A new chapter for Mere Sands Wood
Over the coming months your Mere Sands Wood will undergo some exciting changes and it really will be worth the wait.
Nestled amongst the peaceful agricultural landscape of Rufford, Mere Sands Wood is a true wildlife haven. We're thrilled to finally have the opportunity to offer new visitor facilities; just what such a wonderful and well-loved nature reserve deserves.
We've had a bold vision for Mere Sands Wood for many years now, and it has been quite a journey to get to this point. We've worked tirelessly to secure the funding needed for the new Visitor Centre, with much heartbreak and disappointment along the way in an extremely competitive funding environment. Thanks to the kind donations to our Mere Sands Wood appeal back in 2014, we've been able to secure a further £460,000 of funding and are pleased to finally start work on the new Visitor Centre.
It’s a time of change but there is still much to enjoy at Mere Sands Wood and lots to look forward to in 2020.
Where is Mere Sands Wood?
Wildfowl, waders and abundant wildflowers thrive in this tranquil oasis of lakes and woodland.
The build so far
We've made fantastic progress on our new facilities at Mere Sands Wood. The visitor centre is almost ready to open and the car park has been given a makeover: it's been completely resurfaced and has four new disabled bays.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted much of the remaining work and we've had to delay the grand opening of the visitor centre. Here are our updated opening hours:
Car park/nature reserve: Open seven days a week
Classroom/Field Studies Centre toilets: Open Tuesday - Thursday; Saturday and Sunday, 10am - 3pm
Bird hides: Closed until further notice.
Mere Sands Wood has been awarded Visit England's 'We're Good to Go' COVID-safe accreditation, so you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will be as safe as possible during your visit.
What about the wildlife?
While all this vital work is continuing our wild visitors have continued to delight us all. The Visitor Centre bird table is always busy with reed warblers, chaffinches and coal tits (to name a few!) though all around it has changed. We still have regular sightings of kingfishers from our hides, great crested grebes performed their courtship rituals as spring bloomed, the reserve was a-buzz with bees and butterflies through summer and now, at the height of autumn, the woods are bursting with weird and wonderful fungi. It's a wonderful time of year to visit.
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Mere Sands Wood: Visitor Hub and Cafe
This project is part-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas
The project also received additional funding from individual Lancashire Wildlife Trust members and supporters, as well as: