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Reserves

Cheshire Wildlife Trust cares for 45 nature reserves, covering in excess of 470 hectares. From ancient woodland to wetland, wildflower meadow to marsh, reed bed to heathland, they contain a rich variety of species, many extremely rare.

1. Abbots Moss is part of a complex of basin mires surrounded by associated wet and dry heathland. The mires support several species of sphagnum moss as well as sundew, cotton grass and cranberry 16. Hatch Mere is a SSSI and comprises a variety of habitats including open water, fen, carr and dry woodland. 31. Pickering's Scrape A small brackish pond within Pickerings Pasture Local Nature Reserve. Small numbers of waders and wildfowl use the pond as a roosting area at high tide.
2. Birch Moss Covert is a small birch-dominated woodland on relic mossland. Alder and willow occur in the wetter areas. There are several small glades dominated by bracken. 17. Hockenhull Platts Two species-rich, wet meadows with a wide variety of plants, including marsh marigold, ragged robin, fleabane, greater burnet and lady’s smock. The area is rich in bird life. 32. Plumley Lime Beds There is a variety of habitats at this site including semi-natural, broadleaved woodland, calcareous unimproved grassland, a lime-rich lake and reedbed.
3. Black Firs Wood is dominated by birch and oak, underplanted with hazel, holly and guelder rose. There are two ponds and the wood is used frequently for educational visits. 18. Hogswood Covert A damp, deciduous woodland containing several ponds. Dominant trees are oak and hazel. Ground flora includes wood anemone, bluebell and wild garlic. 33. Poors Wood A semi-natural woodland, damp in places, sloping steeply down to the River Weaver. There is a small area of grassland adjacent to the wood.
4. Black Lake is a small pool and associated bog lying in a natural depression, it shows a good example of early 'schwingmoor' or floating bog development. 19. Holcroft Moss is the only known area of lowland bog in Cheshire which has not been cut for peat. The vegetation of this SSSI is dominated by purple moor-grass, cross-leaved heath and cranberry. 34. Pumphouse Wood A mixed deciduous, semi-natural woodland with a canopy of oak, ash and a few larch. The understorey comprises of hawthorn, elder and elm. Bluebells carpet the floor in spring.
5. Black Moss Covert is a damp, deciduous woodland with oak, birch, hazel, and willow. 20. Hunter's Wood Two fields adjacent to Warburton’s Wood were purchased to extend the existing wood using both natural regeneration and planting. 35. The Quinta Nature Reserve The Quinta comprises a new plantation, ancient semi-natural woodland, two meadows and a stream.
6. Brookheys Covert This ancient semi-natural woodland is a SSSI. The wood is dominated by oaks with ash, birch and rowan. There are several marl pit ponds. 21. Intake Wood Part of an ancient semi-natural woodland SSSI of oak, ash, holly and hawthorn. Bluebell dominates the ground flora, along with dog’s mercury and wood sorrel. 36. Red Rocks Marsh This SSSI is our only coastal reserve, with sand dunes, reedbeds and marsh. The reedbed is important for many species of wintering birds and the open pools support the rare natterjack toad.
7. Cleaver Heath An SSSI heathland dominated by heather with wavy hair-grass, mat grass, gorse and bilberry. It has a varied population of insects and birds, as well as common lizard. 22. Knutsford Heath An area of lowland heathland in the middle of Knutsford, consisting of a mosaic of oak woodland, clumps of birch, heather, gorse, tall herb and grassland. 37. Rudheath A mosaic of habitats including woodland, scrub, wet and dry heath and grassland.
8. Compstall Nature Reserve This SSSI contains a variety of habitats including open water, tall fen, reed swamp, carr and mixed deciduous woodland. 23. Knutsford Moor One of the largest areas of fen/reed in the county, consisting of open water, reedswamp, tall fen and willow carr. Plant species of interest include marsh fern, cowbane, Cyperus sedge and wood horsetail. 38. Saltersley Moss A small remnant of raised bog, largely dried out due to adjacent commercial peat cutting. Birch woodland, bracken and a mosaic of bilberry and heather occur here.
9. Cotterill Clough A SSSI designated ancient semi-natural woodland comprised of ash, oak, alder, wild cherry, hawthorn and elder. Ground flora includes bluebell, lesser celendine, wood anemone and marsh marigold. 24. Limekiln Wood This ancient semi-natural SSSI woodland consists of oak, downy birch and rowan with a dense understorey of holly. 39. Sean Hawkins Meadow A small species-rich wet meadow by a stream and a small area of woodland.
10. Danes Moss A cut-over lowland raised mire SSSI, surrounded by a woodland fringe. Characteristic bog plants include sphagnum mosses, cotton grass and cross-leaved heath. 25. Marbury Reedbed Part of this reserve was declared a nature reserve in 1934 in memory of the Cheshire naturalist T.A. Coward. It comprises oak/birch woodland, willow and alder carr, reedbed and part of Budworth Mere. 40. Sinderland Green Woods A broadleaved woodland plantation.
11. Dark Lane Scrub woodland with hawthorn and elder that attracts a wide variety of bird species. 26. Moston Community NR A small area of land adjacent to Liverpool Road, Chester acquired to form a community nature reserve. It is being developed to include a wildflower area, a pond and native tree and shrub planting.

