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NATURE TRAILS

NORTH WEST ENGLAND

AINSDALE & BIRKDALE

The Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills are one of the largest areas of wild duneland left in Britain. The reserve was set up in 1980 and now covers some 284 ha approx of open dunes centred around Ainsdale. The reserve can be entered from the beach or any one of a number of access points. The Coastal Footpath stretches form Crosby to Crossens. It passes through the reserve affording the opportunity for longer walks along the coast. Other footpaths link the reserve with Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve and the Queens Jubilee Nature Trail. There are several opportunities for short circular walks within the reserve. At Ainsdale there is a waymarked dune trail.

ALDERLEY EDGE

Cheshire

Woodland walks, ancient mines, legends and the most spectacular views in Cheshire. 2 mile footpath link to Hare Hill Garden.

ALKRINGTON WOODS NATURE RESERVE

Tel: 01706 350459
Manchester Old Road, Rhodes, Middleton, Manchester

Open: Mon-Sun

Once part of the Alkrington Hall estate, this area of mature woodland provides an ideal habitat for wide ranging flora and fauna, informal paths take the visitor through woodland, along the banks of the River Irk and around the fishing lodges at Rhodes.

ANDERTON NATURE PARK

Tel: 01606 77741

Discover the special wildflowers growing at Anderton Nature Park. Salt, lime and ash clinker create different conditions which allow some unusual plants to thrive in the park. Markers along the trail show the best places to look out for particular plants.

ANGLEZARKE WOODLAND TRAIL

Chorley

Starting at the car park of the Anglezarke Woodland Trail now enables wheelchair access in this pleasant wooded area.

ASTLEY PARK, CHORLEY

County Information Centre, 55/57, Union St.Chorley.

The main features of this Nature Trail are the trees, the ground flora found under them and the birds to be seen in and around the area.

BLAINSCOUGH WOOD NATURE RESERVE

At the end of Springfield Road, close to the village of Coppull

A recently completed nature scheme - former coal tips reclaimed, wildflower meadows created and trees planted to create a new educational and conservation resource.

BORSDANE WOOD

Tel: 01942 828906

Near Ince and Hindley

A fine example of ancient woodland, Borsdane wood is so rich in wildlife it has officially been designated a nature reserve. The beautiful glades make an excellent backdrop for a visit. Some of the paths will require strong assistance.

BRERETON HEATH NATURE RESERVE

Tel: 01477 534115
Davenport Lane, Davenport, Congleton

The nature reserve has a variety of wildlife habitats each supporting a wealth of insect, animal and bird life. Follow the Brimstone Trail, an easy access trail through the woods and around the lake. Look out for sculptures along the way. Brereton Heath provides an ideal starting point for walks in the scenic Dane Valley or for leisurely cycling along country lanes. Guided walks and special events are organised.

BROCKHOLES

Just off Junction 31 of the M6.
Sat Navs PR5 0UJ and follow signs for Brockholes

Car parking charge

Brockholes is on the site of an old quarry and the environment has been created to provide habitat for lots of different wildlife. Hides, paths and viewing points have been built to allow you to get closer to wildlife without disturbing it. You can take a stroll by the River Ribble, explore the ancient woodland and amble around the lakes. Gravel Pit Trail 30 minutes walk, Meadow Lake Trail 1 hour walk, Reserve Trail 2 hour walk. Guided walks of the reserve are available throughout the year.

BROCK VALLEY

Information from Discovery Centre, Tel: 01995 602125.
On Brock Mill Lane between Claughton Village and Beacon Fell Country Park

Nature trail in the valley of the River Brock open all year round. The trail commences at Lower Brock Mill where a car park exists. The valley is rich in woodland and aquatic plants, in the life of the streams and in birds of woodland and river.

CHESHIRE LINES RAILWAY PATH

The path runs from Green Lane, Maghull and runs out to the Formby By-pass at Ainsdale. Links are being developed to the Liverpool Loop line path.

