Two walks that start from car parks at Mapperley Reservoir and Swan Lake, that will take you through a variety of habitats.

A Birding Walk from Mapperley Car Park (Approx 3mls or 5kms)


Walk out of the car park onto the lane from Mapperley village and cross to a bridleway next to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Reserve(1). Follow this bridleway on the left of the Reserve and after a while it swings right over a wooden bridge. The path then ascends and reaches a T junction in open country(2). Here turn left and further down the path notice Head House Farm on the right. Stay on the path which turns sharply left and eventually leads to the Lodge Farm Riding Stables(3).

Shipley Hill

The path turns right past the farm and as it bends to the left a cycle track (Nutbrook Trail and blue cycle route signs) comes in from the right (4), but stay on the path ahead as it bears left to reach Shipley Lake.

Wood Anemone

Turn left, with the lake on the right and a small pond called Paul's Arm on the left. The route is ahead, and where the path splits (5) bear left straight up towards Shipley Hill.

At the top of the incline keep straight ahead passing Nottingham Lodge and a long wall on the left. Eventually coming to Derby Lodge (6) and a road, go straight across to the top of Bell Lane. Follow the lane, and further on to the right a wide track joins heading towards the Visitors Centre, but stay on this hedge lined lane until coming to a narrow stretch of woodland on both sides of the lane.


On the far side of the wood (7) a footpath on the left winds its way through John Wood. After a while a path comes in from the right, but the way is to the left over a wooden bridge (8) and then bearing left to the main path before heading right towards Mapperley Reservoir. Follow the path past a viewing point around the edge of the reservoir until returning to the car park.

Downloadable version of the Mapperley Walk(Word).

Link to Derby Wildlife Trust Reserves Page



A Birding Walk from Straw's Bridge Car Park (Approx 4.4mls or 7kms)


From the car park go left following the path around Swan Lake to Straw's Bridge. Pass under the bridge and take the path to the left. Follow this path with a pond on the right and just after passing two benches turn left away from the pond and up some steps to reach the top of an embankment. To the right the Nutbrook Trail can be seen, drop down the embankment to join the trail(1).



Turn left onto the trail to reach a lake on the right and Pewit Carr Nature Reserve on the left. Take the path left over a wooden bridge and through the nature reserve to reach a raised bank, the line of an old railway(2). Turn right along the bank following the path through birch woodland, and eventually joining a tarmacked track coming in from the right. Pass through an open area and keeping left follow the tarmacked track to reach a road edged with concrete blocks(3).

From Pewit Carr

Go right on the road as it leads down between two houses, The Nook and The Brook, and then under a bridge into open country (if there is a lot of water under the bridge there is an alternative track on the left that rejoins the road at Head House Farm).

At the farm carry on ahead through a gate and with views of Shipley Hill follow the track to a T junction(4). Turn right and follow this bridleway as it bends sharply left and crossing a concrete bridge heads up to Lodge Farm Riding Stables.

The path turns right past the farm and after a short distance as it bends left the Nutbrook Trail, (finger post and blue cycleway sign) joins from the right, turn right on to the trail(5).

After about half a mile a track from Shipley Common crosses and a gate narrows the trail (blue cycleway 67 sign). Just beyond the gate a path on the right leads diagonally down to the NCB settling lagoons(6). Just before the gated entrance to the lagoons go up a raised bank to the right, and follow the bank top around the lagoons before returning to the Nutbrook Trail. Turn right on to the trail, and follow it back to the lake and the first section of the walk returning to Straw's Bridge and the car park.

Downloadable version of the Swan Lake Walk(Word)

Link to Derbyshire County Councils Pewit Carr Site