Freemans Pasture Local Nature Reserve
Know before you go
No access to site unless supervised.
No general access. Contact the Reserve Manager for more information.
When to visit
Opening timesRestricted, except for the annual open day in June.
Best time to visitSpring 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.