DEAN WOOD, UPHOLLAND

Tel: 01695 577177

Picturesque woodland trail in a valley of substantial geological interest. Car parking nearby.

ENTWISTLE CAR PARK, TURTON

Located in a beautiful wooded valley, which overlooks the Turton and Entwistle Reservoir.

FAIRY GLEN WOODLAND TRAIL

Information from Recreation Officer, District Council Tel: 01695 577177

Footpath in scenic woodland. A delightful wooded clough with waterfalls, stream, old quarry remnants and old glade.

FORMBY POINT

Telephone 01704 878591
Lifeboat Road, Formby and Victoria Road, Freshfield

Open: Dawn to Dusk every day
Admission: Car park charge for non National Trust Member

This is a National Trust Nature Reserve. Large area of beach, sand dunes and pine woods Stunning stretch of unspoilt coastline Long sandy beaches and attractive pine woods Spot one of the rare red squirrels feeding on pine cones Search for 5,000-year-old red deer footprints on the beach

GLASSON DOCK, LUNE ESTUARY

The trail lies on the eastern side of Glasson Dock and comprises two miles of easy walking. The scenery of the area is pleasant and varied and the trail provides an excellent lookout over the estuary for birdwatchers, and the waterways are very popular with boating enthusiasts and anglers. Car parking is available at the Conder Green picnic site or at Glasson Dock.

GREAT HARWOOD NATURE TRAIL

This is a nature trail through woodland scenery, and along a river gorge with views of Pendle Hill. Starts at All Springs Lodge where car parking is available.

HASKAYNE CUTTING, WEST LANCASHIRE

Information from Lancashire Wildlife Trust Tel: 01772 324129.

Haskayne Reserve is a disused railway cutting in West Lancashire. The entrance to the reserve is next to the old railway bridge on Station Road, Barton. A wide variety of habitats including areas of scrub, grassland, marsh and rock outcrops can be found. The cutting provides an important refuge for wildlife in this part of the County.

HEALEY DELL NATURE TRAIL

Tel: 01706 350459
Healey Corner, off Whitworth Road, Rochdale

Healey Dell, a local Nature Reserve, is a moorland clough of outstanding beauty, with its woodlands and waterfalls. The trail commences at the warden's hut some 3 km to the north west of Rochdale town centre. Open all year round.

HIK BIBI LOCAL NATURE RESERVE

Tel: 01257 515288

Developed in a derelict clay pit the site has been transformed into a haven for wildlife. The reserve, which is of regional importance, is rich in wildflowers, dragonflies, butterflies and is attractive to birds. There is a network of pathways with viewing and pond dipping areas. An ideal place for people and wildlife. Guided visits can be arranged.

HIGHTOWN DUNES

Tel: 0151 934 2962
Between Crosby and Formby

Car park situated by the coastguard station.

The Hightown Dunes and Meadows stretch from Hall Road coastguard station to the mouth of the River Alt 2 miles further north. The dunes are well used by local people and for a 150 acre site it is remarkably rich in wildlife. Within a small area there are sand dunes, a small saltmarsh, freshwater ponds, willlow and poplar scrub and wildflower meadows. These are complemented by the Alt estuary which is of international importance for wading birds. The Dunes are the last fragment of a much larger dune system which lay to the south of the River Alt, most of which is now covered in housing and docklands. The dunes are several hundred years old, but the most dramatic changes have occurred this century. The Alt gradually changed course, badly eroding the coastline in the process. Hightown boasts the best exposure of a 3-4,000 year old submerged forest on the Sefton Coast. On the beach, opposite Blundellsands Sailing Club, tree trunks and roots are clearly visible lying in a peaty layer. These deposits, containing pine, birch, oak and willow continue inland under the dunes.

HOPWOOD WOODS NATURE RESERVE

Tel: 01706 350459
Hopwood Hall College, Middleton Cam;us, Rochdale Road, Middleton

Hopwood Nature Reserve in Middleton provides a woodland haven for birds and other wildlife whilst the informal paths allow visitors to wander through the woods enjoying their peace and tranquillity.

