Healey Dell Nature Reserve

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Healey Dell Nature Reserve

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This is one of our favourite walks with its deciduous woods, nature trails, waterfalls, riverside walks, and the magnificent 100 feet high Viaduct spanning the River Spodden. This river has been carving its way through the Dell for thousands of years and once powered ancient mills of corn, wool and cotton. If like us you enjoy a picnic you are spoilt for choice here with picnic tables at various beauty spots. You can also take a break from your walk and admire a large tree lined pond and its bird life of mallards and the occasional heron. We have also spotted deer in the woods lining the disused railway line built in the 1800s and now a nice gentle walk through the Dell. This was also the favourite walk of our late dog Oscar a Collie/Labrador cross. We buried his ashes under a beech tree and placed a cross and a small stone to mark his grave. (Later someone removed the stone and replaced it with a larger one!).

There is a Heritage Centre which boasts a Victorian tea room where they serve tea in vintage bone china. Here they have an exhibition featuring a pictorial history of the Dell. There is also a play area for children and sometimes a meet with the Dell Fairy! This was a favourite days outing for the Victorians and old photographs show families parading these leafy walks in their Sunday best! It is hard to decide which season is best to view this lovely Dell. Covered in a winter’s snow it turns into a fairy land, very pretty in the spring with all the new buds and fresh sparkling water, an artists shade of lush greenery in the summer and extravagant hues of copper, gold, and sunny yellows in autumn. Hard to imagine when strolling through this peaceful woodland that it is only two miles to the busy shopping centre of Rochdale.

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