Places to see birds


Curlew standing on weed, County Cork, Ireland
Curlew Photo: RSPB

Redmires Reservoirs are three adjacent upland reservoirs, 5.5 miles west of Sheffield city centre and just inside the Peak District National Park.

The Upper, Middle and Lower Reservoirs date from 1836 and attract waterbirds including grey heron, great-crested grebe, Canada and greylag geese, tufted duck, pochard, teal, goldeneye, wigeon and occasional pintail. Common sandpiper, grey wagtail and dunlin may be found by scanning the reservoir shores and, at times of passage, other waders on the exposed mud may include little stint, curlew sandpiper, ringed and little ringed plovers, redshank and ruff. In winter months, there can be a decent size gull roost which, as well as the more usual species, may contain some less common gulls.

The woodlands surrounding the reservoirs on their north and west sides are largely coniferous and home to crossbill, siskin, treecreeper, great spotted woodpecker, goldcrest, sparrowhawk and buzzard - joined over the summer by chiffchaff, willow warbler and redstart. An evening visit in spring or early summer can often produce woodcock - performing its amazing display flight known as 'roding'.

Feeder streams and conduits flow into the reservoirs and in these may be seen water vole and water shrew. Following the path to the north and then west along the main conduit brings one to Oaking Clough, the rocky sides of which are the summer home of ring ouzel. The fields and moorland on either side of this path are particularly good in the spring and early summer when they support curlew, snipe, golden plover and lapwing. Wheatears are often present along the broken down drystone walls and linnet and skylark as well as numerous meadow pipits can also be seen. Red grouse are present all year round.

Areas of scattered trees to the south of the reservoirs are good for tree pipit. Other species that may be seen (or more likely heard) are grasshopper warbler and cuckoo.

Redmires Reservoirs can be reached from the Crosspool area of Sheffield by following Sandygate Road which then becomes Redmires Road. There is a small car park in woodland not far before the end of the road but roadside parking can be found in a number of places giving views across the upper reservoir. There are footpaths all the way around the reservoirs and others run north and then west along the conduit and south-west from the end of the road and across the moors to Stanage Edge. There are no toilets or refreshments in the immediate area but two pubs - The Three Merry Lads and The Sportsman - can be found about a mile away by retracing your outward route along Redmires Road.

To the north-east of Redmires and running down the hill from here into the Rivelin Valley is Wyming Brook - a Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust reserve and subject of a separate entry in this section.