Mere Sands Wood

Tree Planting in Lancashire at Mere Sands Wood

Mere Sands Wood is a wildlife-rich haven in the heart of agricultural west Lancashire. The reserve covers 42 hectares (105 acres) and is made up of lakes, mature broadleaved and conifer woodland, sandy, wet meadows and heaths.

IMPORTANT VISITOR INFOTake only photos. Leave only footsteps.

To keep the woodland as natural as possible we don’t label individual trees and we ask that visitors do not place their own plaques, labels, flowers, etc in the woodland. Each tree we plant should be seen as part of a natural woodland.

Before visiting this woodland, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page, which gives you helpful tips about your tree and visitor guidance.

The management of the Mere Sands Wood is designed not only to encourage wildlife, but also to provide facilities for people to visit and enjoy seeing the wildlife.

The site is nationally important for wildfowl and dragonflies, as well as its geology, and has a fascinating history. It stands on an area of layered sand and peat, which was deposited by the wind over boulder clay during the last Ice Age, and by periods of water logging following this period.

The sand and peat layers have remained almost undisturbed since this time and are therefore of international importance in the understanding of the changes that occurred to the Lancashire coastline since the ice retreated northwards

This geological interest warranted the reserve being designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1985. The name 'Mere Sands' dates back to medieval times when the area was on the shore of a large lake called 'Martin Mere'.

The lake was gradually drained for agriculture along with large areas of surrounding peatland. Lord Hesketh planted the original woodland on the site in the mid-nineteenth century and Rhododendron was added later.

The sand proved to be of value for glass-making and extraction companies quarried the site between 1974 and 1982. During this period, the Trust members and the local community worked with Lancashire County Council to require the extraction company, under a planning agreement, to landscape the site into a nature reserve once the extraction was completed.

Close liaison with the quarrying company ensured that belts of the best woodland were left undisturbed during extraction to save as much wildlife as possible and screen the works. Extracted areas were landscaped into shallow-edged lakes with marsh and dry heath conditions nearby. On completion of the sand winning in 1982, the Trust acquired the site.

Since 1982, many thousands of hours have been invested by Trust volunteers, government trainees and staff developing the site into its present form. Hides have been built, footpaths established and reedbeds have been encouraged. The Reserve continues to develop and there are many opportunities for people to share in this work.

The mature woodland is mainly Birch with some Oak but there is also a mature Scots Pine plantation in the south-east corner, which supports a small population of red squirrels. Other mammals that inhabit or visit the reserve include foxes, rabbits, stoats and roe deer. Water voles and hares are found on neighbouring arable land.

Much Rhododendron has been removed from the reserve, which has allowed the re-establishment of the native flora such as Broad Bucker Fern, and several species of Bramble. Over 200 species of fungi have been recorded on the reserve. The lakes are developing an interesting aquatic flora; some of this has been augmented with the establishment of locally sourced reed beds on the lake shores.

Wet grasslands and dry heaths occur on areas refilled after sand extraction and now support many wildflowers including Marsh Helleborine, Common Spotted, Early and Southern Marsh and Bee Orchids and notable populations of Golden Dock, Yellow Bartsia, Yellow-wort, Lesser Centaury and Royal Fern.

Perhaps the main wildlife interest at Mere Sands Wood is the over-wintering birds. Winter wildfowl populations include nationally important numbers of Gadwall and Teal, as well as Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye and Goosander. Locally important species include Mandarin Duck and Kingfisher and there are annual sightings of Willow Tit and Lesser-spotted Woodpecker.

Breeding species include Great Crested and Little Grebes, Shelduck, Gadwall, Pochard and Tufted Duck, alongside Little Ringed Plover and Lapwing. Birds that breed in the woodland include Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, and Redpoll alongside the common tit and warbler species. Turtle Dove and Quail breed occasionally. In all, over 170 bird species have been seen on the reserve, of these 60 are known to have bred.

Photo Gallery

  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Wetlands
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Woodland And Foxgloves On The Edge Of The Water
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Holly Tree Sapling Growing Among Pink Foxgloves
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Oak Trees
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Holly And Other Trees In Bracken
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Young Hawthorn Sapling
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Scots Pine Saplings
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Hazel Trees Are Planted Throughout The Nature Reserve
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Hawthorn Sapling
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Foxgloves On The Edge Of The Mere
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Field Maple Sapling
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  A Woodland Ecosystem
  • Mere Sands Wood  -  Lancashire  -  Tree Planting Map

Tree Species at Mere Sands Wood

Since 2014 EFORESTS has worked with the land owners and local volunteers to plant 9295 new native tree species.

The following tree species were planted on the site:


Address

Holmeswood Road
Rufford
Lancashire
L40 1TG

Map



External links

http://www.lancswt.org.uk/places-to-see/mere-sands-wood-nature-reserve

EFORESTS is not responsible for the content on external websites.

IMPORTANT VISITOR INFOTake only photos. Leave only footsteps.

To keep the woodland as natural as possible we don’t label individual trees and we ask that visitors do not place their own plaques, labels, flowers, etc in the woodland. Each tree we plant should be seen as part of a natural woodland.

Before visiting this woodland, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page, which gives you helpful tips about your tree and visitor guidance.

EFORESTS have been tree planting in Lancashire and many other regions since 2006. You can dedicate a tree to be planted in Lancashire or elsewhere in the UK on our Tree Dedication page.