History, trees, plants and wildlife at Small Woods
During the Second World War, the area was the site of a huge ordnance factory that made over a million mines and 500,000 bombs. The risk of explosion ...Read more
This cluster of urban woodlands is a tranquil place where you can escape town life and get your daily dose of nature. Its network of accessible paths makes it perfect for a stroll with the buggy, a family picnic, or a visit to the pond to watch the ducks or do a spot of dipping.
Small Woods in Oakwood is part of the Mersey Forest, an expanding network of woodlands bringing nature right to the heart of town. You can wander through the mature oak, ash and alder listening to the birdsong, follow the boardwalk round the ponds looking out for wildfowl and iridescent dragonflies darting across the water, and spot wildflowers and beautiful butterflies in the adjoining meadows. It’s hard to believe the area was the site of a huge bomb factory during World War II – the walled garden was a reservoir for the factory’s fire hydrants.
It’s a great place to watch the changing seasons. In spring and early summer, you’ll find cherry and hawthorn blossom, and fragrant, creamy clusters of elderflowers. And in autumn you can kick your way through colourful leaves. Most of the wood’s paths are flat and surfaced, making it accessible to buggies and wheelchairs, although you may need your wellies around the walled garden area if it’s been wet.
Small Woods in Oakwood is a 3.36ha (8.3-acre) cluster of woodlands lying on either side of Ordnance Avenue in the Oakwood area of Warrington.
OS Explorer 276, Landranger 109, SJ649913
The site has several entrances, including one off Ordnance Avenue, near the fire station.
The paths through the woods are part of the local network which allows people to walk or cycle from the residential neighbourhoods in Birchwood to the shopping centre, high school and leisure centre. Most of the site is suitable for less able users, buggies and wheelchairs as all paths are flat and most are surfaced. However, the paths near the Walled Garden are unsurfaced so may be uneven, wet or muddy at any time of the year.
The nearest public toilets are 1.6km (1 mile) away at Risley Moss Visitor Centre. Opening times are October-March: 9.00am-5.00pm (closed Fridays); April-September: weekdays 9.00am-5.00pm (closed Fridays); weekends and bank holidays: 10.00am-6.00pm
For up-to-date information, visit Warrington Gov website.
There are a number of places to eat at the Birchwood Shopping Centre.
Accommodation and tourist information
For ideas on accommodation and tourist information in Warrington visit TripAdvisor and search for Warrington, or try the Visit Cheshire website. There's also a Tourist Information Centre in Rylands Street.
From central Warrington, head east along the A57 (Manchester Road). Turn left onto the A50 and then right onto the A575 (Birchwood Way). Continue over two roundabouts, then at the third roundabout take the third exit onto Oakwood Gate. At the next roundabout take the first exit onto Ordnance Avenue. There is no formal car park.
The nearest bus stop is opposite the fire station on Ordnance Avenue. The number 25 bus runs from central Warrington to here.
The nearest station is Birchwood. For up-to-date information on public transport, visit traveline's website or call 0871 200 2233.