The Mersey Forest team: 01925 816217
The Upper Mersey Valley Forest Park stretches all the way from Warrington to the iconic Runcorn-Widnes Bridge, and beyond to Pickering's Pasture, a nature reserve at Hale Bank. In addition to this there are two other nature reserves, Moore and Wigg Island. All of these, along with most of the rest of the land beside the estuary, are exceptional locations for waders and wildfowl as well as migratory and nesting birds. In conjunction with other sites along the Mersey Estuary this is one of the most important bird watching areas in the Northwest. Despite this, however, the area could also be described as the Northwest's best kept ornithological secret. Almost 130 different species have been sighted in the Forest Park in recent years, including bitterns, a black kite and an osprey. It's not only birders though who will enjoy what the area has to offer. There are many excellent locations for walking, cycling and riding. The highlights are probably Daresbury Firs, half of which is a conifer plantation, the other half a mature deciduous woodlands, and Moore Nature Reserve. The Trans Pennine Trail and the Mersey Valley Timberland Trail both pass through the Park.
Parking can be found at Pickering's Pasture, Wigg Island and Moore Nature Reserve, visitor centres at Pickering's Pasture, Spike Island and Wigg Island, and toilets at Pickering's Pasture and Spike Island.