The Saturday between Christmas and New Year we decided that we needed to get out and have a short walk. We were staying with family and contemplated driving to Delamere forest which we love but was a good drive away & we only wanted to be out for the morning). Risley Moss in Warrington was suggested to us by my in-laws, they’d never been but it was often in the local newspaper and sounded nice. So we set off to explore this local nature reserve, It turns out it is a bit of a hidden gem.
As soon as you drive off the roundabout and in to the free car park you are greeted by this mother earth sculpture which I loved. Through out the nature reserved there are several other sculptures carved out of wood which we enjoyed looking at and I’m sure children would especially like watching out for and identifying what they are. The nature reserve is a mix of woodland, wild meadow and mossland. There are pathways through the woodland areas which are suitable for pushchairs but at this time of year they are a little muddy in places. The pathways are well sign posted and there is also a wooden map outside the visitors center, by the car park.
Inside the visitors center is a whole host of information on the reserve for you to browse. There is information on the wildlife you can spot at different times of the year, the history of the site and the life cycle of a dragonfly. There are also toilets and the rangers office in this building.
Slightly off the main pathway (sign posted), up a bit of a hill is this fantastic wooden, observation tower which allows you to view the mossland conservation site from tree top height. Well worth climbing the steps for the view of the mossland and the Peak District further away.
There are also two nature hides where you can view the wildlife from. The first one you come across is in the middle of the woods (woodland hide) and is easily accessible. In front of this hide are a couple of bird feeders so they are ideal for attracting birds in to the woodland. The second hide is for viewing the mossland. We did not make it to this hide as the path was very muddy in this area.
We enjoyed walking two laps of the main pathway, as well as exploring the observation tour and woodland hide and this only took us about an hour. I can see this being the perfect place to take a toddler in future visits to our family near by. I would love to go back in the spring/summer when the wild meadow is in bloom. I imagine the nature reserve would be completely different and even more special.