A wooden bridge across a river at Heysham Moss nature reserve
A woodcock hunkered down in the grass

Mark Hamblin/2020Vision

A green-veined white butterfly feeding on white flowers

Jim Higham

Discover an industrial past redesigned by nature and transformed into a peaceful oasis for both people and wildlife.

Location

0.5 miles north west of Egerton
Bolton
Lancashire
BL7 9PU

OS Map Reference

SD 695 102
A static map of Longworth Clough Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
56 hectares

Parking information

Off-site

Grazing animals

Cattle, sheep and ponies

Walking trails

Please stay on footpaths.

Access

Parking in Egerton on Longworth Road

Dogs

On a lead
On public rights of way only

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Best time to visit

Summer

About the reserve

This former portion of the Longworth Hall estate was a hive of industrial activity throughout the 19th century, with Longworth Mill fed by water from Eagley Brook. The remains of the mill can still be seen next to a stone bridge across the Brook; a ghostly relic being reclaimed by nature.

Now, Longworth Clough is a Site of Special Scientific Interest that lies within the West Pennine Moors Management Area, marrying an outstanding mosaic of woodland, wetland and grassland habitats rich in wildlife.

Insects flit and flutter in a landscape brimming with an impressive variety of plants. Yellow iris, common-spotted orchid, bog asphodel and sneezewort flourish in the flush-mire produced by Longworth Clough’s complex drainage. Areas of alder and willow carr support great horsetail, marsh marigold and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage. And if that wasn’t enough, sessile oak woodland dominates the drier slopes of the reserve, supporting a rich variety of flora and fauna. Acid grassland on the steeper slopes supports heath bedstraw and tormentil, while Devil’s-bit scabious offers late-summer colour with its lilac flowers.

Of course, all of this plant life is fantastic for butterflies. Look out for lovely Lepidoptera including small skipper, large white, green-veined white, red admiral, peacock, comma, gatekeeper and meadow brown butterflies. Birders won’t be disappointed either, with woodcock, tawny owl, tree pipit, wood warbler and long-tailed tit thriving in Longworth Clough’s woodland areas. A dipper has even been seen feeding in Eagley Brook.

Contact us

John Haddon
Contact number: 01772 317239
Contact email: jhaddon@lancswt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)