Stage 3 National Forest Way: Thornton Reservoir & Sence Valley
The National Forest Way takes walkers on a 75-mile journey through a transforming landscape.
On this 7½-mile stage between Thornton Reservoir and Sence Valley Forest Park, the National Forest Way enters 'King Coal' country, where the famous 'black gold' was mined for centuries. Coal mining has played a significant role in shaping both the landscape and the heritage of the people who lived and worked in this part of the Forest.
The National Forest Way takes you through the ongoing transformation of this once-scarred landscape.
Points of Interest
This attractive and tranquil expanse of water is a delightful spot to pause along the Way. If you choose to take the three mile surfaced path around the reservoir, don't miss the sculpture trail hidden amongst the mature woodland.
The Royal Forestry Society's Battram Wood is intended to demonstrate how to manage woodland for different uses including leisure and recreation and commercial timber. In time, cricket bat willows and poplar will be harvested ensuring a sustainable income for the woodland.
Kelham Bridge Nature Reserve
Created on the site of a former sewage works, Kelham Bridge Nature Reserve is dominated by the River Sence and its floodplain habitats. Pools attract wintering and migrant birds and osprey, merlin and peregrine falcon have all been seen here.
Sence Valley Forest Park
Sence Valley Forest Park was once part of a large opencast coal mine. Nearly 100,000 trees, planted in 1998, have softened a black, scarred moonscape into a lush green bowl, surrounding three lakes and a river, where swans, coots, ducks and even otters have made their home.