|Site 5: River Liza|
How to get here
This is another relatively deep section of lake with a reasonable river entering called the River Liza (photo a). To reach this dive site you will need to ignore the first road sign that states "1 mile to Lake" and the 2nd that says "half mile to lake". Simply continue on the current single track road until you reach a large car park after circa 5 miles.
Vehicle access is limited at Bowness Knott, to the car park only. Divers are welcome to park at Bowness Knott, but any traffic along this single track road will find that there is no parking - except for divers who will need to off load kit and then return vehicles back to Bowness Knott. This single track road continues for 2.5 miles. One YHA lodge is situated 2 miles further up from the car park here and another lodge within a stones throw. There is also a land-line telephone in the YHA lodge but access to this cannot be guaranteed.
Make your way to Bowness Knott car park. You will find a large parking area here, and although a road, protected by a steel gate will take you down and past the river Liza, you may on occasion find this locked.
Quarry and timber trucks use this SINGLE track, which is NOT FOR TOURISTS to travel along 'willy nilly' up and down.
DIVE BUDS please view the video's for petinent information on each dive site along this stretch.
You have several dive area's on this lake that are accessible to divers and other non powered water sport users. With only one or two areas having steep banks, so these areas hold potential for disabled divers and others.
Reservoir - Imperative that you contact United Utilities first.
You may wish to email the Forester Garath Browning and then keep your fingers crossed that he allows permission to be given to drive down to the site otherwise the large gate across the road means a bit of a walk - 30 minutes worth in kit (circa 1 mile?). Shut the gate and continue on the rough road where lots of walkers, mountain bikers etc will be seen. You are looking for a single pass road heading up into the mountain on your left . . . and you are now at the dive site, with a nice dive and/or snorkel? back to the car park afterwards?
You'll see that this water is normally chrystal clear (photo b).
You can see a large buoy in the middle of the lake (photo c) - this is your goal (sorry - this old friend has now removed :-(. The shallows will prove stunning. It's like something out of the Caribbean or Maldives although instead of coral we have grasses and many different oxygenating plants. The lake bed here is mainly shingle and sand with silt appearing only at much deeper depths.
We prefer to snorkel out to the Water Purity Buoy which has equipment attached. Descend down the steel anchor cable to a depth of 20 metres. Sadly this friend has been taken away.
Which direction you take is your choice. Heading down into the lake and you will discover masses of trees offering shelter to many fish and an increasing depth to 34 metres, and more if your BT allows it, and you are not running short on Co2, O2 or Tri.M. Heading for the river you'll come across a large expanses of stones heaped into ridges with a little fun being had, playing with the river currents.
Hazards to Divers
If reasonably heavy rain has persisted for a day or more there could well be near zero visibility due to the heavy Iron ore content in the near-by mountains washing down and turning the water red. Large numbers of submerged trees proliferate this area so watch your dangly bits!. If heading away into the lake you may notice visibility decreasing due to river current lifting silt up off the lake bed.
Heading into the river presents some interesting challenges in the swift current.
As with Haweswater there is an annual occurrence in April / May of Cryptosporidium. It's a nasty little bug that sends you to the toilet every few minutes. It can do worse to you - but maybe I should keep quiet. So I would advise not taking on-board any much needed H2O juice - sorry.