A fox sits in a sunny patch of woodland at Willow Farm Wood

Darin Smith

A pipistrelle bat peeps out from under a piece of wood at the entrance to its roost

Harry Hogg

A speckled wood butterfly basking on a leaf in the sunshine

Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Foxes trot through dappled sunlight and bats roost in ancient trees at this flourishing nature reserve.


Willow Farm Wood Nature Reserve,
Gregson Lane,

OS Map Reference

SD 589 258
A static map of Willow Farm Wood Nature Reserve

Know before you go

2 hectares

Walking trails

Care must be taken when walking through woodland.


There is a permissive path across the site. Contact the Reserve Manager for more information.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times


Best time to visit


About the reserve

Willow Farm Wood is a reserve of two halves: thriving new growth and rich ancient woodland.

Thanks to funding from a Forestry Authority Woodland Grant Scheme, in 1993 the former pasture was replanted with a mix of tree and shrub species, while other areas of the grassland were left to thrive naturally. And thrive it has, with speckled wood butterflies, song thrushes, foxes and pipistrelle bats moving in. But not all of Willow Farm Wood is still in its infancy. Far from it – the new plantation lies across from an area of semi-natural, broad-leaved woodland believed to be an ancient woodland: crucial habitat for a range of specialist birds, insects and mammals.

One of the most exciting things about Willow Farm Wood, however, is a pond packed with dense vegetation that supports a nationally notable species of water beetle.

Contact us

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