Ogden Water Local Nature Reserve offers a superb opportunity to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Over 300,000 people visit Ogden Water every year for picnics, walking, feeding the ducks, family outings and nature activities.
Why not enjoy a picnic at one of our picnic tables, whilst taking in the stunning views. View location on Streetmap
The visitor centre is open 10.30am to 3.15pm. Why not pop in for a tea, coffee, flapjack or gingerbread man and remember to pick up some duck food to feed our wildfowl.
The visitor centre also has many leaflets about things to do in the area.
Please note there is no cycling allowed anywhere on the Ogden Water estate. There is also no fishing allowed within the reservoir.
2015 – A year in review
As the winter sets in and the new year is coming up, it is time to look back at what has been happening at Ogden Water in 2015. It was a year of contrasts with the weather playing a big part in all the jobs, tasks and activities that took place.
January saw a start of cool, crisp weather and the inevitable arrival of Christmas trees. Various groups including the Ogden Practical Group, Community Task Force Volunteers and Countryside Service Volunteers worked hard to put the trees into place around the reservoir. To create a wonderfully green and pleasant smelling walk around the water's edge. We worked hard with the snow settling and icy conditions helping keep the paths firm, the green of the trees really bright. This sorting of the Christmas trees continued into February when we finally completed recycling over 2000 trees.
Earlier work in the woodlands went ahead to prepare a tree planting site for March, when we saw the arrival of 420 trees courtesy of the Woodland Trust. These were planted in a dell near the edge of the estate up Ogden Clough. The sycamore that were present were removed and a range of shrub species planted including hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn dog rose and elder.
The warm spell in spring meant that is was good to be out on site with the grass greening and the trees coming into leaf. This month saw a great project take place with the removal of the old cherry pailing fencing from Skirden Clough to be replaced with some nice new sturdy fencing. It was one of those projects that still makes' us smile when we walk past it because it was fun to do but also the sense of satisfaction at the end was amazing.
May was a mixed month of sunshine & showers, at least that's how it felt whenever we went out to work. We cleared vegetation around the site, removed weeds from the dam and also saw one of the Lloyds Groups come along and help out with boundary repairs around the estate and building a mini-beast hotel in the educational woodlands.
June saw another business group lend a hand, following the felling of some dodgy looking trees next to the woodland footpath; the groups from Royal Sun Alliance rolled them into position and staked them in place to create a new path edging. Our community group also worked on the vegetation around the edge of the paths and on hedging.
July and August although dull and cool, were not that wet, but still we were out cutting back, clearing drains and sorting out the site. It also saw the replacement of some sections of footpath around the water side trail. These sections had been well worn or were areas prone to flooding and becoming muddy. Over 100 tonnes of aggregate was used by our Estates team to fix these areas, and presently we are working on a plan to continue this and address the next sections of mud/puddles in the new year.
In September we checked on a hedgerow planted in March 2014, and the good news was that the success rate of the trees was about 85%. So little replanting was required, just a chance to clear away the weeds and grass around, and replace the stakes. We also had another business group from Lloyds who helped clear more vegetation around the edge of the reservoir and to go into the dipping pond to remove the reeds. It was made a bit brighter when one person fell in!
The pond clearance continued in October with the community group clearing reeds, opening up the inflow to the pond and making repairs to any leaks. Unfortunately the patching of the leaks did not last long as storm Abigail arrived in early November and promptly dumped lots of water and high winds onto the site. It was one of the first closures we had to enforce for the year, but the safety of our visitors comes first.
Following the storm the damage was all too evident, the pond was leaking again, the footpaths in various sections had been washed out and the drainage ditches filled in, not to mention a few trees were now not vertical but either diagonal or horizontal on the floor. This storm coupled with a few more storms and days of heavy rain saw the reservoir rise over 6 metres in 3 weeks. Our practical group and the Countryside Volunteers worked hard to improve the surface of the reservoir side path and ensure that the silted up drains were cleared, while the Estates team worked on the trees. The damaged paths in the woodlands will be left until Spring 2016, as the likelihood of them being damaged again is very high.
December saw more storms and closures and more rain, more damage and more trees come down in the high winds. However it also saw the arrival of 1000 trees again from the Woodland Trust these will be used to plant further hedgerows through the educational woodlands. This was begun by the practical group and will be continued in January 2016 by the Wildlife Group.
Our Visitor Centre, although small, is a welcome sight to many who visit Ogden, whether for a coffee on a cold wet day or an ice cream to finish a walk in the height of summer. It is staffed solely by volunteers who try their hardest to open every day of the week. We have had more visitors in the Spring and Autumn than before, but the cool, dull summer kept a few people away. We could not operate the centre without these volunteers and would like to thank them for their efforts, perhaps next time you are passing you might like to pop in and say thanks too!
Although not on the scale of pervious years we have had lots of activities at Ogden Water ranging from the practical days, children’s events and public events too. There have also been a large number of schools visiting the site. Calder High brought all Year 7 to Ogden on one day for a team building day, while Trinity Academy took advantage of our educational programme for all of their year 7 to learn about maps and how to interpret the landscape (thankfully this was not all on one day).
It has been a pretty good year at Ogden and hopefully it will continue into 2016. Remember we are always on the lookout for help and assistance, whether it is an hour to help record species on the reserve, or a few hours to lend a hand with some practical work, all you have to do is get in touch.
Also see Whats On
Also see notices on site.
The Permanent Orienteering Course maps are available
at the Visitor Centre. £1.50 each. They are proving very popular,
particularly with school groups.
Do you have any anecdotes, pictures, or short stories
of trips to Ogden in the past, ie. donkeys years ago! If you have, please
get in touch with Ranger Chris.
If you are planning to bring a party of people on a
visit to Ogden Water, you could contact the Ranger to make sure the facilities
will be available when you come.