Hugh Harris: Moore Nature Reserve

 

MOORE N.R., WARRINGTON. SJ 578 855 – 01/09/2018

Ten Liverpool Botanical Society members accompanied by Anne-Marie Belcher, Reserve Warden and Lee Lappin, local naturalist explored the footpaths and bird hides of Moore Nature Reserve and Moss Side. Moore Nature Reserve is situated between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey. The 186 acres site has been managed as a nature reserve since 1991 after a history of land use for farming and sand quarrying. Today the reserve is surrounded by woodland, meadows and wetlands which provide a rich biodiversity of habitats for birds, mammals, insects, plants, amphibians and fungi. On the day 180 species of wildflowers were recorded.

The reserve is managed by wardens employed by FCC Environment operators of nearby Arpley Landfill site. The Landfill is being progressively restored to a mix of grassland and woodland and, together with the nature reserve, will eventually provide an important public amenity and area of rich diversity on the edge of what is a busy, and growing urban area.

However, its future is uncertain as there is a proposal to develop Port Warrington on the site.

Our guide for the Central Walk was Anne-Marie who took us along Lapwing Lane to the Bird Hide overlooking Lapwing Lake and opposite Middle Moss Wood. Then we walked along the disused Runcorn-Latchford Canal with its old sandstone canal walls; alongside the north shore of the lake, past Canal Bed Hide and Forestry Commission Hide, with Anne-Marie giving a commentary on the industrial and natural features.

We carried on to Lapwing Lane and took the footpath through Mersey Forest to Upper Moss Side where we were met by local naturalist, Lee who led us past Norton Bund to the Bird hide overlooking the River Mersey with views of Fidler’s Ferry Power Station. At this location, Lee engaged the group with his local knowledge of bird watching.

Re-tracing our steps to the disused canal footpath we took a diversion alongside the sand quarries and around the south shore of Lapwing Lake to the raised Raptor Watch platform and Sedge hide, re-joined the West Walk before arriving back at the car park on Lapwing Lane, SJ578855.

Hugh Harris MBAN