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Explore Goyt Valley
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.3/5)

The Goyt Valley forms part of the Peak District National Park and is rich in industrial heritage, wildlife, farming and recreation opportunities.

The Peak District National Park Authority, United Utilities and the Forestry Commission work together to provide access and conservation management for the benefit of people and wildlife.

The landscape you see today has been shaped and carved out by successive Ice Ages and the River Goyt.  The valley is both a living and working landscape where high moorland, woodland, river and farmland contrast with the Fernilee and Errwood reservoirs.

What do other visitors say?

@Barry are you saying we should all commit suicide or something? I rather prefer the wise comments of the Forestry Commission response - Man can have an extremely positive influence on the environment through active management to preserve endangered species. Man is a part of the environment and should live symbiotically with it!

Matt, 26/Aug/2016
3 Stars 3 Stars

It was 41 years ago when I visited Goyt Valley and Errwood Hall. At that time I would have given it 5 stars but now can only give it 3 stars. Goyt Valley is still a beautiful place to visit and the walks around Shining Tor, Cats Tor, Goytsclough Quarry and Pym Chair are spectacular but my visit to Errwood Hall was a big disappointment. I was very disappointed to see how many rhododendrons have been removed and that they are classed as an invasive species.

When will people realise that the most invasive species of all is MAN. A few years ago I visited a small zoo and one sign said that you are now looking at the most destructive creature on the planet. You were looking in a mirror!

MAN is encouraged to invade all corners of the planet and leave devastation in its wake. After all, the rhododendron was introduced by MAN into Britain in the 1600s. Maybe we should look at eradicating the source of the problem in the first place.

Clumber Park used to be regular haunt in the past, but it must be 10 years since I visited after being very disappointed on my last visit. I have no wish to visit Clumber Park again.

Barry, 7/Jun/2016

We consider rhododendron to be invasive and are reducing them in the Goyt Valley accordingly although we will leave some specimens near Errwood Hall. Additionally, they can also be a host for Phytophthora which affects other trees such as larch and sweet chestnut. An outbreak of this disease is the primary reason for the most recent removal of rhododendron.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I cannot believe that the Forestry Commision are chopping trees down at the side of Fernilee Reservoir. It's sounds like a tank battalion crashing through the woods.

Have you no idea what your doing to the bird breeding population down there?

I find it appalling that you do not have the common sense to do this kind of work outside of the nesting season!!

Mark Chuwen, 24/May/2016

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the harvesting operations near to Fernilee Reservoir. With particular regard to work in the "bird breeding season" our policy can be summarised as follows. We manage our woods and forests for people, nature and the economy. Active forest management is essential for the conservation of a wide range of species, including birds, many of which are rare. When all obligations and considerations are taken together, we are not able to undertake all our activities outside the bird nesting season. Whilst we will not deliberately damage active nests and will do what we reasonably can to avoid it, we will continue year-round activities in the certain knowledge that the benefits of our activities outweigh the risk of incidental impacts on individual birds. More specifically, contrary to popular thinking, different bird species have overlapping breeding seasons and when taken together, forest birds can breed in all months of the year. The operations such as the one you refer to actually improve or create habitats for a wide range of species including birds. If you walk regularly in the Goyt Valley you will note the large number of different bird species, and this is a result of our management practices, rather than despite them. I am proud of the fact that the area I manage supports breeding populations of not only the usual common bird species, but also more rare or uncommon ones such as nightjar, cuckoo, pied flycatcher and many others. I hope that this explains our position, and puts your mind at rest that our operations are not undertaken without serious consideration of their impact on people and wildlife.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 29th February 2016

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What's Here?

  • Walking
  • Why not go in search of Errwood Hall? Built by the Grimshawe family in about 1840, Errwood hall is now a ruin occupying an impressive site between 2 streams.
    Its grounds still contain much of interest including, dense pinewoods, rhododendron and azalea bushes, ruins of workers cottages and the family cemetery. There is also a shrine that is thought to have been erected on the instigation of the Spanish lady, Miss Dolores, who was a companion to Mrs Grimshawe.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SK009777

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.