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Walk in Dove Stone Nature Reserve

I am lucky enough to live not far from a charming place in the hills, which is Dove Stone Nature Reserve. This site lies between Greenfield and Saddleworth Moor, in Greater Manchester (UK). There is also Dove Stone Reservoir at the western end of the Peak District National Park which provides drinking water.

There is also a 2,5 miles walking path around the reservoir, which is sometimes uneven, bumpy, rocky and steep, as is often in the mountains.

On the way is also a beautiful memorial forest, which is a small and green place where grieving people plant trees to commemorate loved ones. There are trees such as Mountain Ash (Rowan), Silver Birch and English Oak.

Around the reservoir and by the shore, with a bit of luck, you can meet a Gray Heron. The Peregrine Falcon is also circling here. In the 1960s, these birds were at their lowest point there due to the use of pesticides. Other birds that live here are Buzzard, Canada Goose and Greylag Goose. Some species to look out for are bilberry and hare’s tail cotton grass.

When you reach the end of the walking route, there is a surprise waiting for you called Celebration Wood, and I'm not sure if it's a sign or a bench for those tired from the walk. But the best thing is the view of the reservoir, which is blended into the surrounding woods and hilltops, and the extraordinary panorama of the countryside.

Lake with boats on the hills background and blue cloudy sky
Dove Stone in May, Copyright Agnes Romaniuk

On the way back I spotted pheasants. At first I noticed a colourful male, but after a while I noticed that something was moving in the grass nearby. It turned out to be a female whose plumage closely resembled the grass.

You can watch my video about a pair of these birds on my YouTube channel AG R here:

In males, the head is green with a metallic sheen, and there is a red spot around the eyes and a white collar around the neck. Its feathers have a rusty colour and are speckled in places. The tail is long and yellow-brown with stripes. The female is almost invisible and her grey plumage blends in with the surroundings. She also has a short tail.

Near the reservoir, there are also a lot of trees, woods, wet and dense thickets and tall grass. Those places are shelters and feeding grounds for pheasants.

Dove Stone is a spectacular place and there are still plenty of other paths waiting for walk in the area, including the peaks of the surrounding mountains.


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