Autumn events at RSPB Coombes and Churnet Valleys

Discover more about the Churnet with a guided History Walk

RSPB Coombes Valley invites visitors to join them for two History Walks with local historian Byron Machin, taking in the rich heritage of the Churnet Valley. The two guided walks (7 October and 4 November) will include a walk to Bellpit Meadows, acquired in 2014, thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding. They will share a unique glimpse into the history of the site, and how it got its name.

On the first of two walks on 7 October local historian and naturalist Byron Machin guides you on a 4 mile walk through the stunning landscape of Far Kingsley. You shall see the remains of ancient coal and ironstone mines, learn of the history of the Caldon Canal, see a rich variety of habitats now being managed for wildlife and visit the RSPB’s new reserve of Bellpit Meadows.

On the second walk on 4 November, Byron will guide you on a 4 mile walk through the stunning landscape of the Belmont Estate. You shall see the remains of gigantic limestone kilns, learn of the history of a powerful local estate, visit the legendary Gog & Magog, hear legends of times long past and visit the RSPB’s new reserve of Bellpit Meadows

Rachel Harrison from RSPB Coombes and Churnet Valley says:

“This is an exciting opportunity to discover more about the Churnet Valley reserve and Bellpit Meadows. The natural and industrial heritage surrounding the Churnet is fascinating, and I can’t think of a better way to absorb the local history than on a good walk!”

All walks start at 1 pm and finish around 4 pm. Walks start from Consall Nature Park car park, ST9 0AF. £7 per adult, £3.50 per child, with 20% off for RSPB members. Paths can be steep and slippery so please dress suitably.

Booking is essential, so to purchase tickets please go to Eventbrite here

and here


For more information visit our Facebook page:

Get ready for the RSPB’s funky ‘Fungal Foray’!

Meet the RSPB team at the Consall Nature Park on Sunday 4 November from 10:30 – 14:30, where they’ll be putting the ‘fun’ in fungi with their special ‘Fungal Foray’, guiding guests through the little-known yet beautiful woodland of the Churnet Valley.

Join expert ‘Fungal Punk Dave’ on a four-hour walk to discover more about fungi, and to explore a less-visited reserve in the Churnet Valley. This guided walk is suitable for both fungal lovers and novices, with no prior knowledge of fungi required – just an interest and eagerness to learn more about fungi (they can really grow on you), and wildlife in general.

The tour will include some muddy and steep paths, although there will be plenty of time to rest and admire the fungi.

Becky Blackman, Visitor Experience Officer for RSPB Coombes Valley says:

“Join us for an exciting walk in the Churnet Valley. This is a great opportunity to get stuck in to the diverse and mysterious world of fungi; learn about what it is and how to ID this intriguing phenomenon of nature.”

Spaces are limited (there won’t be mushroom) so booking is essential. Prices are £7 per adult, and £3.50 per child, with 20% off for members. This area can get very muddy and slippery this time of year (when it rains, it spores) so appropriate footwear is advised.

The walk will be steep in places and may be muddy, so appropriate footwear is essential. Walks start from Consall Nature Park car park, ST9 0AF. £7 per adult, £3.50 per child, with 20% off for RSPB members

For more information about the Fungal Foray or to book go to Eventbrite:

Photo by Sam Lyster

Have a fang-tastic time at our monster themed Halloween trail!

Due to popular demand we have extended our Halloween trial. The Menacing Monsters Halloween trail will run from Saturday 20 to Saturday 3 November!

In the run up to Halloween, RSPB Coombes Valley has been taken over by monsters, who are scaring away our woodland creatures! But, armed with a set of clues scattered throughout the self-guided trail, brave visitors can help to banish the menacing monsters from Coombes Valley.

During the October half-term, our visitor centre will be transformed into the Monster Hunters headquarters, where visitors begin their mystery adventure. In between the main clues, there will be a series of wildlife-themed, Halloween mini-activities that will actively “connect children to nature”. Some of these will be under cover including inside our Mongolian yurt, transformed into a Halloween den with craft activities.

The trail ends back at the Monster Hunters HQ, where all that sleuthing will be rewarded with a Halloween chocolate treat or gift. There’s no need to worry if you get a bit stuck, friendly RSPB staff and volunteers will be on site to lend a hand.

The Menacing Monsters Halloween Trail opens between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm and should take about two hours. However, you can spend as long as you like exploring our beautiful nature reserve so why not bring a picnic and then spend some time sharing your own woodland tales in our story-telling circle complete with dressing up box? Our canopy walkway can’t be missed and is suitable for intrepid woodland explorers, big or small. There’s plenty to do for all the family, come rain or shine.

Mollie Latham, RSPB Visitor Experience Officer at Coombes Valley says:

“Our Halloween trail was extremely popular last year and we’re sure that this year’s monster theme will be a roaring success. The Halloween Trail this half-term is just one of the many great activities on our play trail that help connect children to the natural world. This is a great opportunity for visiting families to enjoy the magic of Coombes Valley.”

Answer sheets will cost £5 per child (£4 for RSPB members) and car parking is an additional £3 per vehicle but parking is free for RSPB members.

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Sorry, no dogs.

For more information visit our Facebook page:,

email or telephone 01538 384017.