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Dove Stone Reservoir

Nestling on the border of Oldham and the Peak District National Park, Dove Stone Reservoir is a beautiful spot to visit

In picturesque surroundings, the main reservoir has its own sailing club; a permanent orienteering course; an extensive network of footpaths and good links to areas of open access moorland. The marked access path around the reservoir offers easy walking and takes in some breath-taking views.

For the adventurous the site includes two more reservoirs to walk round, Greenfield and Yeoman Hey, from which you can explore Saddleworth Moor and the crags above.

Situated on the A635 leading out of Greenfield towards Holmfirth, the site is jointly managed by Oldham Council, United Utilities and the Peak District National Park. Accessible by foot, bus, train and car, the site has ample parking space (pay and display) a wardens centre and toilets.

Dove Stone Reservoir was built in 1967 to collect water from the surrounding moorlands. The proposed construction received a lot of opposition from the local mill owners who claimed the damming of the river would cut off their water supply. As a result of this, a tunnel was built higher up in the hillside to bypass the reservoir.

Local myth has it the reservoir is named after a collection of stones on the skyline that look like a dove. To see these stones, walk along the dam wall towards the carpark and look up the hillside when you come to the corner of the dam wall and the tourist information sign. Another version is that in the local dialect some words of celtic origin (dubh for black) were still in usage when Ordnance Survey staff recorded and thus fixed the place name (a similar outcrop five miles to the north is known as Black Stone Edge).

Due to the proximity of Greenfield and surrounding houses, the dam wall of Dove Stone does not have a traditional spillway to control water height. Instead there is a large bell-mouth overflow in one corner. This looks like a large circular hole.

Next to this, on the dam wall itself is the ingeniously designed emergency overflow. This consists of three metal troughs that when full dump their water onto the other side of the wall where it runs across the road and back into the river below. For this to be activated there would need to be a flash flood of approximately two metres of water.

From Dove Stone Moss and other areas on the far side of the reservoir, look North-East towards the hill known locally as "Pots and Pans". The obelisk-like structure on the top is a memorial to local people who fought in both World Wars.

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