Cross Hill Quarry Local Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Parking informationCars can be parked on the West Bradford Road
Please be aware of steep drops from paths running above quarry face.
Most of the footpaths in this mosaic of woodland and meadows are wheelchair-friendly.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring to Summer
About the reserve
Colonised by orchids and teaming with butterflies, Cross Hill Quarry is a shining example of how nature reclaims the relics of our industrial past.
A mosaic of woodland and small meadows provides an exceptional refuge for wildlife. Small skipper, orange-tip and meadow brown butterflies flit through the flower-rich grasslands. In spring, black caps, willow warblers and chiffchaffs provide a soundtrack that will make your heart sing, while the nearby River Ribble acts as the backdrop to unmissable natural drama. Grey wagtails strut, sand martins hunt, herons fish and kingfishers dive, then as night falls, Daubenton’s bats skim insects from the surface of the water. Pipistrelle and noctule bats hunt along the woodland edge and out in the open areas of the reserve.
The crowning glory of Cross Hill Quarry is its plant life. Limestone species like fairy flax, mouse-ear hawkweed and lady’s bedstraw grow alongside fragrant wild herbs like thyme and marjoram. Reed canary-grass and willows flourish alongside common spotted orchids and northern marsh orchids, while lesser celandine, hedge woundwort, wild rose, woodruff and bluebells add a carpet of colour to the woodlands.