IRWELL SCULPTURE TRAIL

The sculpture trail is one of the largest public art schemes in the UK with over 50 artists commissioned over 5 years. The trail follows a well established 30 mile footpath stretching from its source at Weir, Nr Bacup in the Pennine Moors to Salford Quays, Manchester. Sculptures are being created continually along the Trail with artists working and living locally to produce sculpture for the trail. You may be lucky enough to come across an artist working on site.

JUBILEE COLLIERY NATURE RESERVE

Tel: 01706 842212
Milnrow Road, Shaw, Oldham

The Jubilee Colliery, near Shaw, was closed in 1932 and has been reclaimed as a nature reserve. It is now a haven for wildlife within the Beal Valley

LYTHAM ST ANNES NATURE RESERVE

Information from Fylde Borough Council Tel: 01253 721222.
Located just south of Pontin's Holiday Camp

This site is rich in wildlife and includes some rare species. There is a small visitor information centre on the Clifton Drive North frontage. Do not miss the best surviving example of a sand dune habitat in Lancashire. The reserve is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This site will give you further details about the reserve and their fight to save it. Defend the Dunes

MERE SANDS WOOD, RUFFORD

Information from Visitor Centre 01695 821809.

The Lancashire Trust for Nature Conservation own this nature reserve. It encircles several lakes created by sand extraction. It now forms a rich variety of woodland and wetland habitats. The area is good for birds with several hides overlooking the lakes. There is a Visitor Centre, disabled access and car parking.

MOORE NATURE RESERVE

Take the A56 (Chester Road) from Warrington. At the Walton Arms turn right for Moor village. From Moore village, follow Moore Lane over the canal bridge to Lapwing Lane.

Situated between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey, Moore Nature Reserve comprises 200 acres of former farmland whose varied woodland, grassland and wetland habitats now provide a home for many different species of animals, birds and plants. A network of footpaths provides access for the public to enjoy quiet recreational activities within the reserve and offers attractive walks through a varied landscape. Bird hides overlooking the Wildfowl Lake and the Alder Woodlands provide contrasting views of wetland and woodland life.

NICKY NOOK & GRIZEDALE VALLEY

A lovely walking area along the river valley with beautiful views of Wyre the Lake District and Morecambe Bay.

PLEASINGTON OLD HALL WOOD NATURE RESERVE

Located just off Preston Old Road on the way to Blackburn.

Comprising a wooded valley and a walled garden, together with a butterfly garden, which has access for buggies.

PRESTON JUNCTION NATURE RESERVE

The former Walton Junction - Preston railway line that now provides a haven for wildlife, has been developed as a footpath, cycle and bridle route. It links the town's Avenham Park and the old tramline to give a number of local walks between Preston and Bamber Bridge.

RIVERSWAY, PRESTON DOCKLANDS

The trail follows the north bank of the River Ribble from the Strand Road/Portway intersection to the west of the dock basin. Various wildflowers have colonised the area and birds may be seen on the river. A free leaflet describing the flowers, birds and some features of the docklands is available from Preston Borough Council, Town Hall, Preston - Tel: 01772 253731. Please send SAE.

RED ROSE FOREST

Tel: 0161 872 1660
Community Forest Centre, Dock Office, Trafford Road, Salford Quays, Manchester

Guided walks, nature trails, wild flower rambles, woodland treks.

RISLEY MOSS LOCAL NATURE RESERVE

From junction 11 of M62 follow the A574 (Birchwood Way). Turn left onto Moss Gate, and straight on at the next two roundabouts. Risley Moss is immediately after the second roundabout.

A site of special scientific interest and a local nature reserve, Risley Moss is a special place - one of few remaining mosslands in Cheshire and the United Kingdom. Whatever the time of year there is always something different to see and do. Pathways suitable for prams and wheelchairs wind through woodland and meadows. Climb the Observation Tower for a panoramic view of the mossland or wildlife watch from the Woodland Hide.

