The ancient trees of Boilton and Red Scar Woods from the footpath at Brockholes
A tawny owl peers from between tree branches in Boilton Wood
A woodland path leading through a tree tunnel in Boilton Wood

Alan Wright

Foxes, roe deer and stunning birds of prey lay claim to one of the largest remaining areas of ancient, semi-natural, deciduous woodland in the North West.

Location

Boilton, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods
Preston
Lancashire
PR2 6HD

OS Map Reference

SD580313
A static map of Boilton, Nab, Redscar and Tunbrook Woods

Know before you go

Size
70 hectares

Parking information

Park on Pope Lane, before the pedestrian bridge across the M6.

Walking trails

Footpath through Boilton wood is not surfaced and includes a lengthy and steep stretch of steps.

Access

All but Boilton Wood requires a permit. The northernmost part of the wood is privately owned and off limits. Access to the site is from Brockholes.

Dogs

Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Best time to visit

Spring to Summer

About the reserve

Boilton, Nab, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods offer a glimpse back into the untamed woodland landscapes of old. Tracing the River Ribble, their mixture of sycamore, elm, ash and oak trees creates the perfect home for plants and animals that are specially adapted to life in ancient woods.

Spring lays out a carpet of bluebells in Boilton Wood, which can be accessed through beautiful Brockholes Nature Reserve. The bright yellow flowers of lesser celandine punctuate the purple-blue pile, while throughout spring and summer you can admire the yellow iris, marsh marigold and meadowsweet that flourishes in marshy areas.

Red Scar, Nab and Tunbrook Woods, too, are rich in wildflowers. Unassuming patches of dog’s mercury and enchanter’s nightshade grow alongside the bright pink petals of herb Robert, stunning early-purple orchids and the soft white flowers of sweet woodruff, which smells tantalisingly of vanilla when bruised.

Wildlife lies around every corner of Boilton, Nab, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods. Roe deer and foxes pick their way between the trees while moles and common shrews scamper through the undergrowth. Bats like common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, noctule and Daubenton’s roost in the holes of trees that act as home, roost and feeding spot for a huge variety of birds. Kestrels, woodcock, tawny owls, great-spotted woodpeckers and treecreepers are just a handful of species that breed here.

In winter, migrating fieldfare, redwing, siskins and brambling often arrive to decimate the woodland berries, and in summer, a rare butterfly steals the show.

The white-letter hairstreak flies for just three weeks of the year and is a common sight at Boilton, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods in July and August. Moths, too, love this woodland, with angle shades, snout and mother of pearl among the species recorded.

Contact us

John Haddon
Contact number: 01772 324129
Contact email: jhaddon@lancswt.org.uk

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)