The Sanctuary is Knowsley Village's largest community woodland at over 15 ha, planted on a strip of land between the busy M57 and Knowsley Lane.
Created mostly on former agricultural land, it is a young broadleaf woodland planted in the 1990s through a major Mersey Forest woodland creation initiative. The woodland frames extensive meadowland habitat that was once used for growing wildflowers for seed harvesting – so it's a great place to spot wildflowers including orchids.
There are two areas of mature woodland within the site, both remnants of the former country estates of Croxteth Hall and Knowsley Hall. To the north, Little Wood Lodge was a part of the larger Little Wood until the motorway sliced the woodland in half. This woodland surrounded the private coach road between the Knowsley Hall and Croxteth Hall estates. You can still see 'Little Wood Lodge', a former estate building, at the eastern end of this area of mature woodland.
Admiral's Belt is the second area of mature woodland and lies in the southern part of the site. It is a remnant of a longer belt of woodland stretching south that was lost in the construction of the M57.
A walking route runs north-south through the site with entrances from Fluker's Brook Lane, Knowsley Lane and Croxteth Lane. The Sanctuary also has great links with walking routes and the wider network of community woodlands around Knowsley and Stockbridge Villages.