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Compstall Nature Reserve

Various habitats including reed-bed, open water and woodland supporting a large number of bird species

The reserve, which stretches South East along the banks of the River Etherow, is a wonderful mosaic of threatened habitats including; tall fen, reed swamp, open water, carr woodland and mixed deciduous woodland. With such a variety of habitat comes a fantastic array of wildlife. The ornithological interest warrants a specific mention with dipper, grey wagtail and kingfisher all frequently recorded on site along with water rail, a particularly uncommon species. Within the woodland breeding populations of green woodpecker, greater spotted woodpecker, woodcock, tawny owl and sparrow-hawk are also known to exist.

Within the steep clough woodland towards the Northern Eastern boundary of the reserve a variety of woodland wildflowers can be found including Bluebell, Yellow Archangel, Wood Sorrel and Red Campion. Additionally, wood fescue Festuca altissima and the fungus Naucoria subconspersa can be found here, both of which have not yet been recorded anywhere else in Cheshire.


PLEASE NOTE: Due to the remote and rural location of many of our sites, Sat Nav and postcode directions may not be accurate or in close proximity to the reserve entrance.

Species and habitats

Grassland, Wetland, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Broadhurst Edge Wood
3 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Long Clough
4 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Watford Lodge
4 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

North east of Compstall Village within the Etherow Country Park
Map reference
SJ 974 915
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Opening Times
Open at all times
15.40 hectares

Access to some parts of the country park and to the bird hide on site.
Walking information
A short path leading to a bird hide overlooking the River Etherow can be accessed at all times. To get here follow the canal path from the main car park through the park all the way to the weir. Cross over the weir bridge and continue up the lane towards the farm. The entrance to the reserve is on the left hand side of the lane just past the large open pool.
Car parking available in Country Park car park
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01948 820728