Mountain Hares

Hey Guys, i've just moved to the North West and am really interested in trying to get some photos of Mountain Hares in their winter coats. I've checked the internet and a lot of places say that Dove Stone is a good place to looking. I've been to Dove Stone once before and only walking around the reservoir. Can anyone advise me where the best place to see and get close to the Hares around the reserve. Thanks a lot for any help.

  • I've seen them amongst the rocks above Ashway Gap, although the last time I was up there was a couple of years ago- I think access there might be more limited than I remember it, as there's now a gate at the bottom of the track that goes up there.

    There's loads of them up the Longdendale valley as well- I remember seeing them on 'this' side of it (rather than Torside, although I'm sure they'll be over there as well).

  • In reply to AndyD:

    Thanks Andy, that's a real help. Is it be best to get onto the A628(Woodhead) and park around there, near to the Torside Reservoir (But on 'this' side)?

  • Hi, Probably the most reliable place to see mountain hares at Dovestone is the Chew valley. Walk up from the main car park, past the sailing club boat park, cross the bridge and turn right up the Chew track. Keep going up to the higher boulder-field areas. There aren't great numbers there yet but as the weather turns colder in the next few weeks they will start to seek shelter amongst the boulders below the ridges on either side of the valley and will be much more visible. As you probably know mountain hares are largely nocturnal so spend much of the day resting in sheltered places. You are much less likely to find them on the moor itself as they hunker down in gullies and scrapes and are only usually seen if disturbed.

    Why not come along to the RSPB "Mountain hare talk and walk" on Saturday 12th November at 12.30 pm? when you can learn all about hares from a local expert. Contact Rachel Downham on 07825022636 or email

  • In reply to John Parker:

    Hi John, thanks for the info, very detailed. I really appreciate it. I'll be taking a look at Dove Stone and Longdendale Valley this saturday. I've checked a map and they seem to meet just past Chew Reservoir, so finger's crossed i'll get lucky!

    I'll definitely contact Rachel regarding the Hares talk.

    Thanks again.

  • In reply to Wangle:

    Hi there,

    Thanks to John for passing the info on - he's spot on with the best place to see them - last years walk we saw twenty+ up that short stretch from the Chew Road.  Hopefully this year's walk will be just as good ! Just a quick note on the date - had to change it - so it's now on SUNDAY 13th NOVEMBER at 1.30.  Apologies to all for the change.  There's still a second one on Monday 12th December.  Hope to see you there ! Regards,  Rachel.

  • In reply to racheldownham:

    Apologies - that should read 1pm - it's been a long day ; )