This reserve comprises of the land area surrounding the eastern end of the reservoir.
Upper Coldwell Reservoir enjoys a more remote, exposed situation than any other of the Trust's reserves.
It is located on the edge of the South Pennines, which are designated as a Special Protection Area and candidate Special Area for Conservation due to their international importance for upland bird populations and upland habitat types.
The land rises towards Boulsworth Hill and the area was an important local source for limestone during the seventeenth century, with evidence of these workings still present at the southern side of the reservoir. Although very little limestone remains (in the boulder clay) a number of plant species associated with calcareous soils can still be found in some of the flushes. Of greatest significance is the Grass-of-Parnassus, a flowering plant rather than a type of grass, which is in national decline, but still flourishing on the reserve. Common Butterwort, despite its name, is locally scarce and can also be found growing on the reserve. Other species include Common Twayblade, Angelica and Marsh Valerian.
The reserve supports a variety of insects including a small colony of Common Blue butterflies. It is also important for breeding waders, having an exposed area of shingle present for most of the summer months. This supports Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and Oystercatcher, whilst groups of Lapwing can be seen bathing on the waters edge. Owls can be seen regularly hunting over the reserve and surrounding area, especially in years when voles are numerous. The small shelterbelt on the north side, adjacent to the public right-of-way, gives cover for Willow Warbler, Linnet and the occasional Crossbill.
Species and habitats