South Staffs Water wants you to put your best foot forward

19th May 2010

South Staffs Water, owner of the Blithfield Reservoir Estate, has opened up the land to public access for the first time. Using new specially created footpaths, people will be able to see the wealth of wildlife that inhabits the area.

With support and advice from the Government agency, Natural England, three footpaths have been laid through woodland, across wetlands and alongside the reservoir at the site near Abbots Bromley.

One of the footpaths includes partial access for wheelchair users, while another includes a boardwalk across wetland and takes in specially constructed dragonfly ponds. The third path, completed just in time for spring, includes a "bluebell carpet" at this time of the year and follows alongside parts of the shoreline.

The Estate has previously been open only to Permit Holders including members of the West Midland Bird Club who have also given advice on placing of bird hides and feeder stations.

The area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in recognition of its national importance as a habitat for wildfowl, in particular goosander, widgeon and a wide variety of over-wintering fowl. The woodlands also attract birds such as siskins, redwings, fieldfares and crossbills, while there are more than 50 types of plant, including mugwort, tufted vetch and black medick in the wetland area – with many plants that are native to Staffordshire.

Access is free of charge and parking is available. Dogs are welcome, but should be kept on leads and owners are asked to clear up after them.

How to get there

From Abbots Bromley High Street, head north towards Uttoxeter. Take the second left in to Newton Hurst Lane, then take the first left (signposted for South Staffs Water, Blithfield Education Centre and Blithfield Walks.)