Padley Farm is situated in the quiet village of Dungworth, just on the border of the Peak…
The Rivelin Valley and Redmires Moor
The wooded Rivelin Valley and the heather moors above Redmires make for a wildlife walk of contrasts.
This is a walk all about the contrasting wildlife habitats you can encounter in just one short walk in the Peak District. It begins with an exploration of Wyming Brook Nature Reserve, managed by Sheffield Wildlife Trust. The route follows the gurgling brook as it makes its way down a deep, often rocky valley, much of it shaded by trees. Dippers perch on boulders amid the fast-running water, and the surrounding woodland floor is renowned for its display of fungi in the autumn.
On entering the main Rivelin Valley you swing westwards above the reservoir through a tremendous mix of trees – beech, sweet chestnut, oak, birch and Scots pine are all present. Such a rich variety of trees inevitably supports a wide range of woodland birds. Tree creepers scuttle up and down the trunks, goldcrests and blue tits hop about the lower branches, and if you’re really lucky you might even see a crossbill prising the seeds out of pine cones.
The second half of the walk is completely different, taking you out of the valley woods and on to the open moors. Instead of pheasants skulking about in the undergrowth, red grouse now take off from the heather with their throaty ‘Go-back, Go-back’ call. The moorland is also the place to see the merlin, which although smaller than a kestrel is faster and more agile. Also keep an eye out for small mammals like stoats and weasels darting across the path in front of you, hunting for voles, mice or even small birds.
An easy path alongside a conduit, or water channel, gives great views back across Rivelin Valley and over to distant Sheffield. Closer to hand is Hammond’s Field, reached by a short access path as you approach Redmires Reservoir. Sheffield Wildlife Trust has left this traditional piece of in-bye farmland (enclosed fields below the open moors, close to farm dwellings) in its natural state, a rough and boggy patch of ground that supports curlew and snipe, newts and toads, as well as a whole host of grasses and plants – Yorkshire fog, marsh foxtail and cuckooflower, to name but three.
The walk ends near Redmires Reservoir which, if you want to extend the route, can be explored more fully. Despite its seemingly bleak appearance, over 160 different species of bird have been recorded here, and because of its height and location it’s particularly favoured by migrating geese.
At the far end of the car park take the right-hand path and go down to cross the brook by stepping stones. Fork left, and follow the sometimes rocky path beside the brook along the foot of the deepening, wooded valley. Continue steadily downstream, crossing and re-crossing by a succession of footbridges.
At the bottom of the valley go down some steps and through a metal gate onto a wide track. Ahead there’s a small clearing, with glimpses of Rivelin Reservoir through the trees. Turn left and follow the broad, gently rising track as it curves its way through woodland.
At a wide junction by an embankment wall, go straight on still amid the trees. Gradually drop downhill until you reach a stone bridge over Rivelin Brook, near the road.
Cross the bridge and go left onto the signposted public footpath on the far bank. Go down some steps to the narrow path beside the tree-lined brook. When you come to a footbridge, turn left to cross it.
Follow the path up onto open moorland. Go through a kissing gate and continue on the path directly up the heather-clad hillside, keeping straight on at a junction. Cross a stile, the only one of the walk, then immediately turn left.
Now follow the level embankment of a conduit, or water channel, as it curves around the open hilltop, passing some handily placed benches. Continue all the way along until you reach Redmires Road, opposite the dam of the top reservoir.
Turn left and follow the road back down to the entrance to Wyming Brook Nature Reserve and the car park.
Woodland paths (some rocky and occasionally muddy), sandy moorland tracks, road
Deep wooded valley and open heather moors
Fine in woods, but lead required on moorland section
OS Explorer OL1 Dark Peak
Wyming Brook car park
None on route
WALKING IN SAFETY
Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.
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