Places to see birds

Wyming Brook and Fox Hagg

Nuthatch on branch
Nuthatch Photo: RSPB

Once set aside for the exclusive use of the nobility as part of the hunting grounds of Rivelin Chase, Wyming Brook's babbling streams, mossy crags and extensive woodland are now protected as a home for wildlife - meaning that everyone can enjoy this little bit of wilderness on the western edge of Sheffield.

Wyming Brook's woodlands are home to many birds. Those present all year round include sparrowhawk, greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, treecreeper, coal tit, goldcrest, mistle and song thrushes, siskin, jay and crossbill. The last of these may be seen using its specialized beak to prise seeds out of pine cones. Notable summer migrants include redstart, wood warbler and pied and spotted flycatchers whilst redwing and fieldfare can both be seen in the winter.

The rushing Wyming Brook (or 'Winding Brook') from which the area gets its name is home to grey wagtail and dipper which may be seen foraging underwater for insect larvae.

At Fox Hagg, towards the eastern end of the nature reserve, the vegetation becomes a patchwork of heather, bilberry, bracken, scrub and woodland. This more open ground adds to the diversity of the area's birds and includes species such as meadow pipit, green woodpecker, linnet and redpoll plus tree pipit, redstart and a variety of warblers in the summer.

An abundance of other wildlife on the reserve includes the common lutestring, July highflyer and northern spinach moths. In the autumn, fungi are abundant and include wonderfully named species such as jelly ear, plums and custard and amethyst deceiver.

There are two parking areas for Wyming Brook - one at the top and the other at the bottom. The first is on the right off Redmires Road just before Redmires Reservoirs whilst the second is reached by turning off the A57 Manchester Road across the dam of Rivelin Reservoir. For Fox Hagg, there is a small parking area off Lodge Lane which descends steeply from Lodgemoor to the A57. Take care though when entering and leaving as it is on a dangerous bend.

Access is also possible by public transport. Bus number 51 stops at Lodge Moor terminus on Redmires Road - a ten minute walk from the reserve - and buses 273, 274 and 275 all stop on Manchester Road close to Rivelin Reservoir.

From the top car park you can take Wyming Brook Drive, a wide, surfaced bridleway which runs north and then north-west through the reserve and offers stunning views across the Rivelin Valley. For the slightly more adventurous, the footpath along the crags takes you onto the moorland edge, or you can follow the steep boulder-strewn route beside the stream.

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 the outward route to the top car park along Redmires Road.

Just to the south-west of Wyming Brook is Redmires - the subject of a separate entry in this section.