Saturday, 1 July 2000

Dodd (Skiddaw)

Dodd picked out by a snow shower
Height: 502m (1,647ft)
Prominence: 110m (361ft)
Region: Northern Fells
Classifications: Dewey, Wainwright, Birkett
Summit feature: Memorial stone
Times climbed: 2
Related trip report:
Dodd & Binsey - 13/06/2015
Binsey & Dodd - 31/01/2014
The summit marker on Dodd
What Wainwright said:

"Dodd, like Latrigg, can be described as a whelp of Skiddaw, crouched at the feet of his parent. But Dodd has latterly shown nothing of the family characteristics and the old man must today regard his offspring with surprise and growing doubt, and feel like denying his paternity and disowning the little wretch".

Dodd is a small, heavily wooded fell that lies beneath the main Skiddaw range. It stands in Forestry Commission land known as Dodd Wood and for many years it was extensively planted with conifers right up to the summit. However, the Commission started a programme of tree clearance from the top of the fell in 2001 and the summit is now clear; it is hoped that it will revert to heather moorland in the future.

The area around the southern end of Bassenthwaite Lake is home to the only pair of nesting Ospreys in northern England, thus making Dodd a superlative location for bird spotters. An open-air viewing platform was opened on the slopes of Dodd in June 2001 which gives a clear view of the nest from a safe distance.

In the 1860s, Dodd was home to a Scottish hermit called George Smith, who became known as the Skiddaw Hermit. He lived on a ledge on the fell in a wigwam type tent built against a low stone wall. He stayed there in all weathers because he liked the outdoor life. He earned money by painting portraits and doing character assessment at local fairs. A short book was written about him in 1996 called the "Skiddaw Hermit" by Mary E. Burkett.

The top of the fell is marked by a stone memorial pillar with a brass plaque that says "In memory of John Lole and Ian Sandelands, Ist Seaton Scout Group". For a fell of modest height, the view from the top is very good. It encompasses the entirety of Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater as well as the high mountains of Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Bowfell away to the south.

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