RIXTON CLAYPITS LOCAL NATURE RESERVE

Follow Manchester Road (A57) out of Woolston. Pass the two M6 roundabouts and travel a further mile. About 300 yards past the garden centre turn left into Moat Lane, alongside the transport cafe. The Ranger Cabin is 100 yards on the right.

Once a clay extraction site, Rixton Claypits is now a site of special interest and a local nature reserve. The Claypits include a diverse range of habitats where both the keen naturalist and the casual visitor will find things of interest. Easy to follow paths will take you to pits, ponds, wildflower meadows, quiet corners, through woodland and glade. The wide range of habitats found at the Claypits results in a large diversity of plants and animals all finding particular niches for their individual needs.

RIVERSWAY, PRESTON DOCKLANDS

The trail follows the north bank of the River Ribble from Strand Road/Portway intersection to the west of the dock basin. Various wildflowers have colonised the area and birds may be seen on the river. There is a free leaflet available from Preston Borough Council.

RODDLESWORTH NATURE TRAIL, TOCKHOLES, BLACKBURN

Information from: Information Centre 01254 704502.

This trail starts opposite the Royal Arms Hotel where parking is also available. There are also some historical sites to be seen on the trail.

SALTHILL QUARRY GEOLOGY TRAIL AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TRAIL

Tel: 01200 442226
Clitheroe
Situated to the north east of Clitheroe

This trail has been constructed around a former disused limestone quarry on the outskirts of Clitheroe. It is recommended that for a full appreciation of the site a visit should first be made to the Clitheroe Castle museum which has a comprehensive display of local geology and can provide leaflets. A wildlife conservation trail is also incorporated.

SPRING WOOD, WHALLEY

Situated just off the main A671

The trail is through attractive mature mixed woodland, which is particularly noted for its carpet of bluebells in spring. There are parking and picnic sites provided.

STANLEY BANK MEADOW

Tel: 01744 67772

7 mile linear park running from Carr Mill Dam to Newton-le-Willows, just one of 25 parks in the borough, houses a visitor centre and Stanley Bank nature reserve, plus many footpaths and cycleways. It is identified as a site of special scientific interest.

SUNNYHURST WOOD

Tel: 01254 701545
Darwen

Pleasant woodland walks commencing at the Visitor Centre

TOWNELEY PARK

Burnley

A pleasant woodland trail has been provided within Towneley Park and is available during normal park opening hours.

TOWNLEY COKE OVENS

The old coke ovens at Towneley are a Grade II Listed Building and are the only visible remains of the former colliery and brickworks situated near to Towneley Park. The ovens are thought to date back to the 1850's and appear to have consisted of approximately fourteen circular ovens in two rows. Each oven had a diameter of about 3.3 metres and a height of about 2.5 metres and was built of a single skin of bricks. One of the ovens has been restored for viewing. The site, once a busy industrial area, now consists primarily of areas of agricultural land enclosed by woodland. There is also a viewpoint and a stream runs across the northern part of the site and into the small reservoir pool which was excavated as part of the reclamation scheme. The site is easily accessible and is crossed by several footpaths including a public right of way. The access track around the perimeter of the site has been upgraded to provide access for horseriders, walkers and wheelchair users. There are footpath links to Towneley Park.

WITCH WOOD, LYTHAM

Information Centre Tel: 01253 794405.

This trail starts near Lytham Station.

WITHNELL NATURE RESERVE

Experience the peace and quiet of a very special environment where wildflower meadows combine with heather and elder to provide a unique habitat for flora and fauna on this mile long nature trail linking the villages of Withnell and Abbey Village.

WITTON COUNTRY PARK, BLACKBURN

Information Centre 01254 681120.

The trail begins on Buncer Lane, opposite St Mark's Church and passes through both man-made and natural surroundings and introduces different types of scenery, features of local history as well as some of the many plants, birds and animals. There is also a tree trail, which can be followed. Open all year round.

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