Places to see birds

Tegg's Nose Country Park & the Macclesfield Forest

Tegg's Nose Country Park & the Macclesfield Forest
looking towards Tegg's nose from Ridgegate - LBimson

Tegg's and its neighbour the Macclesfield forest is on the western edge of the Peak District National Park.
A splendid area to explore in winter or spring. There are superb views from the summit of Tegg's Nose (summit height 380m or 1246ft). Looking out beyond the 2 reservoirs below, across to the nearby Macclesfield Forest and the summit of Shutlingsloe - 'the Cheshire Matterhorn'. On clear days you can also see as far as the Welsh Hills and the city of Liverpool across the Cheshire plain.

Our Walk starts with a moderate stroll through the summit meadows, up the slope from the visitor centre to a view point and the old quarry workings - benches dotted about for those in need of rest. The Quarry rock face is now used by rock climbers, and doesn't appear high or inaccessible enough for raptors to nest on. Ravens, buzzards and kestrels may be seen hanging over the summit top.

Tegg's is home to a variety of wildlife habitats including heathland- with heather and bilberry, grassland, scree (the path down to the reservoirs) and mixed woodland.
The walk down the scree slope (part of the Gritstone Trail) to the reservoirs is reasonably steep, with few benches. There are 2 paths down, one meanders across the slope through the shrubs and gives better birding encounters as birds take flight as you approach. A warning, the scree path can be equally treacherous to walk winter or spring, slippy when wet or dry and strenuous on the way back up.

As you descend you will notice the habitat change from scrub covered by gorse, heather, ramble, holly, rowan and hawthorn to more woodland with oak, beech and hornbeam. Birds likely to be found on the way down include Blue, great and long tailed tits, blackbird, robin, goldfinch, goldcrest, nuthatch, chaffinch, chiff chaff, willow warbler, blackcap, linnet, song thrush, partridge, kestrel, magpie, jackdaw, crow and rook.

At the base of the slope you reach Langley village and the 2 reservoirs Tegg's and bottoms. Following the road left (Clarke's lane) around the bottoms reservoir you will reach the Ridgegate and Trentabank Reservoirs, part of the Macclesfield forest. Tegg's, bottoms, ridgegate and trentabank collect water from the hills at the head of the river bollin

Dependant on season birds that may be seen on the reservoirs include Canadian geese, cormorant, mallard, tufted duck, teal, coot, moorhen, gt crested and little grebe, grey Wagtail, black headed gull, grey heron, goosander, common and green sandpiper, little ringed plover, mandarin duck, goldeneye and pochard.

At one end of the ridgegate reservoir you will find a stonking little country pub- 'The leathers smithy', I challenge you to resist the temptation of bilberry pie and coffee, or a wild boar steak and chips (there are a few picnic tables with views over the reservoir).

Continuing along the forestry path around the ridgegate reservoir you will come upon the forests visitor centre and the Trentabank reservoir over the road to the left. The Macclesfield forest includes some broad leaved trees but is largely made up of pine trees. The largest Heronry in the Peak District can be found in the forest on the shore of the trentabank reservoir; a viewing area has been set up looking across the water to where nesting platforms of herons and cormorants can be seen. (Up to 22 breeding pairs) The forest is also home to, if you're lucky to see them, badgers, weasels and a herd of red deer.
The Larch and conifer planting is home to redstarts, flycatchers including pieds, siskins, garden warbler and crossbills. Woodcock may be seen after dusk along with circling pipisterelle bats.

Returning from trentabank, you can take an easy walk along the forest path through the trees around the other side of the ridgegate reservoir, back to the road by the pub. Then retrace your steps back past bottoms and tegg's reservoirs and ultimately to the base of tegg's nose, prepare for the slog back up the slope to the car park.

Tegg's Nose Country Park
Buxton Old Road
SK11 0AP
2 Visitor centres with toilets. Ice cream van possible!
Walk not suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs. Moderate/strenuous