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Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve

Salthill Quarry is designated an SSSI by virtue of its geological formations.

Salthill Quarry is designated a SSSI by virtue of its geological formations. It also has great botanical interest as it displays a mixture of vegetation from the earliest stages of soil development on limestone, from limestone grassland, which is rare in Lancashire, through to woodland.

Follow the Geology Trail round the site. This is a circular walk which takes you to the best 10 featured places around the reserve. At each place there is a numbered post which links in with a leaflet for the site available from Tourist Information. Alternatively you can use an ipad or Smart Phone to scan the QR codes on each of the posts to get an alternative set of information. Yet another option is to open this link.

Bee Orchid, Carline Thistle and Milkwort can be seen growing on the thin soils below Post 6 in June. You can see Autumn Gentian (or Felwort) flowering later in the year in August and September. On the more established soils near Post 2 you will be able to see Cowslips in the spring. The summer sees a colourful display of plants such as Bird's-foot-trefoil, Wild Strawberry, Common Knapweed, Lady's Bedstraw, Scabious and Agrimony. You may also see the delicate blue flowers of Harebell growing on the shallower soils and edges of exposed rocks.

The meadow above Post 5 is at its best in July when it is dominated by the purple flowers of Betony, augmented by Meadow Sweet and the yellow Rough Hawkbit.

Grassland is not the only habitat you can see on the reserve. Ash and Hawthorn trees dominate the woodland. At the edge of the wood and invading the grassland are numerous wild roses; Dog-rose, Field-rose and Sweet-briar. Robin's Pin-cushion Galls caused by a Gall Wasp on wild rose are most apparent in September.

Among the butterflies, unmistakable is the Common Blue, which is usually seen flying on hot summer days, Orange Tip is also a regular occurrence in early summer. Other insects to look out for in are Common Green and Field Grasshoppers and the distinctive red and black Six-spot Burnet Moth.

If you are keen to see birds you can easily recognise Blue Tits and Great Tits, but there are also Goldfinches and Bullfinches. The summer migrants can include Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff and the occasional Lesser Whitethroat.

Fossilized rocks are abundant in several areas of the reserve. The fossilised tubes that look like stacks of polo mints are parts of Crinoids (sea lillies) and are understood to be 340 million years old. Those lying loose on the ground may be collected but hammering rock faces or removing large pieces of rock is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN without written permission from the Trust.

With a view across to Pendle Hill, a special stone seat has been installed on the site just next to Post 6. The 'Crinoid Seat' was designed by Fiona Bowley and includes her carved panels depicting the crinoids as they would have lived under the sea. The actual construction of the seat is the work of local craftsman, Jon Fenton. 


Salthill Quarry is one of our reserves that allows well-behaved dogs on leads. Our dog-friendly reserves are featured on Bauwow, a brilliant app where pooch lovers can find great places for their pets. Click on the Bauwow logo for more details.



Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Cross Hill Quarry Local Nature Reserve
1 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Moor Piece Nature Reserve
4 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside
Foxhill Bank Local Nature Reserve
9 miles - The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve Lincoln Way
Map reference
SD 755 426
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
7.00 hectares
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Kim Coverdale
Tel: 07841 996722


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