Become a permit holder at Woolston Eyes

Become a Permit Holder

You can support Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve and conservation effort by becoming a permit holder.

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You can support Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve and conservation effort by making a donation.

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Access and Permits for Woolston Eyes

Access by all vehicles is via Thelwall and Latchford Locks to the east of the Reserve alongside the north bank of the Manchester Ship Canal. A public footpath runs from the end of Weir Lane (Note: please do not park cars in Weir Lane as it restricts access for residents) across Woolston Weir along the west side of No.2 bed to the Ship Canal track with the entrance to No.3 bed on your right. Access to the Reserve is strictly limited to permit holders between the hours noted on the entrance gate throughout the year. A permit entitles the holder to visit the Eyes on any number of occasions during the year and to make use of the several hides. Please use the form below when making an application.

Click here to view or download a Map of No3 bed the principle Reserve area

Click here to view or download a map of No4 bed showing hides and footpath along with some general information of the bed

Click here for a Map of the whole Reserve - NOTE: Beds No2 & No1 are working deposit grounds and not accessible to permit holders

DO’S AND DONT’S Please:-

Do not stand on top of any of the beds’ banks.

Do not venture into the middle of the beds, keep to the marked paths.

Do park your cars in the car parks.

Do have your permit with you and if requested show it to wardens or MSCCo officials.

Do close the windows and doors of the hides on leaving.

Do lock the barriers and gates after you - Manchester Ship Canal Co insist that they are kept locked.

Do report interesting sightings to the Recorder, Brian Martin Tel. 01925-264251.

Permits and Pricing

From January 2023 our permit prices will increase to £20-00 for a single permit and £30-00 for a family permit.

Your permit fee along with grants we pursue enable us to retain the full-time services of an Estate Worker. Buying in their services from the RSPB has enabled us to tackle many of our habitat management tasks, to the benefit of both wildlife and visitors. I hope you will feel able to continue supporting us in the future

Brian Ankers WECG Chairman

NOTE The Group uses a computer to store Permit Holder’s records i.e. name & address, type of permit (family or single) date paid, request for an Annual Report and purchase of a key. The information is used to address the envelopes for mailing Newsletters and Annual Reports. The information stored in the computer will not be divulged to any third party. If you do not wish to have your name and address stored in the computer please inform the Chairman at Our Privacy Policy can be viewed via the link at the bottom of this page.

CLICK HERE to print a new permit application form

The WECG wish to stress to Permit Holders that current winter access hours are 08:00 hours to 16:00 hours with gates to the Reserve and entrance track secured between these times with locks which permit holders do not have keys. The opening and closing times will vary through the year as daylight hours change so please check out the times listed on our homepage and on the entrance gate to No3 bed which will be updated accordingly. We also wish to stress the importance of locking all appropriate gates when entering or leaving the Reserve. The “disappearance” of locks from various sites could lead to great problems.

Group Visits

Woolston Eyes has become a very popular venue for visits by bird watching groups, and in order to cope efficiently with the demand it is important to pre-book any visit at least six weeks in advance. We would also like to remind visitors that there is no car parking in Weir Lane as it severely restricts residents access. There is ample parking facility along the canal track and in the No3 bed car park for which access can be arranged by the visit organiser.

If you wish to book an outing for your group, or bring a party of your bird watching friends to Woolston please check out the latest group visit schedule listed in the scrolling news section of the homepage to ensure your desired date and times do not overlap with another group, or CLICK HERE for a copy and download the following Booking Form:

CLICK HERE…….. to download a printable Group Visit Form

Please send the completed Booking Form to Mrs Rosalind Martin, 45 Albert Road, Grappenhall, Warrington, Cheshire,WA4 2PF, enclosing an SAE.

A Warden can be made available to lead the visitors if so wished.

The cost of a visit is:

£5.00 per person if you require a Warden to escort you

£3.00 per person if you do not require a Warden to escort you

If any of the group are existing Woolston Eyes permit holders there will be no charge for that person

There is a minimum charge of £20.00 for any visit which we require in advance as a non-refundable deposit.

We understand the exact size of the party may not be known until the day of the visit so please make the final payment on the day to the Warden escorting you (if any) or by cheque payable to W.E.C.G. and sent to Rosalind Martin at the address given above.

Habitat Bird Species Flora and Fungi Butterflies Dragonflies and Damselflies Amphibians & Reptiles Insects and Spiders Aquatic Invertebrates Mammals