Freemans Pasture Local Nature Reserve

A field full of wildflowers at Freeman's Pasture nature reserve
Six-spot burnet moth resting on the head of a red clover plant

Six spot burnet moths thrive on the clover that grows in species-rich grassland. Image by Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Rows and rows of Devil's-bit scabious in a wildflower meadow

Amy Lewis

Freemans Pasture Local Nature Reserve

Burnet moths and beautiful wildflowers brighten up this idyllic meadow near Chorley.


Eastern side of Glasgow to London railway line,
Off Pear Tree Avenue or just off Chorley Lane
Charnock Richard

OS Map Reference

SD 564 154
A static map of Freemans Pasture Local Nature Reserve

Know before you go

1 hectare

Walking trails

No access to site unless supervised.


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


No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Restricted, except for the annual open day in June.

Best time to visit

Spring to Summer

About the reserve

You’d never guess this hidden beauty-spot was just yards from the West Coast mainline and less than a mile from the M6. Small but perfectly-formed, Freeman’s Pasture is a shining example of just how rich even the smallest nature reserves can be.

Nestled in the valley of the Clancutt Brook, the Pasture is one of the very few species-rich grasslands remaining in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Merseyside.

More than 120 species of plants bob in the breeze, with many characteristic of very old grassland. Devil’s-bit scabious and Dyer’s greenweed create a stunning kaleidoscope of purples and yellows, and the unusual adder’s-tongue fern hides away at ground level. Sensitive to intensive grazing and the overuse of fertilisers, these plants are testament to how life can thrive when modern pressures are lifted.

The best time to visit Freeman’s Pasture is, undoubtedly, on sunny summer days. The field comes alive with butterflies and moths; species like five-spot burnet, six-spot burnet and chimney sweeper hopping from flower to flower on busy foraging trips.

Contact us

John Haddon
Contact number: 01772 317239
Contact email:

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)