Carr Vale

Carr Vale, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Carr Vale, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Yellowhammer, Richard Smith

Yellowhammer, Richard Smith

Skylark, Amy Lewis

Skylark, Amy Lewis 

One of the top five sites in Derbyshire to birdwatch plus you can walk through a reedbed!


What3Words ///camp.apes.shudders
On the outskirts of Bolsover
S44 6GA

OS Map Reference

SK 4591 7022
A static map of Carr Vale

Know before you go

12 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Please use County Council's Peter Fidler car park off Riverside Way. What3Words ///sprayer.capacity.croak

Grazing animals



To reduce disturbance, the reserve is accessible only on the concessionary paths. Full disabled access around all the paths on this reserve and to all three viewing screens. There is no access to the fishing platforms for wheeled vehicles. There are no stiles.


On a lead


Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Fishing closed season from 16th March to 30th June

Best time to visit

All year round - Summer for sand martins and dragonflies and winter for wintering ducks

About the reserve

This wetland reserve is a great place for birdwatching. The mixture of open water, marsh, wet and dry grassland, scrub and trees attracts a rich variety of birds throughout the year.

In winter large numbers of wildfowl feed in the wetlands and surrounding grasslands. Large flocks of wigeon graze the banks while teal can be seen preening and feeding on the water's edge. As well as wildfowl, the reserve attracts wintering flocks of finches and buntings, which feed along the field boundaries. A more secretive winter visitor is the water rail, which skulks above the marsh areas. More often heard than seen, it has a distinctive squealing call.

Spring and autumn are important times on the reserve, as many birds are on migration and Carr Vale is an ideal place for them to feed and roost. In September, swallows gather in the marsh, in a  roost of between 1-2,000 birds. They usually attract hobbies, birds of prey which are skilled hunters on the wing. In early summer the marsh and scrub are home to a range of breeding birds, including reed and sedge warblers, whitethroat, yellowhammer, moorhen and gadwall.

The grassland provides nesting habitat for the nationally declining skylark. The marker on the map below shows the access point after you have walked through Derbyshire County Council's Peter Fiddler Reserve.

Contact us

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01773 881188

Volunteer here

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Check out the reserve map

Carr Vale reserve map

Carr Vale reserve map 

Play Wild rating

Take extra care. 

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Play Wild red

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