Low Birker Tarn

Type; Natural
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Location; Eskdale
Accessibility; Access Land
Grid Ref; SD 190 994
Elevation; 247 m (811 feet)
Size; 120 x 77m (385 x 253 feet)
Area; 0.7 hectares (1.75 acres)
Depth; 2m (6½ feet)
Meaning of name; tarn of the low shieling by the birch trees
Alternative name(s);


On the north-western corner of Birker Fell, where the fell drops down into Eskdale, opposite the Woolpack Inn is Tarn Crag, under which Low Birker tarn may be found. A rather pretty, teardrop-shaped tarn it sits on a boggy shelf on the hillside. Curiously, its outfall is to the south - away from the Eskdale valley, towards which it then turns. As Low Birker Pool, the stream falls steeply and over Birker Force before joining the Esk.

Low Birker Tarn may be accessed by taking the footpath from Doctor Bridge towards Green Crag and turning west once past Tarn Crag, or by following paths from the Birker Fell road and striking out across the fells east of Whincop. The latter involves the least climbing so was the one I tried for my first visit. Unfortunately it was bright but extremely hazy, despite a very strong south-easterly wind, so I had to make the best I could of the conditions. A further visit is called for.