Places to see birds

The Goyt Valley

The Goyt Valley

The Goyt Valley possesses many varied habitats. There are about 150 acres of open water provided by the Errwood and Fernilee Reservoirs, vast areas of moorland covered with heather and purple moorgrass, several mature woods of both Conifer and broadleaved trees, and many hundreds of acres of grazing for sheep and cattle. The three main
car-parks have information boards indicating the marked footpaths which will take you close by many of the habitats. The boards also give information about all the wildlife in the valley.

The Best Time Of Year:
Because of the large areas of broadleaved woodland, late spring and early summer are the best times to visit. It is at this time when the migrants - such as the redstart, chiffchaff, and the wood and willow warblers - can be seen alongside the resident birds.
In the spring, common sandpiper can be seen at the waterside. On the moorland, to the east of Errwood Reservoir, red grouse, meadow pipit, curlew, and snipe may all be seen. Merlin may be spotted on rare occasions.

There are public footpaths down both sides of the River Goyt to the north of the reservoirs. A pleasant circular walk can be taken along these paths.
Above the reservoirs and higher up the valley near Derbyshire Bridge, the common summer migrants will include the ring ouzel and wheatear while grey wagtail and dipper are often seen on the streams.

Take the A5002 Whaley Bridge road out of Macclesfield. After passing through Rainow, turn right at the Saltersford signpost. Now turn right at a T-junction and then left at the next (both signposted Goyt Valley). The road swings sharply right at Jenkin Chapel, rises steeply to the Pym Chair
carpark, and then drops down into Goyt Valley. Parking is available on the right near the reservoir (grid reference SK012 757). Further parking and toilets are available on the left of the road, just over the dam. There are other car-parks further up the valley, but access to these is restricted during the summer weekends and bank holidays.

An alternative route is to take the A537 Buxton road out of Macclesfield. About 300 yards beyond the Cat and Fiddle public house, turn left to the Derbyshire Bridge car-park (grid reference SK012 716 on sheet 119 of the OS Landranger Map). Note that because of a "one way" system, vehicles cannot drive beyond the car-park towards the reservoirs.