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Carr Vale Flash

A wetland reserve ranked among the top five sites in Derbyshire for birdwatching.

View the latest sightings at Carr Vale


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 wildlfowl 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.


Play wild rating:

 Take extra care.

To find out more about our Play Wild progamme see here

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Duckmanton Railway Cutting
2 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
The Avenue Washlands
4 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Hollinhill and Markland Grips
5 miles - Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

On the outskirts of Bolsover
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Opening Times
Open at all times. Fishing closed season from 16th March to 30th June
12.00 hectares
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.
Please use County Council's Stockley Trail car park off Riverside Way.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01773 881188