Crummock Water, The Lake District

7th April 2007

This Easter weekend saw the North of England blessed with bright sunshine and blue skies. Unfortunately the brisk north easterly winds earlier in the week resulted in a big swell, ideal for surfing, but making for very poor diving conditions off the coast.

Plans for diving from the club RIB’s had to be hastily revised and instead of heading for the Farnes or St Abb’s, the decision was made to organise a training dive at Crummock water over in the Lake District.

We were rewarded by a drive through some of the most stunning landscape in this beautiful area of the country.

Situated between Loweswater and Buttermere, Crummock Water is a glacial lake some two and a half miles long by three quarters of a mile wide. The lake is surrounded by the mighty Grassmore on the West side and the fells of Mellbreak on the East.

Crummock Water is accessed by the B5289, a narrow road that winds its way along the valley and which at times touches the lakes edge. The main access point to the water for a dive is at Hause Point, a small rocky outcrop that juts out into the lake. Parking however is extremely limited with room for only a couple of vehicles adjacent to this dive site. Additional parking is available at another small car park which can be found about 100 metres further up the road.

Entry into the water can be made via a short track along the left hand side of the point. It’s something of a scramble down onto a small rocky ledge which overlooks the waters edge. From here the water can be accessed by a short stride off this rocky ledge. Care needs to be exercised however when these rocks are wet, as the ledge slopes downwards, making for a slippery and potentially treacherous surface. Immediately out from the point the bottom slopes down quickly gaining depth. Buoyancy needs to be adjusted for fresh water, as it is all too easy to crash into the bottom and stir up the soft silty bottom, with a resultant adverse effect upon the underwater visibility.

Generally however, underwater visibility can be very good in this lake. On this occasion however, a fine mist of suspended particles resulted in limited visibility of 3 to 4 metres. The water temperature proved to be a chilly 6 degrees centigrade. Crummock water, whilst perhaps not offering the most interesting diving, nevertheless offers relatively sheltered conditions with good access to the water, making it an ideal for training purposes.

The lake is a designated SSSI site. When it comes to marine life and plants it is therefore a case of ‘look but don’t touch’. There are apparently fish in this lake but none were observed on this particular occasion.

In the shallows, the remains of long fallen tree’s can be found protruding out of the silt. Other human debris, such as drink cans and broken pottery plates were also observed. Fiona also found an enamelled costume jewellery bracelet in the silt. Who knows what mysterious tale lay behind this small find?

With Steve’s Ocean Diver drills complete, the dive party were able to relax and enjoy lunch whilst taking in the sheer magnificence and beauty of this dive sites magnificent setting. In the right conditions it is this setting that perhaps makes this dive site just that little bit special.

Thanks to Andy Hunt for organising the dive.

Note, to dive Crummock water permission first needs to be obtained from the relevant local National Trust warden telephone, (01900) 85267.

Crummock Water is also at an altitude of 99 metres. Following the dive some care also needs to be taken in planning a ‘safe’ route home, as some of the local roads such as the Buttermere to Keswick road climb up to over 300 metres and could result in potential decompression problems for those who choose to dive deep!