Manchester Animals & Zoos

Bird Sanctuaries & Nature Reserves

These venues are within a day’s return trip by
car from Manchester City Centre.

The Wildlife Trust

Wherever you live in the United Kingdom, you’ll
find a local Wildlife Trust near you. Some local Trusts are now online.

The Wildlife Trust National Office
The Green, Witham Park, Waterside South, Lincoln LN5 7JR.
Tel (01522) 544 400 Fax (01522) 511 616. Email –

Registered Charity No. 207238.
The Trusts cover the following local areas :

  • Cheshire Tel: 01270-610
    180. Email:
  • Cumbria Tel: 015394-32476.
  • Derbyshire Tel: 01332-756
    610. Email:
  • Lancashire Email:
  • North Wales Tel: 01248-351
    541. Email:
  • Staffordshire Tel: 01889-508
    534. Email:
  • Yorkshire Tel: 01904-659
    570. Email:
FlamingosPeacockWaterfowlMartin Mere

Hillside Ornamental Fowl

Beech Hill, Mobberley, Cheshire. Telephone: 01565-873
Flamingos, pelicans, toucans, penguins and wallabies are found here.
Parking on site, picnic area, and refreshments available. Red Rocks
Marsh Our only coastal reserve. Situated on the north of the Wirral
coastline between West Kirby and Hoylake. Nominated as both the ‘best’
reserve and the ‘best birdwatching’ reserve this site on the North
Wirral coast . The reserve is 4 hectares and consists of a reedbed,
a salt-marsh, and both embryo and secondary dunes and slacks. Access
is via Stanley Road, Hoylake. Progress on foot onto the foreshore
and then left onto the reserve. Unfortunately, the site is not accessible
to wheelchair users.

Holcroft Moss

An area of raised peat bog and scrub birch woodland
lying next to the M62 motorway just outside of Glazebury in Warrington.
The last remaining area of this type of habitat within the county.

The Quinta

The Quinta at Swettenham comprises over 36 acres
of ancient woodland, grassland, an arboretum and water features. Part
of the property is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest
(SSSI), whilst another part is a Site of Biological Importance (SBI).
The new woodland area is grant-aided by the Forestry Authority, and
the grassland is covered by a Countryside Commission stewardship scheme.
The reserve also forms part of Cheshire County Council’s Dane Valley
Area of Special County Value for Landscape (ASCV). Because of the
mosaic of habitats on the reserve, the opportunities for use as an
educational resource are vast. It is intended that, over the next
few years, interpretation displays will be installed on the site to
add to the experience of the visit.

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Martin Mere

Tel: 01704- 895 181.
Martin Mere is in Lancashire between Ormskirk and Southport, an excellent
place for seeing huge numbers of Pinkfoot Geese, Bewick and Whooper
Swans as well as large numbers of Duck. Renowned for its wide selection
of ducks, geese, swans and flamingos Martin Mere’s facilities include:
childrens adventure playground, pond-dipping zone, exhibition/craft
gallery and superb bird watching facilities. There is an ongoing programme
of special events and activities. The site is open all year round
daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm (earlier in winter). Closed 25 December.
Free parking for cars and coaches; restaurant; gift shop; facilities
for disabled people; wheelchair access.

Leighton Moss

Leighton Moss, Silverdale, Carnforth, Lancashire.
Tel: 01524 701 601.
One of north-west England’s largest venues for birdwatching, with
shallow meres, reed-beds and woodland. Its varied wildlife includes
such special birds as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers,
otters and roe and red deer. As well as a centre with excellent information,
the reserve has seven birdwatching hides, four of which have wheelchair
access, and nature trails. Facilities include car parking, a picnic
area, shop, snacks and light refreshments facilities, cycle facilities,
visitor centre and organised teaching programmes. There are toilets
with facilities for disabled visitors. On offer is also binocular
hire. There is a charge for RSPB non-members. Opening times are from
1000 am – 5.00 pm. Public transport: rail – Silverdale 200 yards.
Members of the RSPB and its club for children, the YOC, are admitted
free to all RSPB reserves. You may join the Society at reserves.

Mersey Estuary

The Mersey Estuary has a similar range of species
to the Dee, with especially large numbers of Pintail, Teal, Wigeon,
Shelduck, Dunlin and Redshank. The Duck have decreased in recent years
but good numbers still occur. Unfortunately the best areas for the
duck, Manisty Bay and Stanlow Marshes, have no public access but you
may be able to visit by arrangement with the Merseyside Naturalists
Association. Areas where there is public access are Seaforth Nature
Reserve (North Liverpool), Otterspool Promenade, Hale Lighthouse and
Eastham Country Park. Seaforth Nature Reserve in particular is well
worth a visit. Although not a pretty place at the North end of Liverpool
docks this reserve is a magnet for birds, these include a good selection
of waders and gulls as well as a nesting colony of Common Terns.

Frodsham Marshes

Frodsham Marshes are an exceptional area for birdwatching
all year round. Species include a large range of duck species, Hen
Harriers, Marsh Harriers, various waders including a good selection
of rarities and in 1997 Spoonbills attempted to breed with up to six
present during the summer.

Woolston Eyes

Woolston Eyes Reserve is an area of water, marsh
and reed beds situated between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River
Mersey near Warrington. Two hundred and twenty species have been recorded
on the Reserve, including thirteen species of raptor, more than thirty
species of wader, all five grebes, the three woodpeckers, and five
species of owl. In winter large numbers of wildfowl can be seen and
in the spring and summer several hundred warblers breed.

Conwy Estuary

The Conwy Estuary has similar duck and waders to
the Dee, albeit in smaller numbers, but has the added bonus of some
exceptional scenery. There is an RSPB reserve here (just off the A55)
which has a number of freshwater lakes as well as good views over
the estuary.

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This page last updated 18 Mar 09.