is the nature reserve which surrounds the lake. Willow Warblers, Redstarts, Whooper Swans, Lapwings and Sand Martins are just a few of the residents which delight birdwatchers to the area. Along the footpaths and in the fields there are numerous species of wild flowers and plants which attract insects, butterflies and dragonflies. On the lake itself there are hosts of yellow water lilies which provide a breathtaking show in the summertime. The waters are populated by white clawed crayfish, which are now an endangered species, and various species of fish including Wild Brown Trout, Bream, Roach and Perch which attracts anglers to the lake. Water sports are also popular with locals and visitors...


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