Walk 3 – Thornton Resevoir
This is an easy flat walk on a good surface easily accessible from the village. It can be accessed from the heart of the village via a footpath near the Church but is steep and can be muddy. As a circular walk it can be joined wherever wanted and there are paths linking with it at several points but for simplicity I will describe it from the car park.
When it is safe and legal to do so people from further afield can park at the start (Reservoir Road, LE67 1AN) and the 26 bus gets you fairly close. There is a tearoom at the Nursery by the start.
The car park is at the village end of the dam and
I prefer to walk over the dam and walk round anticlockwise. This way you start at the quieter stretch and see more wildlife and you tend to meet more people the further roundyou go if you want a sociable break. Quite a lot of people just walk one side out and back.
During the pandemic you are best walking clockwise so you will not keep passing people walking the more popular way round.
The reservoir is a giant Y-shape and going along the village side from the car park you come upon a visitor centre (rarely open) which looks like an upturned boat.
This is a walk in need of little description as you just follow the shore for about an hour to end up back where you started.
Many families walk to the end of the first side seemingly thinking they have seen it all.
Looking back down the reservoir it is easy to see why if they don't know any better.
They would though be missing out on the best part of the walk. The stretch between the two arms is where most wildlife can be spotted mainly because it is less disturbed.
Many walkers don't get that far and fishermen tend to be nearer the dam and often out on boats.
Also to be found along this stretch are a few extra paths which can be muddy but go into and back out of some wooded areas and if you take these paths you will come upon numerous wood carvings.
As you progress and head back towards the road there are some magnificent Scots Pines along the track.
The reservoir was created in 1854 and too 7 years to build. Now owned by Severn Trent Water, Thornton Reservoir was opened to the public in 1997. It is excellent for bird watching with good access via this circular walk.
As well as water birds, the adjacent fields and woods attract a variety of other birds and a wide range of insects.
Whether you are a bird-watcher or someone who likes watching birds, keep your eyes open and see how many species you can see. You never know it may be a first, making a round 100. I doubt it, though, as so many have been seen. 99 are recorded in the not too distant past:
Barnacle Goose Black necked Grebe Black Tern
Black-crowned Night Heron Black-headed Gull
Blue Tit Bullfinch Buzzard Canada Goose Carrion Crow Chaffinch Chiffchaff
Coal Tit Common Gull
Common Sandpiper Common Tern
Coot Cormorant Dunnock
Feral Pigeon (Rock Dove) Fieldfare
Gadwall Gannet Goldcrest Goldeneye Goldfinch
Great Crested Grebe
Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Tit
Great White Egret Green Woodpecker Greenfinch
Grey Heron Grey Wagtail Greylag Goose Herring Gull House Martin House Sparrow Jackdaw Kestrel Kingfisher Lapwing
Lesser black backed Gull Lesser Redpoll
Linnet Little Egret
Little Grebe Long tailed Duck Long tailed tit Long-eared Owl Magpie
Mallard Marsh Tit Mistle Thrush Moorhen Mute Swan Nuthatch Pheasant Pied Wagtail
Pink-footed Goose Pochard
Red legged partridge Red-crested Pochard Redwing
Reed Bunting Robin
Sand Martin Siskin Skylark Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk Spotted Flycatcher Starling
Stock Dove Swan Goose Teal
Tree Sparrow Treecreeper Tufted Duck Water Rail Whooper Swan Wigeon
Willow Warbler Wood Duck Wood Pigeon