Dean Wood

A river leading through the vegetation at Dean Wood nature reserve
Greenfinches fighting next to a pool of water

Mark Ollett

A bee drinking from honeysuckle plants

Ross Hoddinott/2020VISION

Wildlife-rich woodlands and a roaring waterfall lend this undisturbed nature reserve a true sense of the wild.


North of Rivington village along the valley of Dean Brook,
Off Sheephouse Lane,

OS Map Reference

SD 629153
A static map of Dean Wood

Know before you go

7 hectares

Walking trails

Difficult woodland terrain.


No general access. Contact the Reserve Manager for more information.


No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times


Best time to visit


About the reserve

As you wander upstream along Dean Brook, turn a corner and you will discover one of Rivington’s true hidden gems: Dean Wood. Nestled in a deep, narrow wooded clough on the West Pennine Moors, this is an unspoiled haven for a fantastic array of birds and wildflowers.

Ash, beech, birch and rowan are among the trees hugging the land below the public footpath. Mosses and liverworts grow on the rocks, bark and soil, lending a magical appearance to this undisturbed haven, especially during winter. The sweet scent of honeysuckle hangs in the air, insects take advantage of gluts of blackberries and raspberries, and countless birds flit from hazel to holly to hawthorn.

Stroll along the footpath early in the morning and you’ll be met by an incredible dawn chorus with blackbirds, robins, greenfinches, wrens and more birds adding their tinkling voices. Chiffchaffs and willow warblers arrive from Africa in spring and summer, ready to gorge on insects.

But one of the most spectacular features of Dean Wood is the roaring waterfall that tumbles around 32 feet to the valley floor.

Contact us

John Haddon
Contact number: 01772 317239
Contact email: