Forest of Bowland wildlife hot spots
Visitor´ Centre with bird feeding station through one way glass, woodland and reservoir walks
Three large Reservoirs rich in birdlife, also woodland and moorland walks, visitor centre
Small broadleaved and mixed woodlands, bluebells spring.
Main habitats are woodland/scrub, a pond and acidic grassland bird watching hide and a pond dipping platform.
Wetland nature reserve Visitor centre with parking disabled facilities and tapes for partially sighted available. Check opening times before visiting.
Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve(NNR)is the most important site in the UK for wintering wildfowl. The Reserve occupies over half of the Ribble estuary, including extensive areas of mud and sand flats and is one of the largest saltmarsh habitats in England. Several access points see PDF leaflet for details
The LNR is a narrow strip of mixed woodland with streams running through northwest to southeast. In the northwest corner, a Victorian walled garden was redesigned as a wildlife garden in the late 1980s. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site)
Sand dunes. Parking,footpaths. Isle of Man cabbage and the Dune Helleborine. Info centre.
An interpretive centre which explains why the Ribble Estuary and the Fylde peninsula are so important to birds and other wildlife. Situated at Fairhaven Lake a man made lake that has attracted some rarities in the past. Also easy access to dunes. Lots of parking
Web site: RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre
This new saltmarsh reserve is a great place to admire the gathered pink-footed geese, wigeons, teals and other wildfowl in winter, along with big flocks of wading birds like golden plovers, lapwings and black-tailed godwits. In spring displaying waders, including avocets and lapwings.
Web site: Hesketh Out Marsh
A semi-natural woodland and contains two ponds.
Hidden away in a shallow valley in the heart of Oswaldtwistle, Foxhill Bank LNR is historically linked to past industry involving a Calico Print Works, as well as providing an excellent urban site for wildlife and people. The LNR boasts young and mature woodland,scrub, two lodges, Tinker Brook and grassland. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site)
Natural escarpment overlooking the flood plain of the River Ribble, Adjacent to the Ribble Way and cycle routes the reserve covers an area of approximately 24 ha.
Artificial Rock Pools. Parking close by on Blackpool promnade. Lytham St Annes Local Nature Reserve parking at North Beach Car Park paths criss-cross the site bio-diverse wet dune slacks and dune grassland.
Brockholes is a new nature reserve, with the UKs first floating Visitor Village and is home to a diverse range of breeding and wintering species, and is already one of the finest sites for bird watching in the North West. The variety of birdlife includes Lapwing, Sand Martin and Kingfisher, together with more vulnerable species such as Whimbrel, Skylark and Reed Bunting. The site is also home to badgers, bats, dragonflies and damselflies.
A pond and surrounding habitat in the grounds of Towneley Park supporting frogs, toads and newts, dragonflies and damselflies. The pond is fringed by a good example of marginal vegetation which includes Bulrush, Water Horsetail & Reed Canary-grass together with forget-me-not, Brooklime, Yellow Flag & Water Mint. A variety of trees & shrubs are also present.
A diverse site comprising two lodges one of which is used for angling, swamp and marsh vegetation, riverside habitats, plantations, wet willow woodland, scrub, tall herb and grassland areas and a hay meadow. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site)
Sycamore and wych elm dominate the remaining woodland. Although it has suffered from Dutch Elm Disease, the elm is regenerating well. Ash, oak, gean (wild cherry), hazel and holly are also present. Spring is the best time to visit. Bluebells and lesser celandine, with ferns and wood avens emerging during the summer. Towards the bottom of the slope, in marshy areas crossed by boardwalks, are yellow iris, marsh marigold and meadowsweet.
Open water, reed beds, grassland,woodland and scrub. Footpaths. Bird watching hides. Dragonflies, butterflies, bats and orchids.
A small wildlife reserve created by United Utilities and the RSPB?s Bowland Wader Project on the footprint of an old reservoir.
Semi-natural ancient woodlland. Bluebells and wild garlic in spring.
Wooded valley. Moorland. Owls, bats, frogs in spring. Dippers and kingfishers.
Mere with good duck population and Grey Herons nesting
Mudflats and banks are a feeding area and nocturnal roost for waders and wildfowl. Also saltmarshes. Large public car park.
General beachcoming and seabird observation. Free car parking nearby.
Parking, toilets, visitor centre. Mudflats, reedbeds. Butterflies.
Ungrazed salt marsh. Overwintering waders.
Three lagoons freshwater, and brackish. The site supports a rich collection of wildflowers and UK BAP priority habitats.
Provides year round interest access from the promenade or follow footpath along the edge of Fleetwood Golf Course. Note - golf course is private. Parking is available at car parks, opposite Rossall Hospital, north end of Fleetwood Golf Course and Marine Hall, Fleetwood.
Lane Ends Picnic Area Car Park at the edge of the marsh overlooking Morecambe Bay and the Lune Estuary, supports one of the biggest trans-migrant and overwintering populations of wading birds in Britain. Has been designated a Ramsar wetlands site and also a (SSSI).
Lowland Bog. No public access to the site but has a public footpath running along one side. Parking dificult.
Estuarine, salt marsh, farmland
Saltmarsh for waders, views across Morecambe Bay
Sunderland Point and the adjacent Middleton Sands (SSSI) are together one of the richest bird watching areas in the North of England. Given the right timing and state of the tides, a spectacle of up to 50000 birds can be almost guaranteed. Also close by Sunderland Marsh (SSSI). Parking available. NOTE at high tide the road in and out is flooded.
Web site: Sunderland Point
Estuary of the River Lune where many interesting and contrasting birds and plant species may be seen
Heysham Nature Reserve consists of a wide variety of habitats including open water, reedbed, marsh, Gorse and Hawthorn scrub, acid and neutral grasslands, heath and tree and shrub plantations. The variety of habitats has produced a great variety of flowering plants: 215 species recorded including Bee Orchid and Yellow-wort. These in turn produce the number and variety of butterflies and day-flying moths which are such a feature of the reserve in summer. The 21 species of butterflies include some local or uncommon ones such as Small Skipper, Grayling and Small Copper. Butterfly numbers - especially Common Blue - can be spectacular. Over 200 species of moths have been recorded. The reserve is also important for its dragonflies and damselflies.
Consists of a variety of habitats including areas of woodland and scrub, wet grassland and most importantly the central area of raised bog. The Reserve is the second best example of a cut-over raised bog in the county after Winmarleigh Moss. While the core area is relatively unmodified, the periphery has been affected by past peat cutting and drainage. The reserve is of considerable botanical interest with the central part of the bog still supporting a number of characteristic bog species, including Round Leaved Sundew, Bog Myrtle, Bog Rosemary, Bog Asphodel and the locally rare White Beaked Sedge. The site also holds a number of important mosses and liverworts.
Mosaic of interconnected pools, ponds and other wetland habitats supporting breeding birds, wintering waders and wildfowl, otter and a range of wetland and grassland invertebrates. Created after the digging of borrow pits for the Lower Lune flood alleviation scheme.Supports breeding birds such as sedge warbler and reed bunting, oystercatcher and little ringed plover, wintering waders including snipe and Jack snipe, and wildfowl including teal and shoveler, goldeneye and gadwall. Wintering smew have also been recorded on the reserve, as well as passage migrants such as black-tailed godwit and green sandpiper.
Web site: Aldcliffe and Freemans Pools
Extremely rich and varied ground flora. Grass Wood is a good place to see birds such as nuthatch, treecreeper, blue, coal and marsh tits, woodcock, a variety of warbler and great spotted woodpecker.
Riverside birds. Upland river, pasture and woodland.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
Birds, saltmarsh and sandflats, Nature trails, hides.
0.5ha. Wetland with boardwalk and interpretation board.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
Nationally important area of limestone habitat including grassland, woodland and limestone pavement, supporting some of Britains rarest butterflies, including Peal Bordered Fritillary and High Brown Fritillary, as well as an array of other rare invertebrates and plants.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
Largest remaining reedbed in north-west England. Bitterns, Egrets, Marsh Harriers, overwintering wildfowl.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
Limestone pavement and the limestone grassland ? may be seen, along with a remarkable variety of ferns and flowering plants.
Disused limestone quarry. Limestone grassland, scrub and woodland. Many interesting plants. Orchids. Parking.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
High Brown Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy butterflies. Orchids. Limestone pavement.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
Yew, Lancastrian whitebeam, hart?s tongue fern, red wood ant.
Silverdale and Arnside AONB
Once a large freshwater lake this unusual wetland habitat. Between the tussocks of bog rush and purple moor-grass a number of rare species can be found. A speciality of the site is the delicate bird?s-eye primrose which flowers in May. Wild columbine, early and northern marsh orchid, grass of Parnassus and fragrant orchid also grow on the open mire area.
One of the best remaining examples of a raised mire in south Cumbria. The nature reserve is very rich in invertebrate life. Over 200 species of butterfly and moth have been recorded.
Hutton Roof Crags contains some of the best areas of limestone pavement in Britain, which harbour a wealth of unusual plants and animals. Pavement occurs in a mosaic with woodland, scrub, grassland and heath.
Foulshaw Moss raised mire red deer frequent the moss and in summer common lizards can be seen. Adder and slow worm may occasionally be encountered. Breeding birds include tree pipit, reed bunting, snipe and barn owl.
Ingleborough NNR is renowned for the wildlife and geology of its limestone pavements and other limestone features.
The reserve consists of 147 hectares and is one of the best places to see a natural lime-rich lake (the tarn), blanket bog, fen, willow carr and purple moor-grass and rush pasture.
Malham Cove, Watlows and Gordale Scar. Classic examples of Limestone Karst geology and associated wildlife. The Cove is also noted for its peregrine falcons.
Coastal reserve, visitor centre, hides and a viewing platform. Avocets and other waterfowl.
Web site: Marshside
The Preston Junction Local Nature Reserve is a former railway line, rich in wild flowers and butterflies, attractive to birds and providing habitats for mammals. In addition it is an important link interconnecting the different wildlife habitats of the area.
Healey Dell is one of the most important clough woodlands in the area, situated along the steep-sided valley of the River Spodden. Other habitats include heathland, grassland and scrub along the river, former mill lodges and part of the disused Rochdale to Bacup railway line. There is a Friends of group. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site in Lancashire, Site of Biological Importance in Manchester)
Mere Sands Wood is a wildlife-rich haven in the heart of agricultural west Lancashire. The reserve covers 42 hectares (105 acres) and is made up of lakes, mature broadleaved and conifer woodland, sandy, wet meadows and heaths. The management of the reserve is designed not only to encourage wildlife, but also to provide facilities for people to visit and enjoy seeing the wildlife. The site is nationally important for wildfowl and dragonflies, as well as its geology.
Mill lodges and water courses nature trails visitor centre.
An outstanding mosaic of woodland, wetland and grassland, rich in wildlife. The complex drainage of the site is not well understood but the resultant ground water seepages produce patches of flush-mire, supporting yellow iris, common spotted orchid, bog asphodel and sneezewort; and areas of alder and willow carr, supporting great horsetail, marsh marigold, and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage. Sessile oak woodland dominates the drier slopes. Acid grassland on the steeper slopes supports heath bedstraw and tormentil.
Birds, wetland and visitor attractions. Entrance fee for non-members.
Web site: Martin Mere
Way-marked paths through dunes, beach and woodland habitats.
Reservoirs and woodland Parkland. Close by is Rivington Country Park and moorland.
Classic coastal succession, with intertidal sand flats and embryo dunes grading into mobile yellow dunes, then fixed vegetated dunes with wet dune slacks. As well as these habitats the reserve also includes areas of flower-rich grassland, dune pasture and mixed woodland.
35ha mixture of lowland dune heath, acidic grassland, woodland and scrub. The single largest lowland heath site in Lancashire. 17ha of dune heath comprise 9% of the national total of this very rare habitat. Heather, Sand Sedge, Wavy Hair-grass and Sheeps Fescue are the dominant vegetation but a number of other specialist plants occur, including Heath Grass, Heath Rush, Birds-foot, Heath Bedstraw and Narrow Buckler-fern. 250 plant species recorded. Gorse forms an integral part of the heathland landscape; willow scrub is scattered throughout. Woodland predominantly birch and pine. The ancient Wham Dyke drains the site, flowing inland into Downholland Brook.
Ponds, wetlands, meadows and woodlands. Limited opening hours.
Web site: Gorse Hill Nature Reserve
Alkincoates Woodland is largely a relatively recent broadleaved plantation but there is a mature stand of Beech trees alongside Red Lane on the northern boundary. A variety of trees and shrubs have been planted and small ponds, wetland areas and wildflower-rich rides provide a variety of habitats for insects, mammals and birds.
A mosaic of habitats including ponds & swamp, trees & scrub, species-rich grassland & riverside banking, on the site of a former sewage works. A timber building with a turf roof & a bird hide has been constructed but is only open by prior arrangement c/o Pendle ommunity High School, Oxford Road, Nelson. Surprisingly for such a small site, a Bittern roosted in the swamp in winter 1997. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site)
A wildlife corridor associated with Knuzden Brook and supports a range of habitats including hedges, broadleaved plantations, tall and short grassland areas, patches of heather and three ponds, which have developed into a significant wildlife area. The Wildlife Trust has worked with the local community to improve the area and encourage use by local schools.
The River Darwen Parkway is a large open space within an urban setting, rich in industrial history and now a haven for wildlife with a mosaic of habitats including woodland, scrub, heath, and grassland with ponds and marshes. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site in Lancashire)
Situated on the slopes and floodplain of Colne Water. A mill leat and pond are surviving features from its past industrial use in supplying water to a large cotton mill downstream. Today the site supports woodland & scrub, grassland, wetland and tall ruderal vegetation. A sewage treatment works on the other side of the river attracts a variety of birds, which also visit the LNR or can be seen from the site.
Quarry Hill was landscaped in 1989 following its use as a quarry up to the 1950s and then a landfill site from 1962-82. Over 6,000 trees and shrubs were planted. The nature reserve now supports a range of habitats including woodland and scrub, wildflower meadows, mown grassland, the top of a quarry face, ditches and marshy areas.
Sunnyhurst Woods support mature broadleaved woodland and patches of coniferous woodland together with specimen trees, wet woodland, acidic grassland and streamside habitats in a steep clough on both sides of Sunnyhurst Brook. Much of the woodland is ancient semi-natural and it is one of the most accessible ancient woodlands in Lancashire. County Wildlife Site (Biological Heritage Site in Lancashire)
A deep narrow wooded clough typical of those found on the West Pennine Moors. Dean Wood is an impressive site; this deep, narrow, wooded clough is typical of those found on the West Pennine Moors. has an unusually rich variety of flora for the West Pennines area perhaps because it has experienced relatively little disturbance for many decades. 69 species of bird have been recorded on site many of which are known to breed in the wood.
Seasonal open water, marsh, acid and calcareous grassland (a rare combination in this part of Lancashire) scrub and Keuper sandstone outcrops are all found on this reserve. More than 172 vascular plants have been recorded in the cutting with four different species of marsh orchid in the northern-most section and numerous mosses, liverworts and ferns contribute to the attraction for visiting humans and wildlife. All year round damp conditions are ideal for alder, with grey and goat willow dominating the rest of the site. Silver and downy birch, hawthorn and elder grow in the drier sections.
This brownfield nature reserve occupies a former industrial site that fell into disuse around 40 years ago. Since then, the footprints of old industrial structures and the surrounding land have developed a valuable mosaic of ponds and associated wetland habitats, scrub, fen and grassland. The ponds support a regionally important assemblage of dragonfly species, including red veined darter, black-tailed skimmer and emperor, as well as a large population of great crested newt.