Brighouse Nature Reserve is 1.5 miles from Brighouse and 4.5 miles from the Piece Hall in Halifax, sandwiched between the River Calder and canal – Calder & Hebble Navigation. It is one of the richest areas in Calderdale for biodiversity, with over 130 species of plants, 200 species of birds, and large numbers of mammals, amphibians, invertebrates and insects. Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is home to flower meadows, dry and wet woodland, a lagoon, ponds and several bird viewing areas.
Cromwell Bottom – Brighouse Nature Reserve
Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve (LNR) can be accessed by either the gravel car park off the A6025 Elland Road or directly from the canal on foot or bike which runs alongside several of Brighouse town centre’s car parks (a pleasant 25-minute walk from Brighouse town centre) or from car parking near Brookfoot Mills, Elland Road, Brighouse HD6 2RW.
From the nature reserve’s car park off Elland Road, there are several entrances you can take to enter the reserve at Cromwell Bottom, but the main entrance is across Crowther Bridge towards the café block. Other entrances can be found along the canal or past the café further upstream by the weir on the River Calder.
There is also pedestrian access to Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve to and from Rastrick and Elland Lower Edge by using the railway crossing right-of-way path at the bottom of Strangstry Woods, near the weir on the River Calder.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Café Opening Times
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is open 7 days a week at all times of day and night, but the Visitor Centre and Café is open for refreshments only Sundays 10 am to 4 pm (and often Tuesdays and Thursdays but only if the board is outside the entrance!). You can often chat to members of the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group there. The café serves hot and cold drinks, biscuits, cakes, crisps, ice cream and ice lollies (DONATIONS ONLY). There are toilet and baby changing facilities, including an accessible toilet (available only when the visitor centre is open).
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Address
427 Elland Road Brighouse, West Yorkshire HD6 2RG. The What3Words address for the car park at the Brighouse Nature Reserve Cromwell Bottom is handy.lock.rests.
Located in the Calder Valley, its official name is Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve (LNR) but it is also known by some as Cromwell Bottom, Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve, Brighouse Nature Reserve, or Elland Nature Reserve.
The E4 bus service from Brighouse bus station to Elland / Barkisland runs along Elland Road (A6025) and stops at Cromwell House, within 50m of the site entrance of Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Opening Times and Car Park Cost
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is open 365 days per year, 24/7. Car parking is free at all times.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve and Bikes
The Brighouse Nature Reserve at Cromwell Bottom is on Sustrans National Cycling Route 66. However, cycling is not allowed in the nature reserve itself, so please use the bike rack located near the café over the bridge from the car park.
What was the site used for before Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve was established?
Previously a quarry and depositary for ash from the long-gone Elland Power Station it is now a mix of woodland, wetlands and grasslands, rich in plants and wildlife, providing a variety of habitats, and is considered to be one of the most important current wildlife sites in Calderdale.
Is Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Good for Wheelchairs, Scooters and Prams?
Yes, Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is wheelchair friendly, with the majority of paths being of crushed stone construction suitable for wheelchair access and they are clearly signed. The paths are generally smooth with no steep gradients. A RADAR key is required to open gates fully to allow easier access. Brighouse Nature Reserve at Cromwell Bottom has 2 miles of wheelchair-accessible paths (including the pleasant canal towpath running between the various entrances). The café has a disabled toilet. For all to enjoy equally, Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is one of the most accessible nature reserves in the area.
What Kinds of Birds can be seen at Brighouse Nature Reserve?
Bird feeding areas with ideal habitats in the reserve help to attract many birds to the site so there are many species that have been listed either living in or visiting Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve including:
- Mute Swan
- Pink-footed Goose
- Canada Goose
- Tufted Duck
- Little Grebe
- Little Egret
- Grey Heron
- Water Rail
- Black-headed Gull
- Common Gull
- Herring Gull
- Lesser Black-Backed Gull
- Stock Dove
- Wood Pigeon
- Tawny Owl
- Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Green Woodpecker
- Meadow Pipit
- Grey Wagtail
- Song Thrush
- Great Tit
- Coal Tit
- Blue Tit
- Long-tailed Tit
- Carrion Crow
- Reed Bunting
Also, Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve’s wetlands and meadows also provide a variety of habitats for many beautiful insects, such as butterflies, moths, dragonflies and damselflies.
Is Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve a Good Place for Photographers?
Yes, Brighouse Nature Reserve at Cromwell Bottom attracts photographers of all abilities and ages to capture images of over 130 species of plants, 200 species of birds, and large numbers of mammals, amphibians, and invertebrates. For photography enthusiasts in the UK, it is easily accessible by car as the Brighouse Nature Reserve at Cromwell Bottom is centrally located in the country and is only 4 miles from M62 junction 24 and 3 miles from M62 junction 25 and only 4.5 miles from the photogenic Piece Hall in Halifax.
Is Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Dog Friendly?
Yes, Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is a regular favourite spot for dog walkers – but please note that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Who looks after Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve?
The 74-acre site and visitor centre is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers called the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group (CBWG) and is a registered charity, number 1176233. For membership and volunteer enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org
School Visits and Group Visits to Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve regularly hosts visits from schools and adult groups of all abilities and interests. To book or enquire please email email@example.com Opportunities for schools and others to learn outdoors include a pond in the education area and an observation building on North Loop.
What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Brighouse?
Visiting Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve in Brighouse throughout every season offers fantastic wildlife-watching opportunities. For instance, autumn is a season of spectacle as nature prepares for the much colder months ahead, while in summer visiting bird species depart for warmer climes, replaced by travellers from the far north, fleeing the colder Arctic winter. You will find something different every single day or night!
What Else is in the Surrounding Area of Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve?
The Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve is located between Brighouse and Elland in the Calder Valley with Elland Woods, Southowram and Halifax to the northern valley side and Strangstry Woods and Rastrick to the southern valley side. From Brighouse, Cromwell Bottom and Elland you can then walk or cycle through Calderdale on the canal towpath to Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden and then beyond to Manchester.
Cromwell Bottom Walks
If walking or cycling along the canal towpath between Brighouse and Elland there are cafés, bars and restaurants in both Brighouse and Elland, including Mamil which has a cycle repair facility as well meals, coffee and cake plus a wide selection of craft ales.
Along Elland Road, there is Casa Restaurant and Hotel with lakeside views, which is open all day and the Red Rooster pub at Brookfoot nearer Brighouse. Further on from Elland is the Hebble Trail which follows the old canal spur route into Halifax town centre via Salterhebble.
Opposite the entrance to the Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve car park on Elland Road is a footpath for walkers only, leading up to Southowram via Ashday Lane Southowram. There is a bridleway for cyclists and walkers (look out for the white and red signpost ‘ANC’) to Southowram 300 metres towards Elland on the Elland Road (A6025) which then meets the footpath at Ashday Lane which turns into a quiet country road leading up to Southowram Cricket Club and then Southowram village.
In Southowram for refreshments there is a Costa Express machine at Londis Village News on Towngate, Matthew’s Sandwich Shop and Café, Crave Café & Tearooms and the Cock & Bottle pub all on Law Lane, plus a chance to walk past Law Hill House of Emily Brontë fame (it is now a private dwelling). Consider walking along to Beacon Hill via Long Lane with fabulous views overlooking Halifax and its Piece Hall or also via Long Lane walk to Gentleman Jack’s Shibden Hall home and Shibden Park with its museum, boating lake, playgrounds and lakeside café. Also, don’t miss out on exploring Calderdale’s magnificent Hardcastle Crags at Hebden Bridge.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve Map
Explore using our Map. Click the location icon of your choice and then use the red and white arrow on the map for directions.