Close to the town centre, Foxhill Bank is 1/2 mile south-west of Church and Oswaldtwistle railway station in the valley of Tinker Brook, a tributary of the River Hyndburn. From the main road, Union Road, turn down Mill Hill opposite the cenotaph, past the fire station and follow the road downhill to the small car park by the reserve entrance. There is a train service to Church and Oswaldtwistle station and a bus service from Accrington and Blackburn.
No permit is needed and you can visit any time of year. Recent work has created wheelchair access. Please keep dogs on a lead.
The 3.24 ha site is owned by Hyndburn Borough Council and leased to the Trust.
Hidden away in a shallow valley in the heart of Oswaldtwistle, Foxhill Bank Nature Reserve is historically linked to local industry as well as providing an excellent urban site for wildlife. The value of this reserve is its mixture of habitats in such a small area. The lodges were originally constructed for storing water for the dyeing and printing of fabrics at the works owned by the Brewer family next to Tinker Brook.
Having fallen into disuse and ruin, some major work was needed to convert the lodges from concrete-sided reservoirs into their present-day form. Vegetation has since colonised the lodges producing a mosaic of open water, Reedmace, Soft, Hard and Jointed Rush and newly planted Common Reed. This, along with the undisturbed scrub and bramble, provides seclusion for Coots, Moorhens, Mallard and many warblers. The banks of the brook provide an ideal habitat for mosses, lichens and liverworts where they thrive on the shaded, moist conditions. Broad Buckler and Male Ferns can be seen emerging from the cracks in the stone.
The woodland (a small area of Sycamore and Ash between the Brook and Foxhill Bank Lodge), dense scrub and wetland communities provide good cover, food and breeding facilities for a variety of birds including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskin, Reed Bunting and Blackcap. The marginal vegetation in the lodges provides cover for various warblers, waterfowl and dragonflies. Damselflies, once called 'devil's darning needles'; can often be seen hovering in the lodge vegetation and there is an abundance of Pond Skaters. The lodges create a good habitat for Common Frogs, Common Toads and Smooth Newts. In winter you may see a Heron which is an occasional visitor.