Compstall Nature Reserve
Know before you go
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.
Access to some parts of the country park and to the bird hide on site.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
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 (this part of the reserve is inaccessible to the public).
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.