Where to watch birds in the Shipley Park Area


Please send your records - birds, insects, mammals, plants - to: mail@shipleybirdwatchers.co.uk

The area watched extends beyond the park boundaries to include all the open land enclosed by the A6007, A608 and the A609 (see sketch map below). There are three car parks, the main car park is at the Visitors Centre where there is a café and toilets, and is approached from Heanor through the Heanor Gate Industrial Estate. A second car park at Mapperley Reservoir, toilets here too, gives access to the south of the park and the centre of the watched area. A small car park at the bottom of High Lane East gives access to Straws Bridge and Peewit Carr. 

 Whichever car park you choose there are plenty of areas to see common and not so common bird species.

Downloadable PDF Map of the Park (not the full area birdwatched)

MAPPERLEY RESERVOIR (SK435435) Notable for breeding Great-crested Grebes, ducks and woodland species. A Good chance of all three woodpeckers, and the occasional Kingfisher.

DERBYSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST RESERVE (SK437434) On the opposite side of the road to the Reservoir. An area of woodland with small pools where Teal are usually recorded. Also a good place to find the first Chiff Chaff and Willow Warbler in the spring.

SHIPLEY LAKE (SK445439) Pedestrian access can be gained from Hassock Lane (between Ilkeston & Heanor). Good in the winter for ducks - Shoveler, Wigeon, Pochard also Goosander. Usually Common Terns in the summer. The lake is viewed from the old theme park perimeter fence.  

Note: The American Adventure theme park closed and part of the area has been developed as a nature reserve, Woodside Farm (74 hectares), by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. The enclosed area that was the theme park grounds will probably be developed for housing etc.

SHIPLEY HILL (SK438443) Access from Mapperley Res car park - woodland species. Good chance of Tawny owl and Spotted Flycatcher in the summer.

Young Swallows

LODGE FARM RIDING STABLES (SK443437) Follow the road from Shipley Lake towards Mapperley. Grey Wagtail and small flocks of Tree Sparrows and Siskins in winter.

NCB SETTLING LAGOONS (SK449432) Found to the west of the Abbottsford Housing Estate. Good numbers of Teal, Snipe and the occasional Oystercatcher. Also Wheatear and Whinchat on passage.

OSBOURNES POND (SK436451) Access from Heanor Gate Industrial Estate past the Shipley Visitors Centre. Common ducks and the occasional Goosander.

STRAWS BRIDGE / PEEWIT CARR (SK453415) Access from bottom of Derby Road, Ilkeston where it is popular for feeding the ducks. Head north-west away from the car park and you'll find other smaller ponds & reedbeds which are excellent. Little Grebe in winter, Sedge, Reed and Garden Warblers and Blackcap in spring and summer.

 These are the main sites in the Park, but the area is surrounded by farmland with ample possibilities for seeing good species. If you walk down the bridle track from Smalley village past Smalley Dam (SK409438) there is a chance of Wheatear and Redstart (passage), Yellowhammer and Skylark (Resident) and Short eared owl has been seen recently in the winter. Also becoming more common are Buzzards, with up to 5 birds seen at one time.