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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Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve

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How to get to Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve


The Woolston Eyes Reserve is situated to the east of Warrington between the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal, near Latchford Locks and the Thelwall Viaduct which carries the M6 Motorway over both the River and the Canal.

Reasonably dry paths give access to the west bank of No.2 bed and the banks around No.4 bed. No.3 bed is an island and access by permit holders is by a locked gate to the footbridge over the river. This bed has well marked paths which give access to hides and viewing platforms. The hides are basic with many constructed from metal to deter vandalism, except for the Morgan Hide which is a fully enclosed wooden hide in the middle of No.3 bed.

Note the beds can be very dangerous away from the paths. They contain areas of deep water, deep mud and are criss-crossed by steep sided water filled ditches hidden by dense vegetation.


Click here to view or download a map of No3 bed access point and visitor paths

Click here to view or download a map of No4 bed access point and visitor pathway

Click here to view or download a map of the footpath and vehicular access to the Reserve…

Vehicle access east from Thelwall alongside the Ship Canal

Those with cars must access the Reserve from Thelwall Lane past Latchford Locks.

If you are approaching from the south you should cross the ship canal swing bridge on the Knutsford Road (A50), take the right hand lane through Latchford and cross Kingsway South into Thelwall Lane.

If you are approaching from the north, you should leave the M6 at junction 21 then follow the A57, then the A50 and look out for Thelwall Lane on your left hand side, by traffic lights.

The approach to the reserve goes between housing and factories on the left and the Locks and Ship Canal on the right. Permit Holders can negotiate the locked barrier with the key issued with your permit. Once through the barrier drive along the track until you reach to reach the car park by No.3 bed, approx. 1.2km, and the footbridge entrance. Please ensure you lock the barrier behind you at all times and drive slowly as the track is also a public footpath.

Use of Sat-Navs The nearest postcode to the Reserve is WA4 1PD however if you use Sat-Nav. then Google based systems will direct you to the wrong side of the Ship Canal to Thelwall New Road if you enter just this postcode. If your system allows you to use a street address and postcode then entering ‘Thelwall Lane, WA4 1PD can direct you correctly. To overcome misdirection we recommend sat. nav. users use the postcode WA4 1NN This directs you to the Alcon Aluminium Recycling plant on Thelwall Lane. Once at the factory continue down Thelwall Lane, approx. 500m on the now unmetalled lane, past Beers Timber and Building Supplies to reach the entrance barrier to the Reserve track

Click image to enlarge

Footpath only entrance from the north along Weir Lane

Weir Lane is to be found approximately 200m west of M6 junction 21. It is not suitable for visitors in cars being a footpath entrance only. Those with their own transport are asked to avoid using this entrance as parking obstructs residents driveways, passing and turning areas.

From the south end of Weir Lane a footbridge across the guarded weir leads to the west of No.2 bed with No.3 bed entrance on your right on reaching the canal.

Using Public Transport

Anyone intending to visit the reserve using public transport is advised to request up to date information before setting out. Check out website for exact information (link correct at October 2020).

Warrington Transport operate buses from near Central Station which can be used to get to Woolston Eyes. The bus to Weir Lane (to access the reserve from the north side) along the A57 is the No3 from Warrington Interchange.

To access the reserve from the western (Thelwall) end take either the No.1 or No.2 bus to Westy Estate, Whitley Ave. terminus which is not too far away from Thelwall Lane via Nook Lane.

The No.11 and No.12 buses from Warrington Interchange come down Thelwall Lane as far as Nook Lane - depart here - before returning back to Warrington via Westy Estate.

The No.10 bus is still shown on the bus route map but not in the time tables which suggests it may not be current. It used to travel one stop further down Thelwall Lane to the new housing estate by Latchford Locks, depart at Powder Mill Lane and continue down Thelwall Lane and the Locks to arrive at the canal track and the first barrier.

Click here….. to view a map of Warrington Bus routes to Thelwall Lane entrance

Click here…. to view Warrington to Thelwall Lane bus time tables

Habitat Bird Species Flowers - Shrubs and Trees Butterflies Dragonflies and Damselflies Amphibians & Reptiles Insects - Bees and Wasps Aquatic Invertebrates Mammals Grasses - Sedges - Rushes and Typha Fungi Moths Mosses & Liverworts Insects Beetles