The walk round Stock’s Reservoir is full of interest. Much of it stays close to the water’s edge. However in places the tracks venture inland and are much the better for it.
Knowing the history of Stock’s Reservoir helps increase the enjoyment of the walk. An entire village had to be constructed to house the 500 workers and their families. During the ten years of 1922 and 1932 the reservoir was built and people lived there before the then Prince George opened it. Afterwards they moved on to the next construction project. At its highest the reservoir holds a billion litres of water, mainly serving the Flyde area of Lancashire. When I first walked this route the reservoir was particularly empty and I could not help but worry for the recipients of the water in Flyde!
However despite the low level water level it was wet and windy when I visited. A great day for the wild fowl the many fishermen who make use of the well stocked lake. I headed off north to follow the well signposted route but the walk could easily be taken the other way round. I extended the walk up the upper end of the Hodder valley as it is a remote and interesting area. Here isolated farms and wild moorland adding a nice contrast to the reservoir and woodland that typifies the remainder of the walk.
Apart from its reputation as an excellent place for fishermen, bird watching is the main activity. Up to thirty species of wild fowl have been spotted on the shores, with special bird watching hides dotting the shores. It is an area rightly protected and the walker needs to compromise his wanderings and stick to the track. It may be a long way round the reservoir but if you keep your head up and be watchful for the wildlife speeds it up.
Look for information on the history of the building of the dam. A major construction job in an age where machinery was less developed than today. Thus it required the building of its own construction village.
The path round the reservoir and through the Gisburn Forest section is on a permissive path. As a result this is marked on the O/S map by orange dashes. It does mean the route may vary than that shown.
We did this walk yesterday. We chose the clockwise direction so that we could decide near the end whether to extend it. The signage installed by Gisburn Forest is set up for people walking anti-clockwise, so we kept missing paths and signs which are clear and obvious from the other direction.
Therefore, although the route works fine both ways, navigation is much easier when going anti-clockwise.
Correction – it’s actually 12 BILLION LITRES when full!
We did this walk yesterday 5th Feb 2015 – absolutely fantastic, however seemed longer than the stated 8 miles – and it’s not a simple path walk with some hills and fairly rough terrain – that said is stunning and well signposted. Recommended.
Hello, originally from the Preston area. Currently visiting from Tasmania. Would like to walk around Stocks/surrounding area with my wife on any future visit. Was unable to find way to the car park during limited time available – I did not have a map of the local area. Local names on your map obscured by trees. How does one access School Ln from Slaidburn?
Thank u4 your time.
Follow the B 6478 east for 2 and a half miles. Turn left to Stocks with Gisburn Forest obvious. The road turns in to school lane when it turns sharp right after 1 mile.
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