Back to reserve map

Upper Coldwell Reservoir

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


Nearby nature reserves

Broadhead Clough Nature Reserve
9 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve
10 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Low Wood Nature Reserve
11 miles - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Briercliffe, Near Coldwell Activity Centre
BB10 3RD
Map reference
SD 904 361
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
4.00 hectares
No access but good views are available from the adjacent public footpath. Contact the Reserve Manager for more information.
Car parking in lay-by on road near entrance gate.
No dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Kim Coverdale
Tel: 07841 996722