Abram Flash

A river running through the Abram Flash nature reserve

Abram Flash nature reserve

Close-up of a bright red damselfly sitting on a dew-covered leaf at Abram Flash

Alan Wright

Silhouette of a tufted duck on the lake at Abram Flash at sunset
Breeding waders and wintering waterfowl fill this mosaic of habitats with colour and chatter.



OS Map Reference

SD 612 002
A static map of Abram Flash

Know before you go

7 hectares

Walking trails

The site has difficult access due to the steep banks leading down from theLeeds-Liverpool canal, so care must be taken.


No general access. Contact the Reserve Manager for more information.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Best time to visit


About the reserve

You can’t fail to notice this wildlife haven as you stroll along the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. Marrying mossland, fen and other wetland habitats in one wildlife-rich reserve, Abram Flash links Wigan Flashes to Lightshaw Meadows and, further along, Pennington Flashes, all part of the Wigan Greenheart.

Though access to the reserve itself is restricted, the canal-side vantage point is an ideal spot to marvel at the birds and insects that call Abram Flash home.

The spring and summer months see mute swans and mallards paddle alongside groups of tufted duck, pochard, garganey, shoveler and gadwall, all of which breed in the reedbeds and open water of the reserve. Yellow wagtails and waders such as lapwings, snipe and redshank breed in the wet grassland, itself a nationally declining habitat. Reed warblers, reed buntings and sedge warblers all breed in the swamp and fen, filling the air with a multi-layered chorus of birdsong.

Winter brings a fantastic influx of waterfowl and sees Abram Flash form part of a valuable roosting and feeding point for migrant waders including greenshank, dunlin and ruff: the latter beautiful even without its spectacular breeding plumage.

Water voles have been seen here, so don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for delicate ripples in the water.

Contact us

Mark Champion
Contact number: 01942 233976

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)