Dove Stone

Dove Stone

Dove Stone
Do you love visiting Dove Stone? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Dove Stone

  • Reindeer Moss Returns to Dove Stone Bogs in time for Christmas!

    Most of the information and photos in this blog come from knowledgeable RSPB volunteer and local naturalist Ken Gartside...thanks Ken!

    Good news - a moss called 'reindeer moss' has returned to the peat bogs above Dove Stone. This moss has not previously been seen here and is an indicator of environmental improvements - both cleaner air following years of industrial pollution and the restoration work being carried out by RSPB staff and volunteers. It's name comes from the fact that it is eaten by reindeer in Lapland - so it should be safe enough here!

    There have been a range of other new or rare sightings. For example a fungi called Arrhenia Peltigerina (see photo below) was spotted growing on dog lichen up on the bog, this is only the 3rd time this fungi has been recorded in the UK, so a real rarity!

    Some of the rarer Dove Stone inhabitants are tiny and probably mainly go unnoticed, so thanks again to Ken for photos and id of a rare spider from the Agroeca species

    On the practical side, sphagnum moss translocation has been continuing a pace on up on the bog. This vital restoration work is being carried out by RSPB Wardens and a team of dedicated volunteers.

    It is nice to see bog rosemary, which was introduced to Dove Stone along with sphagnum moss from a site in Bowland, growing well this year too. It used to grow in this area so great that it is making a come-back. Despite looking similar to rosemary, bog rosemary is inedible and can cause nasty stomach upsets if eaten - so not one for the dinner table!

    Autumn is a great time to see fungi around Dove Stone reservoir. Fly Ageric (with its red top and white spots) is always an impressive and colourful one to spot, but there are also lots of less common examples if you take time to explore and look closely, like the Splitgills pictured below the fly ageric .

    Fly Ageric

    This water cricket in a pool up on the bog is a sign of how mild the weather has been lately - Christmas is coming...pass me my lilo!

  • We'd like to hear your views on proposed visitor centre!

     It’s an exciting time at Dove Stone, as a public consultation on proposals for a small visitor centre is set to begin this month.

    Feedback from thousands of people responding to our consultations and surveys over the last five years has highlighted the need for a centre and improved facilities on the site. In response to this we have now created plans for a small visitor hub.

    As a family-friendly site, the proposed visitor hub will enable all ages to discover more about Dove Stone, engage with RSPB staff and take part in a variety of activities; providing a fantastic experience for existing visitors.

    In response to visitor needs, the proposed hub will include new toilets, a catering kiosk and shelter for visitors, ensuring people can enjoy Dove Stone in all weathers. There will also be space for community use and education activities.

    The preferred location for the visitor hub, which will include office space for our staff, volunteers and a Peak District National Park Authority ranger, is adjacent to the Dove Stone Sailing Club. The sailing club currently leases this area of land and we are in detailed discussions with them. Sailing will always continue on the site as part of any proposal.

    As a small, welcoming building, which would fit in with the existing surroundings, the proposed visitor hub is not intended to attract more people to the site, but enhance the visits of those who currently come to Dove Stone – whatever the weather.

    The proposed visitor hub will also create many more volunteering opportunities for members of the community and profits made in the hub will be used to maintain and improve Dove Stone for visitors and wildlife.

    We have worked closely with United Utilities, Dove Stone Sailing Club and the Peak District National Park Authority throughout the process of developing the proposals.

    We’re now asking members of the public to share their thoughts. Please have a look at the concept drawings and plans below.

    To read the Frequently Asked Questions, please click on the document link at the end of this post.

    You can tell us your views by responding to an online questionnaire at

    For more information and a chance to fill in a hard copy of the questionnaire, there will be also be drop-in sessions at the RSPB office in Uppermill on Tuesday 15 July, from 3-8 pm and on Monday 11 August, from 3-8 pm and onsite at Dove Stone on Sunday 29 June and Wednesday 30 July, both from 11-4 pm.



  • Rare Butterfly doing well at Dove Stone

    The Green Hairstreak, a rare and declining upland butterfly and Bilberry specialist, may be increasing at Dove Stone because of RSPB and United Utilities' management over the past few years!

    Converting the woodlands from conifer to broadleaved trees has allowed light into the area and the bilberry has responded brilliantly - we have several records of Green Hairstreak butterfly (and bilberry bumblebee - another rare and declining upland specialist!) in our woodland areas this year already. Removing the sheep and reducing the grazing in our upland areas has also allowed the Bilberry to respond and we have Green Hairstreak records from here as well. Our grasslands are becoming richer in wildflowers as well, and this will help butterflies of all kinds. Look out for them this summer and see if you can identify any!

    As well as making the area better for wildlife, we are also making the area better for people: you will see this at Ashway Gap especially, where we have planted lots of wildflowers, planted an orchard, installed acess freindly picnic benches, habitat sculptures and natural play equipment. We will be creating a new pond in the picnic area in the next few weeks so that everyone, regardless of ability, can be surrounded by wildlife!

    Our Reserves Manager Roy Taylor has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. As a result of this, he is doing a disability audit of all the Northern England RSPB reserves and fundraising to improve access to them for people with disabilities. If you want to sponsor Roy in his epic 215mile wheelchair challenge, please go to