With a 2.5 mile circular trail Dove Stone is already a fantastic place for families with young children, wheelchair users and those with mobility impairments to explore. Now the site, in the Peak District National Park, wants to make access even better and is calling on the public for support.
A recent access audit by the RSPB Reserves Area Manager Roy Taylor (a wheelchair user) and Experience Community Director, Craig Grimes, highlighted that more could be done to improve access at Dove Stone especially around Binn Green car park and to allow exploration off the beaten track . While staff and a team of dedicated volunteers are working hard to achieve some of these aspirations, additional funding is needed to realise these plans. On Thursday 20 October, Dove Stone launched a Crowdfunder website - a first for the RSPB - where the public, groups or businesses can donate towards improving access for all at Binn Green car park on the A635. Miriam Biran, RSPB Visitor Experience Manager at Dove Stone, said: "We are really excited about this project. If we can raise the funds needed we will be able to extend the path to the viewpoint, offering one of the best views across the reserve. It will also make access to the bird feeding area far more inclusive, so everyone has a chance to get close up to the wildlife that calls this place home." Miriam added: "We are asking folk to think about people in their own lives who enjoy the countryside, who would love to get closer to nature and who would benefit from this work, to consider supporting the project through Crowdfunding." For more information and to make a donation however large or small towards this worthwhile project, please visit the Crowdfunder website www.crowdfunder.co.uk/access-for-all-at-dove-stone
For those thinking of visiting Dove Stone for the first time as a wheelchair user or with young children, an access video is available on the reserve's website www.rspb.org.uk/dovestone
Dove Stone reservoir is owned by United Utilities and the water company works in partnership with the RSPB, who manage the estate. The partnership aims to encourage public access and recreation, while protecting water quality and wildlife for future generations.
1. About Dove Stone:
Dove Stone sits within the Peak District National Park. The site is owned by United Utilities and managed by them in partnership with the RSPB. It is easily accessible by road and close to Oldham, Huddersfield and Manchester.
With its breathtaking landscape of dramatic hills, sheer rock faces, swathes of open moorland, flower meadows and picturesque woods and reservoirs, the site provides an amazing home for nature. It is also a fantastic place to come to walk, run, play or just relax and watch the birds and other wildlife that live here.
There are lots of natural areas for families and children to play and explore but no formal facilities. There are regular family activities at weekends and a programme of guided walks.
Dove Stone is open at all times. Entry is free but there is a charge for car parking (free to RSPB members displaying their membership card in the windscreen). There is no visitor centre, but there are toilets, including disabled toilets in both the main car park and at Binn Green.
Dogs are welcome but please keep them on a lead or under close control, as most of the reserve comprises working sheep farms.
For more information please visit www.rspb.org.uk/dovestone
The RSPB and United Utilities would like to acknowledge funding through Grantscapes (landfill tax credit) which allowed this work to happen.
The RSPB have a Memorial Wood at Dove Stone called 'Celebration Wood' where people can plant a tree to celebrate a life well lived, or even in celebration of an anniversary or birth. For more details please contact Jacqui Green, Celebration Wood Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654