41. Swettenham Meadows Species-rich grassland, ponds and woodland. The grassland is highly variable, with wet flushes and drier sandy areas.
12. Eastwood Educational NR This steep-sided broad-leaved woodland is bisected by Acres Brook and has several old mill ponds. There is a rich variety of plants and animals typical of woodland on an acid soil. 27. Mount Farm Ponds Five small ponds with associated grassland banks. Pond sedge, marsh-bedstraw and marsh cinquefoil can be seen amongst the vegetation rafts on the two southerly ponds. 42. Thornton Wood Part of an ancient woodland SSSI. The woodland is largely ash and oak with hazel and hawthorn in the understorey.
13. Foxes Wood is part of an ancient semi-natural woodland SSSI and is dominated by oak and ash. Ground flora includes dog’s mercury, bluebell, primrose and wood avens. 28. New Ferry Butterfly Park Grassland, tall herb and scrub are found on this former railway siding. The site has been developed to attract various insects and birds, and is especially good for butterflies. 43. Trentabank Reservoir Species-rich, unimproved, upland, acidic grassland. Coniferous plantation surrounding Trentabank Reservoir with a large heronry.
14. Frodsham Field Studies Centre An area of unimproved calcareous grassland and scrub with ponds, near the River Weaver. The extensive reedbed makes the area important for migrating and breeding birds. 29. Owley Wood An ancient semi-natural woodland sloping down to the River Weaver with a canopy of ash and sycamore, mixed understorey and diverse ground flora, with abundant bluebells in spring. 44. Warburton's Wood An ancient semi-natural clough woodland SSSI, with wild service trees, small-leaved lime, a diverse ground flora and three small areas of herb-rich unimproved grassland.
15. Gowy Meadows is Cheshire Wildlife Trust's most recent and largest acquisition to date: an extensive area of lowland grazing marsh, which includes the eastern floodplain of the River Gowy. 30. Patrick's Wood Part of an ancient woodland SSSI on the steep slopes above the River Dibbin, consisting mainly of pedunculate and sessile oak, with a rich ground flora.  

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Red Rocks Marsh Cleaver Heath New Ferry Butterfly Park Thornton Wood Patrick's Wood Foxes Wood Intake Wood Moston Community Nature Reserve Gowy Meadows Hockenhull Platts Abbots Moss Black Lake Hatch Mere Vale Royal Abbey Mire Limekiln Wood Pickerings Scrape Frodsham Field Studies Centre Warburtons Wood Hunters Wood Holcroft Moss Eastwood Educational Nature Reserve Hogswood Covert Birch Moss Covert Black Moss Covert Dark Lane Sinderland Green Woods Black Moss Covert Rudheath The Quinta Swettenham Meadows Black Firs Wood Compstall Nature Reserve Trentabank Reservoir Mount Farm Ponds Danes Moss Cotterill Clough Saltersley Moss Poors Wood Plumley Lime Beds Sean Hawkins Meadow Knutsford Heath Knutford Moor Marbury Reedbed Pumphouse Wood Owley Wood