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Ogden Water

Here you can find out about Ogden Water and its woodlands.

Please note: The visitor centre is closed until further notice.

This is one of the sparkling jewels within the countryside of Calderdale. The large reservoir is surrounded by mixed coniferous and broadleaf woodlands.

With numerous formal and informal paths, Ogden Water offers the ideal place to explore woodlands, grasslands, streams and ponds. It is also a good starting point to explore the wider countryside and open moorland beyond.

  • Owned by Yorkshire Water and managed by Calderdale Countryside Service.
  • It is located north of Halifax and sign posted from the A629.

From the car parks trails, take in either a waterside walk or through the woodlands.

Dogs are welcome:

  • but must be cleaned up after;
  • and kept under close control or on a lead around the waterside path.
NoteDog Control Orders are in force in Calderdale.

Cycling is not permitted on the site, but there are a number of bridleways passing close by. These give cyclist to option to explore this end of Calderdale and across into Bradford.

Visitor facilities

Visitor centre and cafe 

Please note: The visitor centre is closed until further notice.

The small visitor centre, run by a dedicated group of volunteers, can be found close to the dam.

They try to open the cafe everyday of the year. Hot and cold drinks, soup, confectionery, ice cream and small gifts are available. It also offers walking information and advice. 

Please note: There is no parking at the visitor centre.

Car park

Including disabled bays at the entrance.

See signs at the car park entrance for exact opening times, which can change. There is a charge for release if locked in after stated closing time.

Toilets

The toilets are across from the visitor centre and are open from 6am to 6pm daily.

Including one 'radar key operated' disabled toilet with baby change facilities.

Classroom 

Available to hire for conferences, business/community meetings and more.

What to see

On the reservoir, floats of mallard and gulls. There are a number of other waterfowl and birds that live around the area including:

  • Kingfisher;
  • Heron;
  • and Canada Geese.

Other water birds you might see throughout the year include:

  • Tufted duck
  • Dippers
  • and Great Crested Grebes.

The surrounding woodlands teem with songbirds in April and May. These include robins, chaffinches, great tits, goldfinches, goldcrests, green and great spotted woodpeckers, jays and bullfinches.

Summer brings swallows, house martins and swifts that perform dazzling aerobatics over the reservoir surface as they chase after food.

During autumn, crossbills are often seen on the edge of the estate where the woodlands and moorlands meet. Also, the night air is disturbed by the hoots and calls of tawny owls.

Winter brings large numbers of thrushes, redwings and fieldfares to the surrounding fields.

On the open moorland, curlew and red grouse can often be seen. There are also sightings of twites, wheatears and merlins. Long and short-eared owls have been seen about the area too.

You can often get close to mammals with grey squirrels and rabbits fairly easy to see. However, early visitors may also see roe deer and foxes as they walk around the woodlands.

Summertime brings a plethora of insects, from bumblebees to butterflies, moths to (unfortunately) midges. The early evening air is also filled with hungry bats.

The woodlands has over 40 types of tree, from towering firs and pines, to stunted oaks, birches and sycamores. Look closely and you can also find tulip trees, mulberrys and aspens. Ground flora includes flowers like pink purslane, common spotted orchid and wood sorrel, to name a few.

Get involved

There are monthly practical work parties during the week, anyone is welcome at these. For more details:

Many schools make a lot of use of Ogden Water as an outdoor classroom. It can also be booked for meetings/group use.

The Countryside Team offers a range of environmental workshops, based around the National Curriculum. For more about this, please see: Environmental education.

Staff and volunteers organise a range of activities for children, young people and not so old adults! These include summer and winter activities.

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