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Linacre Reservoir

There are three reservoirs at Linacre, each one having their own unique atmosphere and features, a character of their own. Based just outside Chesterfield, they are a real little gem of a place and not many people know about them, making their secrets kept safe. But once they are discovered, you will return time and time again to sample the wonderful sights and sounds of the area. Each visit should be timed with the seasons and the changing colour of the trees. Even in winter, the reservoirs offer a wealth of wildlife and a lovely walk suitable for all the family.

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

 

 Built between 1855 and 1904, between them, they hold more than 240,000,000 gallons of water. There are several trails around the reservoirs and the path of very well edged and it's possible for the visitor to make up any length of walk they like. The trails are usually free from mud, which is great in the winter time where everything else seems to be covered in mud. They are also very flat, making it ideal for pushchairs and being able to take the disabled or infirm.

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

 

Spot the huge amount of birds which populate the area, fed frequently by the visitors but also the Park Rangers, who set up nest boxes for both the birds and the bats, with boxes high and low and of varying shapes and sizes. There are bird boxes for tiny tree dwelling birds but also for owls, which roost in the trees. It's very common to spot two or three herons as you wander round, as well as squirrels who love to try and pinch the bird nuts too.

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

Walks around Linacre Reservoirs

The Linacre reservoirs are surrounded by open fields and bluebell woods which are absolutely spectacular in the spring, especially when the beech trees are coming out with their lime green canopy overhead. In one area, there is also a river which makes a delightful walk further out into the open countryside, and when the wild garlic is in flower, the scents and smells of the wood are intoxicating.

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

 

Part of the trail around the upper Linacre reservoir crosses the water on a boardwalk, which has chicken wire covering the top to stop it being so slippy, but parents should take care with small children as it has no railings, but is also an adventure in itself. The top reservoir is also a conservation area and dogs must be kept on lead at all times to protect the nesting waterfowl. The ducks are delightful and there are several different species to be seen, as well as some very unusual birds and even huge shag which looks like a prehistoric dinosaur coming into land.

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

 

In spring, when the woods around Linacre reservoirs are carpeted with bluebells, there are information boards all around explaining how the coppicing works. It's possible to find many oak trees, along with beach, elder, which likes to keep its feet wet, larch and pine. There are also conifers planted next to the reservoirs, to keep away farm animals which might pollute the water and then they can be sold for timber and Christmas trees later in their life. And once a year, there are open days held to highlight the art, but there is also a master tree carver, who delights the kids with amazing carvings in and around the trees and wood. 

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

 

 It a great place the dogs, the water. Offering a very refreshing splash in the summer, and swimming often takes place, although it is not advised. Fish are very frequently seen with trout of huge sizes, and the frogspawn and tadpoles are a great time of year to take the children with their little fishing nets and jam jars. 

 

Linacre Reservoir

 

Weekend visit to Linacre Reservoirs

It's a lovely place to go, which often gets quite busy at the weekend, but if you can get there early. You may find yourself having the place all alone, being able to listen to the sounds of the woodpeckers in the distance, and the birds chirping merrily away. It's hard to imagine that the busy town of Chesterfield is just a few miles away, because this area really is in the countryside and you feel like you are away from it all.