Lancashire TelegraphJumbles reservoir walk (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Jumbles reservoir walk

Lancashire Telegraph: Walk: Man-made ‘watering hole’ so much to offer Walk: Man-made ‘watering hole’ so much to offer

Jumbles reservoir looks as if it was built in Victorian times but was in fact constructed in the 1960s and opened by the Queen in 1971.

To do this the Bradshaw Valley, once famous for its textile bleaching mills, was compulsorily purchased.

Its function was not to provide drinking water for Bolton but to guarantee water for the Croal Irwell river system and for industry.

Lots of artefacts from the flooded areas can be seen in the information centre.

This stroll provides a rare contrast between history and natural history and with something of interest along each stretch of the route.

This attractive country park is set in the Bradshaw Valley about four miles from Bolton.

There is a choice of trails covering the history and natural history of the area and fine views over the reservoir. There is an information centre (01204 691549) and there is no entry fee.

From the visitor centre explore the small museum area, or perhaps build up energy at the picnic tables overlooking the reservoir.

Then proceed to the left and look at the plaque unveiled by the Queen.

Turn right and descend via steps and over a bridge with the weir on the right.

Controlled by sluices this allows water to fill Bradshaw Brook and on to the river Croal and then the Irwell.

After crossing the bridge go over an easy to negotiate stile, bear left and then sweep right passing the railway line on the left and also the Ousel Nest car park.

The ousel was the ancient name for the blackbird.

Pass the Grange which is an area to see horses and there are stables at this point.

The word Grange takes us back to medieval times when the monks called their farms granges. Continue along the track and pass through gates.

Remember to close these gates behind you. This is the place to look at some lovely examples of horse chestnut and lime trees.

Approach the sailing club and reservoir to the right.

Here is another chance to stop and stare and watch the colourful boats go by.

Turn left into Horrobin Lane and bear sharp right keeping the road to Chapeltown, which runs parallel, to the left.

At the Second World War pill box turn sharp left to reach Turton Tower and to enjoy a stop.Returning from the tower bear left from the pill box and then sharp right.

Cross a stile and then left over a bridge over the reservoir area.

At the end of the bridge turn right and follow a well marked trail over a woodland area and a bird hide to the left.

This part of the walk is very different in summer and winter.

Once the leaves are off the trees there are clear views of the reservoir and of the wintering wildfowl which include tuifted duck, pochard and goldeneye.

All these ducks dive for their food but each species submerges to a different depth.

This avoids competition for food. The goldeneye goes deepest then the pochard and then the tufted duck.

From the bird hide area follow the track back to the information centre and car park.

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