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Aughton Woods

Enjoy the peace and solitude of a wood in a remote location

Due to damage following the flooding and heavy rain in recent weeks, there is currently no access along the bottom of the wood on the Lune Valley Ramble path. There is also no access up from the eastern end of the wood and along the concessionary path through the wood. Access to the reserve is currently limited to a circular loop through Lawson' Meadow and back along the public footpath towards the Crook of Lune.

The Aughton Woods enjoy the peace and solitude of a wood in a remote location. Spring is a colourful time to visit when the Bluebells form a carpet across the woodland floor. 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 which have 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 which has survived 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 where the soil is more acid, with Elm, Ash and Lime occurring in the ravines. From a distance the stand of Ash on the northern edge is distinctive especially 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 many ferns. Wood Fescue, which is a national rarity, is confined to the damp ravines. The fronds of Soft Shield Fern, a southern fern, can be seen with their distinctive asymmetrical pinnae which have needle-like points. Woodpeckers, Treecreeper, Chiffchaff, Chaffinches, 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 very obvious around the River Lune from late February to August. In 2002, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trust purchased the meadow above Lawson's Wood.



Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Over Kellet Pond
2 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Warton Crag
5 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Freeman's Pools
6 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

5 miles north east of Lancaster, between Aughton and Caton
Map reference
SD 543 663
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Opening Times
Open at all times
33.00 hectares

Only Trust Members can use the access paths to Cole Wood and Shire Oak Woods; however there is public access through the entrance at the southern boundary. The two additional entrances over stiles into Cole Wood and Shire Oak Woods are by permit holders only.
Car park at Crook O'Lune
Reserve manager
Reuben Neville
Tel: 01772 324129