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Talkin Tarn

OS Grid ref:- NY 545590

Talkin TarnBeautiful Talkin Tarn Country Park is situated two miles east of the small market town of Brampton in north-east Cumbria, and can be reached off the B6413 Castle Carrock road.

The attractive tarn is a kettle hole lake which was formed by the action of glaciers 10, 000 years ago, it measures 1.3 miles in circumference, covers 65 acres and is up to 42 feet deep in places.

The tarn is set amidst 120 acres of woodland and farmland from which there are views of the Pennine Hills. There are a number of walks and picnic sites around the tarn, which is fed by underground streams. Leaflets for the nature trail are availiable from the boathouse, which dates to Victorian times.

The name Talkin derives from the celtic language 'tal can' meaning white brow. The term tarn has its origins in the Old Norse language, deriving from the Norse word tjorn meaning teardrop.

Beside the lake there is a sandy bay which presents a popular location for picnics and for swimming. The tarn has fishing facilities and contains pike, perch and eel.

The woodlands of the country park are home to Red Squirrels (sciurus vulgaris), which are Red Squirrelindigenous to Britain. The species habitats have been increasingly threatened since the introduction of its larger American cousin, the grey squirrel. There are now but an estimated 40,000 red squirrels left in Britain. The red squirrel is smaller and less stocky than the grey, have a russet red coat and large ear tufts.

The squirrels build large nests, called dreys, often in the forks of trees, they are round structures, built up of leaves, twigs, dried grass and moss. Their young, known as kittens, are usually born in litters of 2-3 in the sping and are blind at birth. Signs to watch for are dreys, chewed pine cones and scratch marks on the bark of trees.

Otters, Stoats, Hares, Rabbits, Hedgehogs, Shrews, Bats, and Roe Deer can also be seen and there are badger sets in the woods. The best time to spot roe deer at the park is early in the morning. A variety of birds, including redstart, garden warbler, chiffcaff, longtailed tit, blue tit, potted and pied flycatcher can be observed in the park.

The annual rowing regatta on the tarn attracts oarsmen from all over the North of England. The lake also provides an excellent location for sailing, windsurfing and canoeing and there are also hire facilities for rowing.

The boathouse contains tea rooms and there is also a gift shop. The Boathouse Tearoom and Gift shop is open 7 days a week 10.30 till 4.30 serving home cooked food, fair trade drinks and quality gifts. Take away food and drinks are also available. The Tearoom has full disabled access including a lift and toilet facilities. In the summer enjoy the open air balcony with superb views. In the winter retreat to the cosy tearoom with log burning fire.

The country park is owned by Carlisle City Council and cared for by Greenspaces.

Talkin Tarn image copyright Ben Barden coutesy of Cumbria Tourist Board