Size:

4.10 ha (10.13 acres)

Grid reference:

SJ575902

Map reference:

Explorer 276

OS Landranger 108

This small, urban woodland is a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Westbrook Shopping Centre. Enjoy the mature wood and babbling stream as a retreat into nature to combine with your trip to the shops.

Features

  • Parking nearby
  • Public access

How to get to Mary Ann Plantation

This 4.1-hectare (10.1-acre) linear wood is in Westbrook, north-west of Warrington in Cheshire.

The site is part of the Mersey Forest, an expanding network of woodland across Merseyside and North Cheshire.

The eastern section of the plantation falls within a local Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).

From Warrington, head north on the A574 (Cromwell Avenue). Drive past Twenty Acre Park and then turn left onto Westbrook Crescent where there is parking next to the shopping centre.

The nearest train station is Sankey, which is 3.7km (2.3 miles) away.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is on Westbrook Crescent. Services from central Warrington run here.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

There are six entrances to Mary Ann Plantation. The main entrance is via a tarmac footpath next to the medical centre and Asda delivery yard at the Westbrook Shopping Centre.

A surfaced path runs from Westbrook Shopping Centre to Burtonwood Road at the opposite end of the site. This path is flat and is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Take care crossing Westbrook crescent into the western section as this is a fast and busy road.

In the western section, there is a 2km (1.2-mile) easy woodland and meadow loop, though this path is unsurfaced and can be muddy.

There is parking available next to Westbrook Shopping Centre and close to the entrance to the wood.

The nearest toilets are in Westbrook Shopping Centre, adjacent to Mary Ann Plantation.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Mary Ann Plantation is a great place to spot the many birds that make the woodland their home. Keep a look out for the colourful, yellow-breasted blue tit, and the plump blue-grey and chestnut nuthatch, as well as robins and sparrows.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Mary Ann Plantation is a strip of mature, broadleaf woodland with some newer planting, right on the edge of town.

In spring, the hawthorn and wild cherry are in blossom and the woodland floor is sprinkled with bluebell; delicate, white wood anemone; and yellow, star-shaped celandine.

As summer draws to a close, keep a lookout for juicy blackberries and elderberries – delicious in crumbles. In autumn, the beech and oak put on a stunning display of russet and gold.

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Habitats

As part of the Mersey Forest, the Mary Ann Plantation is providing a valuable woodland space for the community. The urban wood is also a haven for local wildlife.

Explore:

History of Mary Ann Plantation

The oldest part of the wood is between 100 and 200 years old and was originally planted to provide shelter for adjoining farms.

The site was purchased by the Commission for the New Towns (CNT) in the early 1980s. The CNT planted more trees and incorporated the site into the landscape of Warrington New Town.

The plantation was gifted to us in December 1995.

Things to do in Mary Ann Plantation

Mary Ann Plantation - Management plan

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Mary Ann Plantation Management Plan

PDF  (126 KB)