Places to see birds

Liverpool Local Nature Reserve - Childwall Woods, Fields and The Black Wood

Liverpool Local Nature Reserve - Childwall Woods, Fields and The Black Wood
The Black wood - Laura Bimson

Childwall Woods, Fields and the Black Wood are part of the Mersey Forest. They are approximately 6 miles from the city centre in the South East suburbs of Liverpool. A site of nature conservation value and have been named a Liverpool Local Nature Reserve (LNR) area, the first in the city for 20 years. Childwall LNR is managed in partnership with the Wildlife Trust and Liverpool City Council. There are sixteen types of trees in the woods, the dominant tree being beech with a mixture of other deciduous and evergreen species, including English oak, sweet and horse chestnut, lime, silver birch, sycamore, whitebeam and yew. EFORESTS, in association with the Merseyside Wildlife Trust, have recently planted a number of new trees in the wood including oak, ash, scots pine and wild cherry.

The bird list for the sites stands at, at least 60 species with grey partridge being notable in this urban area. Kestrels and sparrowhawks regularly nest in the woods along with great and lesser spotted woodpeckers. Herons investigate the marshy wet areas of the fields and in the autumn flocks of long tailed tits and goldcrests can be seen flitting through the woodland treetops. Other woodland birds that frequent the sites include: blue, great and coal tit, brambling, chaffinch, jackdaw, jay, linnet, nuthatch, robin, siskin, song thrush, stock dove, treecreeper, wood pigeon and wren.

The Black Wood is across the road from Childwall Woods, a smaller wood but no less important. In 2008 there were lots of dead and rotting trees available and our group estimated that there was probably 4 to 5 pairs of great spotted woodpecker around.

Formerly a landfill site Childwall fields is an 8.7 ha site that has been planted with native deciduous trees as part of the Mersey Forest project The site is valued because of its wide range of urban wildlife. Sixteen species of butterfly have been recorded on the Fields, they include small blue, small copper, speckled wood, comma and red admiral butterflies. The grasslands put on a spectacular show of English bluebell, common spotted and southern marsh orchids in early June, with buttercup providing a golden backdrop in the early summer. Bats, grey squirrels, voles and foxes are also regular inhabitants of the area.
The view from the fields on a clear day is superb, looking over the Lancashire and Cheshire plain with the Peak District to the south east and the West Pennines and Pendle Hill to the north east. In the foreground the Widnes \ Runcorn Bridge crosses the River Mersey at the narrowest point in the inner estuary.

Location - South East Liverpool, OS Grid Ref. SJ 410890.
Childwall Abbey Rd/Woolton Rd/Aldbourne Avenue