ogden res
Ogden Water Country Park & Nature Reserve HX2 8YA
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Ogden Water Country Park offers a superb opportunity to escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Over 250,000 people visit Ogden Water every year for picnics, walking, 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

Remember the car park closing times change in October. Closing at 7pm from 1st October – 31st October!

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. Maps showing walks around the woodlands etc.

Xmas trees!
No more required until Christmas!


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.

new orienteering post


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.


Chris Sutcliffe Tweets, Nov 2013:

Thanks to funding made available from the Friends of Ogden Water, recent improvements have been made to the estate. These have included the redesign and reconstruction of the viewpoint on the far side of the reservoir, improvements to drainage and footpath surface and major improvements in the picnic area.

See the photos of the work!


Ogden Water has once again gained the Green Flag Award 2013/14


July 2014 Chris Sutcliffe updates us on what is going on at Ogden! It has been a hectic few months for Ogden Water, lots has been going on, lots of visitors both human and wildlife and there are more works in the pipeline.

Over the last few months Ogden has literally greened up - the trees have come into leaf and the spring flowers put on a beautiful (if small) display. Now in summer there is a buzz in the air, quite literally as bees, butterflies, moths and dragonflies can be seen all around the reservoir side and through the woodlands. On the birding front, early spring heard a Cuckoo in Skirden Clough and up onto the moorlands, Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit and Wood Warbler have all been seen and heard. The last one, Wood Warbler was only the 3rd listing for Calderdale this year, so all the woodland management seems to be paying off. A Common Scooter visited the other day, normally a sea duck, this bird seemed quite happy on the reservoir. Finally the mass emergence of toads has begun, the grasslands around the reservoir edging and the pathways were covered in hopping little toads, leaving the ponds and heading out to look for food in the undergrowth - so watch your step.

Practical Work
Our monthly practical group have been hard at work with projects including Christmas tree recycling, building a boardwalk over a muddy section of path, drainage work, patching up the brash layer, taking walls down, building walls back up and patching up the fence line on the boundary going up Ogden Clough. More details and photos of these works can be seen on the Ogden Water Facebook page. In addition to the hard work of the regular practical group, we have had a number of Lloyds Banking volunteer groups visiting, with, in one case over 70 people helping with woodland management, drainage work, litter picking and checking the orienteering course. We have also had groups in building bird and bat boxes for the site.

We have had a number of walks on site, from the Summer Tree ID walk, learning how to be a Nature Sherlock Holmes collecting clues from leaves, bark and fruits to identify trees, to a walk over the moorlands with Scientists from Leeds Uni, looking at all aspects of water (collection, storage, historical use and present day works) and the WATCH group have been meeting monthly to look at all manner of natural things and help with practical sessions as well.

Other news
We are just about to replace the signs in the car park with the opening and closing times on. There is work planned (funded by the last grants from the Friends of Ogden Water) from September onwards to replace fence lines, improve the path surface and make improvements to Georg'e Viewpoint, Our practical sessions are continuing from September with the emphasis being placed on work laid down in the recently completed Woodland Planning Grant Programme. This looks at woodland management of Ogden Water over the next 20 years and will include some big changes to the estate. We have been judged for Green Flag again and are keeping our fingers crossed that we will receive it for a record 10th time.

