Lancashire Wildlife Trust – Aughton Woods

After a walk through Aughton Woods your muscles will tell you that you have had some excellent exercise. Hopefully the dog will be feeling the same way and take to his basket for the evening. It is the steep, woodland slopes that make this nature reserve so appealing. It also exists in some lovely countryside close to the Crook o’ Lune in North Lancashire. Spring is a wonderful time to visit Aughton Woods much of this ancient woodland is carpeted by bluebells. It is a truly inspiring sight just begging for a poet to come along and capture it in words. Visitors enjoy the peace and solitude of its remote location.

The ancient semi-natural woodland has retained at least 30 examples of abandoned charcoal hearths, circular platforms levelled out of the hillside. There are many examples of multi-stemmed trees grown up from the stools last coppiced 70-100 years ago to provide wood for charcoal and bark for tanning leather. The wood is particularly noted for its small-leaved lime in the ravines and along the western and southern edges of the wood. Cole Wood and a small adjacent area of Shire Oaks Wood was felled in the mid 60s and contains a good deal of birch, a primary coloniser of cleared woodland. Sessile oak dominates the section between the ravines of Shire Oaks Wood.

From a distance the stand of ash on the northern edge is distinctive as it is often the last to come into leaf and the first to shed. You will also be able to see the Douglas firs poking through the canopy. The ground flora includes primrose, opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage, wood speedwell, foxglove and ferns. Wood rescue, a national rarity, is confined to the damp ravines. The fronds of soft shield fern can be seen with their distinctive asymmetrical pinnae which have needle-like points.

Woodpeckers, treecreeper, chiffchaff, chaffinch, and five species of tit may be seen in the reserve. Pied flycatchers breed regularly and nuthatches and wood warblers have been recorded. You may hear the strange call of the woodcock in the evening. Oystercatchers and common sandpipers are obvious around the River Lune from late February to August.

You can find this fantastic location also on the Bauwow App under the section “my areas” and writing in the search bar the post code LA2 6PQ. Click on “direction to here” to see how to get there. Set up walkies dates with your pack members by clicking on the clock icon on the top right corner and let your friends know when you will be there!

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Owned by Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Copy by Alan Wright

Email rneville@lancswt.org.uk

Phone 01772 324129

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