Satnavbirder Moore Nature Reserve


This page contains 7 reader comments. Click here to view (latest Sat 19/12/09 06:17).

Just off the A56 Warrington to Runcorn road and running alongside the Manchester Ship Canal is a little village called Moore. In 1991, on the outskirts of the village, a 200-acre nature reserve was created between the Ship Canal and the River Mersey. Moore Nature Reserve was at one time farmland and later a sand quarry.

There are five lakes on the site, and eight birdwatching hides all linked together by a series of paths. These can be a little confusing as there is no reserve information centre on site, so I strongly recommend that you download a reserve map.

The reserve is open to the public 365 days of the year and there are no entrance fees or group to join. The site is managed by a group of wardens for the company called Waste Recycling Group who seem to work very closely with local and national government bodies; they even have a link to Greenpeace on their website!

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Moore NR, Cheshire (Photo: Jason Atkinson)

When I visited this reserve I unfortunately did not download a site map and had to ask for direction as I walked round; luckily there were lots of people on the reserve due to the recent sightings of a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. I had, however, also recently spoken to a lot of local birdwatchers that I had met at various other reserves; all had recommended this place and had told me that there was still one pair of Bitterns showing in the eastern reedbeds.

Bittern, Moore NR, Cheshire (Photo: Steve Oakes, AEBS Limited)

I entered the reserve from the Moore Lane entrance and followed the track down towards the feeding station area. Halfway down this track is a hide overlooking Lapwing Lake. I must say that the early-morning view across the lake was really spectacular as the mist was rising of the water and slowly wildlife was appearing.

Arriving at the feeding station area was a little disappointing as there were plenty of feeders but no feed, and it looked like there had been no feed for a while.

Tawny Owl
Tawny Owl, Moore NR, Cheshire (Photo: Steve Oakes, AEBS Limited)

I set off following a path to an area where I had been told a resident Tawny Owl nested and was often seen perched amongst the ivy creeping up two old oak trees. Finding the trees was the easy part; spotting the owl was the hard bit, especially as one regular visitor who passed by told me that he had not seen it for about three weeks.

Following the pathways led me to another hide overlooking a lake called Birchwood Pool. I spent a little time here and was lucky enough to photograph a Little Grebe close up in the margins until some Canada Geese decided they wanted in on the act and scared it away.

Little Grebe
Little Grebe, Moore NR, Cheshire (Photo: Terry Gunby)

I then made my way to the Pump House Pool and here watched a Great Crested Grebe catch fish in the shallows. From this hide I could see a pair of Oystercatchers on the other side of the lake flicking through the mud at the water's edge.

Finally I arrived at the eastern reedbeds and must say that the hide here is spectacular and had been well thought out, giving you views out of both sides of the lake. Unfortunately the Bitterns (like the owl) didn't perform. The Bitterns are resident here over the winter period which is fantastic; I did meet some nice people who gave me a list of other places to visit in the northwest of England.

Personally I think this could be a fantastic reserve and well worth a visit but it does need a little more thinking about on the side of the management. A new free car park has just been completed.


Moore Nature Reserve
Arpley Landfill Site
Forrest Way
Sankey Bridges
Warrington, WA4 6YZ
Tel: 01925 444689, Fax: 01925 658574

Grid reference: SJ5785


Open all day, 365 days a year

Useful links

BirdGuides site page (Bird News Extra subscribers only)
BBC News "in pictures"

If you are interested in visiting the northwest of England and would like to be guided please contact me. Satnavbirder@yahoo.co.uk

Related pages

Cheshire Cheshire

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The information in this article was believed correct at the time of writing. BirdGuides accepts no responsibility for errors, or for any consequences of acting on information in the article. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily shared by BirdGuides Ltd.

hide section Reader comments (7)

Moore Nature Reserve is a terrific site and I would heartily recommend it for year listers in the North West on new years day due to the diversity and relative scarcity value of different species available. You do need a bit of local knowledge though as it is a wide ranging site where the individual species can be confined to a very specific area. Good for: Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Barn Owl, Bittern, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Caspian Gull, Willow Tit, Bullfinch, Treecreeper
   Alan Coleman, 15/12/09 18:14Report inappropriate post Report 
For Lesser Spot's I'd recommend a spring visit when they are more vocal and the the trees leaf-less. Gull fans will enjoy hours of fun checking through the ever changing poulation from the neaby landfill. Recommended...
   Rob Smallwood, 16/12/09 23:18Report inappropriate post Report 
Sounds a good day out, when we are visiting relatives in the NW we will certainly give it a look. Good article.
   Chris Baines, 18/12/09 10:32Report inappropriate post Report 
I'm not sure this article makes enough of the Gull potential with the tip nearby - although it is now difficult to get to. They do however bathe in the pool & many can be seen well from there. However my main gripe with all these articles is that no sketch map of the area is included nor indeed map of access & exactly where to park. The Wigan Flashes posting is an example of this - I must have been c20times & have yet to work out access from the NE! ATB
   Mike Robinson, 18/12/09 11:03Report inappropriate post Report 
Try this: http://www.wrg.co.uk/moorenaturereserve/reserve-map-complete.asp and this: http://www.wrg.co.uk/moorenaturereserve/location-map.asp
   Rob Smallwood, 18/12/09 12:32Report inappropriate post Report 
Thanks Rob -great. I wish all these reports had diagrams like those - partic Wigan Flashes.
   Mike Robinson, 18/12/09 13:59Report inappropriate post Report 
Hi Mike, Regarding A. Wigan Flashes If you click on the blue bit of writing saying "Wigan Flashes" in the 1st paragraph it will take you to a website with a map. Regarding B. Moore nature reserve If you again click on the blue writing saying " download reserve map all the info you require is there. I do try and include links to maps of the areas but not sketches as there is often not enough space. I am also always at the end of a telephone should you require a little bit more info. Neill
   Neill Carden, 19/12/09 06:17Report inappropriate post Report 

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