In the early 1990s Doffcocker Lodge became Bolton’s first nature reserve. It is centred on a disused reservoir, created for a mill in the late nineteenth century. It is very popular with local dog walkers.
A well-maintained path runs around the perimeter of the water. Walking a lap takes around 15 minutes. A handful of benches offer places to rest.
The reserve is noted for its birdlife. Species that can be seen here include common tern, great crested grebe, and common reed bunting.
Doffcocker Lodge is located in the Doffcocker area of Bolton, just north of Heaton and Markland Hill.
The reserve has a small car park. It is situated just off Chorley New Road, close to the Doffcocker Inn public house (postcode BL1 5QD). Parking is free of charge.
Other attractions nearby include Moss Bank Park, Barrow Bridge, the Smithills Estate, and Smithills Hall.