Places to see birds

Croxteth Hall Country Park & Local Liverpool Nature reserve. Mab Lane Community Woodlands

Croxteth Hall Country Park & Local Liverpool Nature reserve. Mab Lane Community Woodlands
Croxteth Hall Long Pond - Laura Bimson

Croxteth Hall and estate was formerly the family home of the Earls of Sefton, the estate passed into public ownership 500 acres remaining were turned into a country park.
The parkland includes another Liverpool Local Nature reserve, Croxteth. The LNR now managed in partnership with the Wildlife Trust and Liverpool City Council. comprises 50ha of woodland, rough grassland and pasture with several ponds and is bordered by the River Alt. There are miles of decent paths leading through and around the parkland and into some of the wooded areas.

Mull Wood, one of 5 wooded areas, was Liverpool's first nature reserve, this wood mainly planted with English oak and sycamore and holds a good variety of breeding birds, including nuthatch and occasionally lesser spotted woodpecker.
The LNR has recently been expanded to almost double the size t has recently been enhance by the planting of a wildflower meadow close to the old kennels. It is hoped that this wildflower feeding station will stop the decline in our bumblebees, butterflies and other wildlife in the area. Swallows return every year in spring to breed in stables/kennels area .

Woodland species are well represented amongst the birds of the park jay, jackdaw, collared dove, crow, woodpigeon. The woodland also attracts flocks of long tailed tit and other small passerines such as other tits, green and goldfinch, chaffinch, nuthatch, house sparrows and thrushes. Woodcock have been seen rodding between areas of woodland during the spring and summer. Woodland plants brighten up the path edges in spring, primroses, lesser celandines, bluebells, ramsons and red campion
Redwing and fieldfare arrive during the winter months and can usually be found alongside various corvids and gulls in the more open areas of the park particularly on the western side near to West Derby Village and in the pastures close to the stables.

During the spring and early summer the woods are full of the sound of the visiting members of the warbler family - blackcap, chiffchaff and willow warbler A visit to the eastern edge of Craven wood or a walk around the bridle path around the edge of the park will usually give good sightings of buzzard soaring on the thermals, these birds have increased in numbers in recent years and up to six at a time can be seen.

There are several ponds and small ornamental lakes dotted around the area were mallard, heron, coot and moorhen can be seen. Common dragon and damselflies also breed in these waters.
Opening times: Inner Park (Hall lawns): 7.00am to 7.00pm Country Park and Car Park: 7.00am to 8.00pm Up to October

Mab Lane Community Woodlands

Similar in concept to Huyton Lane Wetlands a neglected site has been developed for the community.
This is a little wild oasis between housing estates. The new woodland links two old waterlogged sports fields, Mab lane fields and the Backfield. Situated close to Stockbridge village aka Cantril Farm and linked to Croxteth Country park/LNR by a woodland path.
Open grassland, natural grasses(wildflowers in summer) boggy in places with shrub/woodland around edges and an interior area alongside the 'Brook'. Part of the River Alt kingfishers have been seen along this strip of river.. There is a small reed bed by the brook, hiding place of finches, ducks and water rail.
Good paths are laid through the park leading to several entrances.
The woodland has been planted by the Forestry commission/Mersey forest's access to nature project with a myriad of trees including patches of silver birch, beech, oak and conifer. An impressive 20,000 trees were planted between 2009-2010.
Birds noted jays, jackdaws, crows, magpies, goldfinches, blue, great and long tailed tits, blackbird, redwing, pheasant, robin, wren, kingfisher, mallard, teal, moorhen, water rail, snipe and grey wagtail. Other occupants field mice and rabbits!