Trees, plants and wildlife in Murdishaw Wood
Stockham Wood is dominated by oak and Scots pine, with occasional sycamore and ash. The understorey consists of planted beech, rowan, wild cherry, haz...Read more
This varied site on the outskirts of Runcorn contains semi-natural ancient woodland, open grassy areas and small streams. Designated a Local Nature Reserve, it’s a haven for wildlife, including fox, squirrel and bat, as well as many bird species. And in spring and summer, it’s sprinkled with colourful wildflowers.
Murdishaw Wood has something of interest all year round. Visit this semi-natural ancient woodland in spring and you’ll be met with a sea of vivid bluebell, dotted with sunny, yellow celandine and tiny white wood anemone. As you stroll through the mature sections of woodland during the early months, listen out for the great spotted woodpecker drumming on the tree trunks as it seeks to establish its territory.
As summer arrives, the wildflowers attract a wealth of colourful butterflies, iridescent dragonflies and damselflies flit across the ponds, and the large, golden flowers of the marsh marigold appear alongside the streams. In autumn, the oak, sycamore and ash produce a blaze of gold, russet and red. You may hear the screeching cry of the jay and look up to see the white flash on its tail as it flits between the oaks, gathering acorns. The fieldfare thrush also begins to arrive for its winter sojourn, and you’ll see noisy flocks gather in late afternoon to feast on berries.
With easy access from Runcorn, an extensive network of surfaced paths to suit all abilities, and a wealth of wildlife and flora, Murdishaw Wood is definitely worth a visit.
The 16.34-hectare (40.38-acre) Murdishaw Wood lies next to the Runcorn Linnets Football Club in Runcorn, Cheshire. It has three distinct sections, separated by roads. 1. Stockham Wood is a small fragment of mature secondary woodland to the west. 2. Murdishaw Wood west, the largest block of woodland, is bounded by the M56 motorway to the south, a bus way to the east, a large local authority housing estate to the north and playing fields to the west. It is designated ancient semi-natural woodland. 3. Murdishaw Wood east is a mosaic of woodland, open space and scrub.
The woodland is designated a County Wildlife Site and a Local Nature Reserve.
Grid reference: SJ557802, sheet no. 108
There are multiple entrance points. The main entrance for Murdishaw and Stockham Woods is off Murdishaw Avenue to the west of the main body of woodland. There is an extensive network of surfaced paths suitable for year-round use, although some areas are steep and there are some steps.
There are several buses (1, 110, 79c, 61 and 14) running from Runcorn to Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy, from where you can access the wood.
The nearest train station is Runcorn East (1.6km/one mile). For up-to-date information on public transport, visit traveline or telephone 0871 200 22 33.
From Runcorn, head east on the A533, and then towards Northwich/Chester. After 4.8km (three miles), take the first exit at the roundabout onto Murdishaw Avenue. There is limited parking for customers in the Aldi car park and from there a short walk north along the pavement takes you to the main entrance for Murdishaw and Stockham Woods.
There are no public toilets within the immediate vicinity. The closest are in the Brookvale Recreation Centre off Barnfield Avenue, Runcorn. Alternatively, there will be toilet facilities available for paying customers at the The Queen of Hearts pub, off Murdishaw Avenue.
Accommodation and tourist information
The Runcorn Tourist Information Centre is based at 6, Church Street, Runcorn. WA7 1LT. Tel. 01928 576776; or email email@example.com. For suggestions on accommodation visit TripAdvisor.