A field of wildflowers at Cutacre nature reserve

Alan Wright

A water peeking out from behind lush green vegetation

Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

A reed bunting feeding on the top of a reed stem

Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

Wading birds and protected pondlife thrive in this species-rich meadow.

Location

Off Mort Lane,
Close to the Wigan/Salford border
Lancashire

OS Map Reference

SD710022
A static map of Cutacre

Know before you go

Size
26 hectares

Parking information

Off the road close to Mort Lane

Walking trails

There are footpaths on-site.

Access

Open access to public footpaths, permit required for elsewhere (for research/recording purposes).

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Best time to visit

Spring to Summer

About the reserve

Cutacre has been transformed from an overgrazed piece of grassland into a haven for all kinds of wildlife. Our own herd of rare-breed longhorn cattle gently graze the reserve in a sustainable, low-impact way that creates perfect conditions for some of our most iconic farmland birds.

Lapwings, oystercatchers and redshanks all breed in the shorter, softer grass and can be seen pottering around the reserve. Keep your ears pricked for the joyous song of the skylark as it flutters high above, joining the waders to nest during spring and summer.

Turn your attention to the trees and pond-side vegetation and you may spot grasshopper warblers, reed buntings, lesser redpolls, linnets and, most excitingly, rare willow tits; an icon of the Greenheart of Wigan. Kestrels and barn owls drift silently over the grass in search of voles, and snipe forage around the edge of ponds that act as a safe haven for five amazing amphibians, including great crested newts.

Stealthy visitors who step gently may be rewarded with sightings of brown hares hunkering down near our newly planted hedges. Peep into Cutacre’s ditches and you may even spot Britain’s fastest declining mammal, the water vole, as it scurries through the bankside vegetation.

We’re over the moon to see all our hard work at Cutacre reaping rewards for wildlife. By restoring species-rich meadow we are not only protecting a rare habitat, but creating homes for all kinds of creatures. Wildflowers like ragged robin and meadowsweet now have room to regrow amongst the shorter grass; offering invaluable sources of nectar to bees, butterflies and moths. And hopefully, it won’t be long before we see yellowhammers, meadow pipits and even black-tailed godwits showing off to visitors.

Contact us

Martyn Walker
Contact email: mwalker@lancswt.org.uk

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site