Golden Eagles were once a common site in the Lake District. Local landmarks, such as Eagle Crag in the Langstrath Valley, recall their presence. This huge bird of prey would be seen soaring above the mountain tops hunting large mammals such as rabbits, hares, grouse and occasionally foxes. They are also known to take lambs when their normal food is in short supply and feed upon them as carrion.
It is thought that sheep farming arrived in the Lake District with the Vikings and their eyries (nests) were systematically destroyed by farmers. It is said that the last local golden eagle was killed by farmers at the end of the eighteenth century. In 1969, after an absence of almost 200 years, a pair of golden eagles was spotted once again in the Lake District hunting above remote Haweswater – one of the most isolated lakes of the lake district.