Discover wildlife and the history of Derwent Reservoir

Durham Dales

Spot red squirrels, adders and bog plants at Derwent Reservoir and Pow Hill Country Park in the Durham Dales.

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This route is suitable for walkers, cyclists, wheelchair users and pushchairs, and runs around the shore of the reservoir from Millshield Picnic Area to Pow Hill Country Park.

The word Pow comes from Old English and means ‘slow moving stream’, which refers to a waterlogged boggy area at the site. The bog contains specialised plants such as bog asphodel, bog bean, cotton grass, ragged robin and marsh thistle, and has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Heather moorland, grassland and coniferous woodland are home to animals such as red squirrels, adders, common lizard, slow worm and the green hairstreak butterfly.  There are also secluded glades for a quiet picnic and a number of seats which give panoramic views across the Derwent Reservoir towards Castleside and the Hownsgill viaduct.

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