Know before you go
Difficult woodland terrain.
No general access. Contact the Reserve Manager for more information.
When to visit
Best time to visitYear-round
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.