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Lady Mabel's Wood (WTML)

Though still a relatively young woodland, Lady Mabel’s Wood has developed into a wonderful place to visit with a great mix of broadleaf trees, hedgerows, woody shrubs and a wildflower meadow which together attract a wide range of wildlife.

Created in 1995 as part of Greater Manchester’s Red Rose Community Forest, the wood is enhanced by its position next to the Haigh Hall Country Park and golf course and the Leeds Liverpool canal along its eastern boundary, providing diverse and complementary habitats of differing ages and features.

The site was originally bare land used for open cast mining but was re-named Lady Mabel’s Wood in 1998 after consultation with local people to mark the area’s history. Lady Mabel was a 14th century noblewoman who walked barefoot from Haigh Hall to a cross in Wigan as penance for taking a second husband after mistakenly believing her first had died in action.

The north-east of the site was planted with oak, ash, hazel, birch and wild cherry; with the meadow planting ranging from rush to mixed meadow grasses, including a high proportion of red fescue. The remainder was planted with alder, hawthorn and willow hedgerows, with small groups of horse chestnut and small-leaved lime, along with dog and guelder rose.

Reed Bunting
Reed Bunting (Photo: D Johnson/WTML)

Birds already spotted here include kestrel, reed bunting, grey heron on a pool in the wood, mealy and lesser redpoll, skylark, curlew, sedge and garden warbler, green and great spotted woodpecker, dipper, bullfinch, nuthatch and mistle thrush. During the spring and summer months also look out for butterflies such as the large and small skipper, peacock, great white, small tortoiseshell, meadow brown and speckled wood. Other invertebrates include bumblebee, several species of hoverfly and grasshopper.

Lady Mabel’s Wood together with the surrounding area offers a great day out for the whole family with plenty to see and do and lots of amenities close by for refreshments. 

Setting

Lady Mabel's Wood is located on the outskirts of Wigan, approximately five kilometres (three miles) from the centre, close to the A49 Wigan Road. It is bordered by Wigan Lane and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and adjoins Haigh Hall Country Park and golf course to the east, mature woodland to the south and pasture to the north and west. It is also close to the Whelley Hospital and has open views to Haigh Hall.

OS Explorer 276, Landranger 108, SD590080.

Access and walks

There are four pedestrian entrances: two on the southern boundary bordering Hall Lane and two on the eastern boundary next to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The site has a moderate slope with a south-western aspect. It is well used and has approximately 2.2km (1.3 miles) of flat, level, formal and informal paths which link to other local footpaths such as the canal towpath and open space at Haigh Hall Country Park.  The paths and access offer circular and through walks and provide easy access to site features. The public rights of way network also links Lady Mabel’s Wood to two other Woodland Trust sites – Crawford’s Wood and Kirkless Wood.

The paths can be muddy and slippery when wet so check the weather forecast and don’t forget your boots! 

Directions

By bus 

The nearest bus stop is located at St David’s Crescent which is 4.8 kilometres/3 miles from the wood.

By train 

The nearest train stations are Wigan Wallgate and Wigan North West, just over 5 kilometres/3 miles from the wood.

For further information on public transport contact Traveline or call 0871 200 2233.

By car

Lady Mabel’s Wood is located close to the A49 (Wigan Road), approximately 5km (3 miles) from the centre of Wigan and adjacent to the Haigh Hall Country Park.

From Wigan take the A49 northbound and continue for just over 3km (approximately two miles). Drive past the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary on your left then turn right onto Leyland Mill Lane. When you reach a mini roundabout carry straight on and join Hall Lane, following signs for Haigh Hall Country Park. After around 0.8km (0.5 mile) you will see Lady Mabel’s Wood to your left.

There is no car park but limited parking is available in lay-bys on Hall Lane to the south.

Nearest amenities

Public conveniences

The nearest public toilets are at Haigh Hall Country Park, approximately 200 metres/218 yards from the site, which are suitable for disabled users. Information provided by Wigan Borough Council.

Refreshments

Haigh Hall Country Park has a courtyard café, and there are also a number of recommended eateries close by in Wigan. Visit TripAdvisor for details.

Accommodation and tourist information

For helpful information on things to see and do and places to stay in the area, visit: Tripadvisor or britinfo.net.

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