17.22 ha (42.55 acres)

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Explorer 276
OS Landranger 109

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 the perfect site for summer picnics and peaceful strolls at any time of year. Be sure to look out for the brook and pond nestled in the wood.


  • Parking at site
  • Public access
  • Grassland
  • Marshland
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Spud Wood

The 17.3-hectare (42.7-acre) site is on the edge of the village of Oughtrington, around 1.6km (1 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.

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.

Warrington’s Bank Quay and Central railway stations are just under 8km (5 miles) away.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is on Stage Lane, to the west of the main entrance. It is then a 10-minute walk to the wood.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

The main entrance is from Stage Lane to the north. The car park leads to a surfaced footpath which crosses Grantham’s Bridge over the Bridgewater Canal into the woodland. The site has 2km (1.2 miles) 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. A wooden footbridge with two small flights of steps crosses over Helsdale Brook.

There is a free car park on site with space for 10 cars.

The closest being in Lymm, 1.6km (1 mile) away, next to the post office on West Street and in the Town Trust car park next to St Mary’s Church on Rectory Lane.

Spud Wood is really important to me. I live only about half a mile away and 24 years ago these were potato fields, it was agricultural land very very little in the way of biodiversity. So, it's really nice to have something in the local area that's effectively our local nature reserve.

Local people have been involved in helping Woodland Trust manage the wood through activities like coppicing of hazel, and hedge laying. We also run a wood allotment scheme, where local people can come in and harvest wood, they take the firewood home, and The Woodland Trust gets free thinning of the woodland as they go along.

As volunteers, there's only so much we can do you know we've only got so much time, and also some of the work that needs to be done is beyond our ability. Our funding from the Veolia Environmental Trust has enabled The Woodland Trust to actually bring contractors in to do that difficult work.

The woodland and the whole area has sort of developed over the years so it was mud to start off with then grass and trees and then over the last I'd say 5-10 years we've seen an influx of wild flowers. That we haven't planted they've just sort of appeared including marsh orchids that were never here before I'd never seen them in the area before so it's a great benefit to the local community.

Wildlife and habitats


Listen for the cheerful, melodic song of the skylark as it hovers high above the meadows and in the spring the drumming of the great spotted woodpecker, marking out its territory on a hollow log. Look out for water species like the kingfisher close to the canal and wetland areas as well as dragonflies and damselflies in the warmer weather.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

The native trees planted at Spud Wood add to the mature trees that make up old field boundaries and line the canal. The maturing woodland is now flourishing and is now a year-round spectacle.

Look out for:


The new woodland at Spud Wood acts as a buffer to the rare, ancient woodland habitat at Helsdale Wood and it’s hoped that many of the species found in Helsdale will spread into Spud Wood as it continues to mature.

The wetland areas of the site, near the brook and pond, also attract plenty of wildlife from the nearby canal system.


About Spud Wood


The site was purchased from Cheshire County Council in 1997 and was planted in 1998/99 with a mix of native broadleaved trees covering around two-thirds of the site, with the rest seeded with native grasses.

The local community helped with the design and planting as part of our millennium project, Woods On Your Doorstep (WOYD). The site used to be farmland used for growing potatoes, with some semi-mature trees along the canal bank and roadside, and in hedgerows around the boundary.

Things to do in Spud Wood


Not only is there a good network of paths within Spud Wood, it is also linked to the wider countryside and a network of public footpaths via the Bridgewater Canal.

The 35.4km (22-mile) waymarked 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 the 17th-century Dunham Massey Hall, is around an hour’s walk alongside the canal.


Members of the Friends of Spud Wood group work closely with us to look after and promote the site, which they manage by running a wood allotment.

The group also organises community events, such as bat walks. You can find details at Low Carbon Lymm.

Dedication bench at Watkins Wood

Dedicate at this wood

This wood is one of more than 50 across the UK where it's possible to dedicate trees, benches or larger areas of woodland. Mark a special occasion or celebrate the life of a loved one with a meaningful gesture that lasts. 

Choose a dedication


Spud Wood Management Plan

PDF  (298 KB)