New nature podcast shines a light on Rivington’s wildlife

A ‘magical’ Lancashire beauty spot takes centre stage in a new podcast about landscapes which all have surprising links to our water supply.

The latest episode of Acres of Nature was released this week and takes inspiration from the area around Rivington reservoirs - a hidden gem featuring lost gardens, woodlands and views as far as Blackpool Tower, the Lake District and even Snowdonia.

Listeners are invited to take an audio visit to the huge Rivington estate with a selection of wildlife, visitor and water experts who share their personal experiences and knowledge.

Owned largely by water company United Utilities, the area around Rivington reservoirs features protected nature sites, beautiful woodland and waterside walks, and, of course, the stunning Rivington Terraced Gardens, once described as one of the top five lost gardens in the UK.

Describing the gardens, the man who helped oversee their restoration, Andrew Suter of Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside tells the podcast about the army of volunteers who donated a staggering 30,000 hours of their free time to maintaining the gardens every year.

Environmental expert Pete Wilson described some of the amazing wildlife that makes Rivington’s pristine habitats its home. There are also contributions from United Utilities staff whose job it is to look after the water catchment and habitats.

But it is information officer Kathleen Booth who encapsulates why so many people love Rivington when describing an early morning walk along the reservoir path: “You can see the sun on the water if you’re early enough, and you get absolutely beautiful views of the colours. It changes the trees. It changes the water. It changes the area. And it’s magical. It’s absolutely stunning.”

Over the course of the next two years, Acres of Nature will feature some of the region’s best known landscapes as well as little-known hidden oases, and the stories of the people who use them.

Each landscape - from the remote beauty of Haweswater reservoir in Cumbria to a city park in Manchester – have one thing in common. They are all owned by United Utilities.

The area that drains into Rivington’s four reservoirs – Lower Rivington, Upper Rivington, Anglezarke and Yarrow - is maintained as pristine water catchment by United Utilities because the reservoirs there are an important part of the region’s water supply. But it is open and free for the public to visit responsibly, with car parks and a visitor centre.

Acres of Nature is available on Spotify and all major podcast platforms or go to to listen now.