Know before you go
Parking informationPlease park in the main visitor centre car park, the short woodland trail and reservior viewpoint is directly opposite.
Apart from the small woodland trail and viewpoint at the reserve, the wider area can be accessed via the forest roads and there are public footpaths onto the adjacent uplands.
There is access to the small woodland trail and heronry viewpoint along the forest road.
When to visit
Opening timesThe reservoir can be viewed all year round. A visitor centre operated by the local ranger service may be open on selected weekends. The reservoir itself can only be accessed by permit only
Best time to visitSpring and Summer
About the reserve
On the doorstep of the Peak District, Trentabank reservoir and the surrounding conifer plantations of Macclesfield Forest are owned by United Utilities and supply the town of Macclesfield with drinking water. Although a working environment, Trentabank and the forests are a haven for wildlife, and the Trust manages a small area of woodland with commanding views across the reservoir.
Perhaps best known for its heronry (thought to be the largest in the Peak District with over 10 breeding pairs), the reserve is also a great place to seek out ravens and birds of prey. Stately red deer are shy residents of the forest, but can often be seen drinking from the reservoir in early morning.
Changing water levels occasionally expose the reservoir banks, which become a popular feeding ground for small wading birds including common sandpiper, green sandpiper and little ringed plover. Flocks of crossbills are regularly seen feeding in the tree tops whilst in winter visitors including goldeneye and goosander join the resident water birds.