Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking

Watergrove Reservoir


Watergrove Reservoir – Luna about to take a dip.

Perhaps the sun only shines on Wednesdays, today was a lovely afternoon as was many Wednesday’s for the past few weeks. On this lovely day we set out to explore a new area for us in the South Pennines. This is Watergrove Reservoir above the village of Wardle, on the moors to the north of Rochdale.
We hadn’t realised how popular a local spot this is, a large car park, well filled on a midweek in March. Most people around the car park appeared to have dogs, so this was definitely a popular spot for a walk with our hound. Even better, on the east bank of the reservoir there was a safe area for dogs to run free with a wall to the left and the water to the right.  Even so, we had some trepidations we let Luna free. We needn’t have worried – she ran straight into the water, having fun splashing and wading. This confirmed that she is actually a Water Hound – we have seen pictures of her brother enjoying a few lengths in the Sheik’s pool.


Pennine Bridleway heads off to Calderbrook.

Beyond the Rangers hut there is a nature reserve area around the inlet stream. One of the natural ponds was a mass of mating frogs, where the croaking made it sound tropical.

Above the reservoir, which was built in 1930’s as a work creation project for the unemployed of Rochdale, the open land is dotted with abandoned mines and quarries. This area was once busy with  industry and farming. Now the area is crossed by four Trails (Pennine Bridleway, Rossendale Way, Rochdale Way and Weighver’s Way) following the old footpaths and roads.



Looking down to Watergrove from a ruined farm on the bridleway. The lone tree provided shelter from the elements.

Despite this, we did manage to get stuck when one of the less used and un-signposted tracks took us into a swamp. This very wet area wasn’t due to the recent rains, rather neglect and poor maintenance which had allowed the path to overgrow and fill with bog. Barbed wire everywhere didn’t help as we struggled to get back to dry land. Looking at all map scales of this area, the problem lay with the farmer, not my navigation… honest.

A couple of fell runners joined us as our old track became the main trail back to the car park. By then it was too late, we were all  muddy and wet, annoyed with being off the generally nice tracks around this popular area.

Maybe I will return to capture the small hills around here.

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This entry was posted on March 17, 2017 by in Blog, Out and About and tagged , , , , , , .
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