Mere Sands Wood

Welcome to Mere Sands Wood

Alan Wright

42 hectares of magical wild space
NEW Visitor Centre open 10am - 4pm
Peaceful waterside bird hides
Walking trails for all abilities

The Mere Sands Wood you know and love, with a few wonderful changes

Nestled amongst the peaceful agricultural landscape of Rufford, Mere Sands Wood is a true wildlife haven, and now, we're thrilled to finally open the doors to our brand new visitor centre and cafe.

We've had a bold vision for Mere Sands Wood for many years now, and we wouldn't have been able to reach this point without the kind donations to our Mere Sands Wood appeal back in 2014, which helped us secure a further £460,000 of funding!

Explore the reserve

Songbirds, raptors and waders galore!

From grebes to water rails; reed warblers to kingfishers; sparrowhawks to woodpeckers; Mere Sands Wood is absolutely brimming with beautiful birds.

Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

A secret garden

Mere Sands Wood is a wildflower and fungi haven. Spring and summer bring orchids, yellow-wort and yellow bartsia, while autumn and winter usher in fly agaric, earthballs and common stinkhorn.

Fly agaric by Dawn Monrose

Accessible nature trails

95% of paths are suitable for wheelchairs and prams, while six of our hides are fully accessible.

Ade Clarke @ClarkePictures

A mosaic of wild spaces

Dry heath, woodland, wetland and sandy, wet meadows combine to create a true wildlife refuge. You may even spot rare species like red squirrels in the conifers!

Mere Sands Wood by Phil Smith

Where is Mere Sands Wood?

Mere Sands Nature Reserve, Holmeswood Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L40 1TG.

A static map of Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve
Wildfowl, waders and abundant wildflowers thrive in this tranquil oasis of lakes and woodland.

What's new?

It is no secret that Mere Sands Wood visitor centre was in need of a makeover. Following fundraising held in 2014, and a few years of set backs (not least the global pandemic!) we have finally opened the doors of our new building.

Beautifully clad in wood from the reserve, the visitor centre blends into the reeds and is the perfect place to relax during your visit. Come inside for a brew and a bite to eat in our cosy cafe before browsing the nature-themed shop. Enjoy the view of the lake or birds on the feeders through our floor-to-ceiling windows - fitted with bird-safe glass from Pilkington AviSafe™.

We're so excited to welcome you back and will be relaunching events, walks and talks very soon. Stay tuned!

Star species

With woods, lakes, meadows and heath meeting in one magical nature reserve, there is so much wildlife to see at Mere Sands Wood. Some species only stay for a brief holiday, while others live here all year-round, but one thing's for sure - there is always something special to spot.

Stay up to date with all things Mere Sands Wood

We'd love to keep you updated with the latest news and developments in this exciting new chapter for Mere Sands Wood. If you're happy to hear from us please enter your details below.

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Mere Sands Wood: Visitor Hub and Cafe

This project is part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas

Mere Sands Wood: Visitor Hub and Cafe is part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

The project also received additional funding from individual Lancashire Wildlife Trust members and supporters, as well as:

We received funding from a number of organisations for the Mere Sands Wood Visitor Centre