All in all we have been busy and continue to be so
Chris Sutcliffe. Ranger

Chris Sutcliffe writes, end Sept 2014:
September's Commnuty Day
A misty, murky start to the day, with the promise of brighter things to come. We were joined by 3 members of Lloyds Banking Group who were on their Make A Difference Day.
Initially we had planned for a bit of walling, some painting and some vegetation removal, but the walling and the painting has had to take a back seat at the moment. So it was on with the vegetation removal.
The edge of the wheelchair path at the far end of the reservoir was suffering from thistles and grasses drooping over it so we set-to with spades and brushes to clean it and give it a very sharp look. Much better I am sure you will agree. Next it was on to the turnbys that divert the water off the Withens Road and into the stream then the reservoir. A bit of cutting back followed by some shovelling got them clear and ready should the heavens decide to open up.
A recent visit from the fire brigade highlighted the issue of getting a fire appliance up the Withens Road should the need arrive. The problem being overhanging trees and regeneration saplings alongside the concrete path. The group soon set to with the removal of some over hanging rosebay willowherb and nettles and then began opening up the pathway to the first bench.
Following lunch we set about removing as much over-hanging branches and regenertation trees as possible. Soon sawdust was flying in the air and the crack of trucks could be heard and trees came down. These were all self seeded and some will begin to grow again next year. Others were getting way too big and causing issues not only with getting large vehicles up there but restricting views for people, bikes and horses coming up and down the road.
The felled brash was carried down to the beginning of the track and piled up, while other parts were carried across the dam to the visitor centre. These will be used to strengthen the brash layer around the reservoir side in the coming days.
A great day and really good to see some new faces along the way. Thanks also to the Lloyds group who really did themselves proud by getting stuck in and having a go. Hope they enjoyed it too. Our next session is in October if you can find half a day to lend a hand....

Track clearing

Chris Sutcliffe writes, Sept 2014:
Staff from Royal Sun Alliance took a day out to help out with practical work at Ogden Water Nature Reserve?. The day started with low clouds and mist, but soon the sun was shinning and the smiles on the faces of those normally confined to the desks of Dean Clough was a joy to behold. The plan for the group was simple - vegetation clearance, drainage and woodland management, all going towards the upkeep and ongoing management of Ogden Water.

First job (following a coffee, introduction to the site and health & safety talk) was a spot of nettle whacking, following our Estate's teams efforts a few days before the way was clear for a couple of section of nettles alongside the pathway to the removed. Step forward 3 brave ladies armed with slashers. Off they went like a barrage of windmills with vegetation flying everywhere.

Next job for the rest of the team was a spot of drainage ditch clearance, the concrete drain near Ogden Clough was covered with grass, soil and trees. This was duely removed with great gusto by the team and the resulting smooth surface exposed. There followed the christening with the buckets of water to check the flow was moving, but again another fine job done.

Next came the removal of vegetation alongside our dry stone walling demonstration area. If you have never seen it then head up the track from the far end of the lower car park and marvel at the different topping, coppings, lunkies, bridges, ditches and styles. Over the summer the vegetation has grown up and even now as it is dying back the whole structure is not clearly visible. Que slashers, shears and pruners to remove said vegetation, making lots of spiders homeless in the process, but rescuing a number of frogs and toads along the way. The walls were exposed, the ladder stile now accessible and the drainage ditch swept clean to allow the coming rain and surface water to move away quickly.

Following, lunch in the sunshine it was back out in lumberjack mode. Heading past the results of the morning toil to the upper reaches of Ogden Clough to take down a number of ash trees that were regeneratting along the edge of the access track. The main reason it so that access for vehicles can be ensured into this section of the woodland for either woodland management purposes, or for emergency access (fire, moorland rescue etc). Soon trees were falling left, right and centre, with the resulting timber chopped up to make habitat piles.

A great team of people to work with on the site and a really good day out. Hope that they all enjoyed it and that we see some more groups from RSA or other companies real soon.

work party

work party

work party


Anthony Greenwood Tweets, Jan 21st 2014

A meeting of the past committee of Friends of Ogden was held to finalise what should be done with grant monies, left in the bank account.

It was decided that the money should be transferred into the safe keeping of Chris Sutcliffe for use around the site. Also a small proportion to go to Watch Group.

See photos of the days work!


Footpath improvements:
With over 40 tonnes of aggregate ordered, there was a bit left over so this was used to fill in a number of pot holes developing on the reservoir path and also to raise the level of the path on the near side of the reservoir just before the dipping pond. This area had suffered from constant erosion by both water and people's feet, however the level now being raised should allow safe, easy and above all dry access along this section of path.

See the photos of the work!