Size:

3.36 ha (8.30 acres)

Grid reference:

SJ649913

Map reference:

Explorer 276

OS Landranger 109

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 around the ponds looking out for wildfowl and iridescent dragonflies darting across the water; and spot wild flowers and beautiful butterflies in the adjoining meadows.

Explore the woods on surfaced paths and enjoy the peaceful escape from town life. It’s hard to believe these tranquil woods were once the site of a huge bomb factory during the Second World War.

Features

  • Public access
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Small Woods in Oakwood

Small Woods in Oakwood is a 3.4-hectare (8.3-acre) cluster of woodlands lying on either side of Ordnance Avenue in the Oakwood area of Warrington.

From central Warrington, head east along the A57 (Manchester Road). Turn left onto the A50 and then right for the A575 (Birchwood Way). Continue over two roundabouts, and then at the third roundabout take the third exit onto Oakwood Gate. At the next roundabout take the first exit for Ordnance Avenue. The woods are on both sides of the road.

The nearest station is Birchwood, which is 20 minutes’ walk away from Small Woods in Oakwood.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is opposite the fire station on Ordnance Avenue.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

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.

There is no formal car park on site. There are, however, car parks in the Birchwood Shopping Centre and in nearby Risley which require payment.

The nearest public toilets are 1.6km (1 mile) away at Risley Moss Visitor Centre. Opening times are: October-March, 9 am-5pm (closed Fridays); April-September, 9am-5pm weekdays (closed Fridays) and 10am-6pm weekends/bank holidays.

For more information visit Warrington Gov.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Ducks and dragonflies can be seen around the ponds and the site is home to a range of woodland birds, including blue tits. It also attracts butterflies, such as the painted lady.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Different sections of Small Woods in Oakwood have a specific mix of trees. Look out for white willow in the north-west section, mature ash in the north-east section and oak in the southern sections.

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.

Look out for:

Habitats

The cluster of woods making up Small Woods in Oakwood brings nature right to the heart of town creating a peaceful sanctuary for local wildlife.

Explore:

About Small Woods in Oak Wood

History

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 was high and the walled garden on site was formerly a reservoir supplying water for fire hydrants around the factory. The factory was sold off in sections after it closed in 1968.

We have owned and managed Small Woods in Oakwood since the 1990s. During this time we have worked with a local school and a scout group to improve paths and remove litter.

Things to do in Small Woods in Oakwood

Small Woods in Oakwood - Management plan

Download

Small Woods in Oakwood Management Plan

PDF  (127 KB)