Bowland Forest

COVID 19 update

Our recreation site, car parks and toilets will remain open.

Please follow Government guidelines and observe social distancing where necessary, to ensure the safety of yourself, other visitors and our staff.

Please follow the countryside code and make sure your visit is safe and responsible.

BowlandA selection of waymarked woodland footpaths and cycle routes are available to suit all abilities. The circular reservoir footpath gives visitors the chance to experience the patchwork of farmland and forestry surrounding the open waters of the reservoir itself.

The reservoir is a haven for wildlife and is one of the best sites in the North West to see a wider range of wildfowl. 

Gisburn Forest to the east of the reservoir has become an important recreation destination with a range of activity opportunities for locals and visitors provided at the Gisburn Forest Hub which is managed by the Forestry Commission.


Location   Opening Hours   Parking   Toilets

Stocks Board House, Catlow Road, Slaidburn, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3AQ.

Tel: 01200 454 400.

  Call ahead for opening times.  

Forestry England

Stocks reservoir car park, School Lane, Clitheroe, BB7 4TS.

Car parks at School Lane and Gisburn Forest Hub are pay and display.

  Available at the Stocks reservoir café and Gisburn Forest Hub.
Walking   Birdwatching   Cafe   Picnic Area

A waymarked circular footpath around the reservoir (8 miles), starts and finishes at the School Lane car park. Please do not wander down to the reservoir edges and to keep to the route, as much of it passes close by several sensitive areas for wildlife.

Three waymarked forest trails through Gisburn Forest.


There is a bird hide near the School Lane car park.

Up to 30 species of wildfowl can be encountered during an average winter, with spectacular numbers of common species, and potentially Red Throated Diver, Whooper Swan, Gadwall, Ring-Necked and Long-Tailed Ducks.

  Refreshments available at Stocks reservoir café (Opening Hours March – November, Mon-Sun 8:00am until dusk, November - March Limited opening Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) and Gisburn Forest Hub  (opening hours  10:00am till 4:00pm, 7 days a week)   Near School Lane car park and at Gisburn Forest Hub.
Information   Fishing   Cycling    

Information board at car park and Gisburn Forest Hub.

  Fly fishing on the reservoir with Stocks Fly Fishery.   Excellent cycling trails for all abilities at the Forestry Commission site at Gisburn Forest Hub.    


We want to share our beautiful sites with you, and we ask you enjoy them in a manner that allows others to enjoy them after you, this includes:

  • Following the Countryside Code - Respect, Protect and Enjoy.
  • Taking your litter home, or using the available bins.
  • Keeping dogs under control for the safety of livestock and others.
  • Respecting farmers at work on the land by leaving gates as you find them.
  • Sticking to paths when walking, running or cycling. This helps us protect the sensitive ecosystems that form the habitats on our sites.
  • Please help guard against wildfires by not bringing BBQ’s and taking care with disguarded cigarettes.

  • You may also want to read about:

    Reservoir safety

    Blue-green algae

    Giant hogweed

    Recreation permits