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More about Spud Wood

Spud Wood is a thriving mix of broadleaf woodland and grassland meadow with abundant birdlife and wonderful views over the surrounding area, stretching to the Pennines in the east. The wood is bordered by the historic Bridgewater Canal – a great place to wander along the bank, watch the boats and perhaps catch sight of a kingfisher.

This relatively new woodland was planted in the late 1990s on a former potato field – hence the name! Now the oak, ash and silver birch has matured to form a shady canopy that’s alive with squirrels and birds. It’s a perfect site for summer picnics and peaceful strolls at any time of year.

In spring, the undergrowth of hawthorn and blackthorn is covered in clusters of delicate blossom and you’ll come across patches of vivid bluebell and forget-me-not, sprinkled with the white of wild garlic. It’s also the time you’re most likely to hear the great spotted woodpecker drumming on a hollow log to mark out its territory. Also, listen for the cheerful, melodic song of the skylark as it hovers high above the meadows. 

Kingfisher (Photo: David Hogg/WTML)

To the north, the woodland is bordered by one of the country’s oldest artificial waterways, the Bridgewater Canal, cut in 1761 to transport coal to Manchester. Stroll along the banks and watch the colourful canal boats, and keep and eye out for the iridescent blue-green flash of a kingfisher as swoops low over the water. Visit as dusk falls, and you may spot bats flitting across the darkening sky hunting for insects.

Spud wood is a real community woodland, well used by local people, a group of which – The Friends of Spud Wood – have a special ‘allotment’ of trees which they thin out to promote healthy growth, in return for firewood. With its stunning views, canal-side walk and network of easy paths linking it with the surrounding countryside, Spud Wood is a lovely place to while away a few hours.

Thinning carried out by Friends of Spud Wood (Photo: Hazel Hughes)


The 17.27-hectare (42.69-acre) site is on the edge of the village of Oughtrington, around 1.6km (one mile) to the east of Lymm in Cheshire. It sits within the Mersey Forest area, a growing network of green spaces across Merseyside and Cheshire. The landscape of the area is mostly flat arable farmland with occasional wooded copses and other small woodlands.

The Bridgewater Canal runs along the northern boundary of the site, and it is bordered to the south by Helsdale Wood, a semi-natural ancient woodland.  

Access and walks

The main entrance is from Stage Lane to the north, where there is a 10-space car park leading to a surfaced footpath which crosses Grantham’s Bridge over the Bridgewater Canal into the woodland. The site has 2km of unsurfaced paths accessed through four pedestrian entrance points with either metal kissing gates or squeeze stiles. Entrances are on Oughtrington Lane and Burford Lane, and there is an unofficial access point on the southern boundary from Helsdale Wood via a well-worn footpath. There is a wooden footbridge with two small flights of steps crossing Helsdale Brook.

The wood is linked to the wider countryside and a network of public footpaths via the Bridgewater Canal. The 22-mile way-marked Mersey Valley Timberland Trail starts at the car park. You can also enjoy a canal-side walk from Spud Wood to Lymm Village centre before returning on part of the Trans-Pennine Trail. The village of Dunham Massey, with its 17th century Dunham Massey Hall, is around an hour’s walk alongside the canal.

For visitors seeking a more challenging recreational activity, local group The Friends of Spud Wood has created a new permanent orienteering course. For further information, visit the group's website.

Take a stroll alongside the canal (Photo: Hazel Hughes)


By bus 
The nearest bus stop is on Stage Lane to the west of the main entrance. It is then a ten-minute walk to the wood.

By train
Warrington’s Bank Quay and Central railway stations are just under 8km (five miles) away.

For up-to-date information on public transport, visit traveline or telephone 0871 200 2233. 

By car
Follow the M6 to junction 21 then take the A57 towards Manchester. Turn right at Warburton Bridge Road (B5159) and head towards Lymm, turning right when you reach the A6144. Before you reach Lymm centre, turn left down Sandy Lane (opposite a large white house). When the road swings to the right, turn left onto Stage Lane. The car park is on the right after the houses.

Nearest amenities 

Public toilets
There are no public toilets nearby, the nearest being in Lymm (1.6km/one mile) next to the post office on West Street; and in the Town Trust car park next to St Mary’s Church on Rectory Lane.

There is a wide range of pubs, cafés and restaurants in Lymm and Warrington. Visit TripAdvisor for details.

Accommodation and tourist information
The nearest tourist information centres are in Warrington in Horsemarket Street, WA1 1TS (tel. 01925 428 585), Visit UK; and Altrincham, 20 Stamford New Road, WA14 1EJ (tel. 01619 125 931), both 5.1 miles from Lymm. These can provide information on accommodation in the area; alternatively visit TripAdvisor.

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.