Places to see birds

Huyton Lane Wetlands

Huyton Lane Wetlands
Wildflowers at Huyton Lane - Laura Bimson

The source of the River Alt, Huyton Lane Wetland Park is a peaceful haven for local wildlife where you sit and enjoy the birdsong. It's not a particularly large wetland park, but it is absolutely packed to the seams with all kinds of wildflowers and in spring/early summer looks terrific. Ideal if you've only got an hour to spare.

The land to the south of Huyton Lane was owned and farmed by the Molyneaux Seel family who lived at Huyton Hey Manor on Seel Road. This is the source of the main River Alt. The water seeps out of the ground and forms wet grassland. It floods in winter and is drained by ditches. The wet meadows known locally as 'The Cowie' was used for summer grazing until the 1930's In 1988 Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council designated the Wetland as a site for nature conservation and recreation. The site has been developed for recreation and wildlife. Footpaths, boardwalks and benches were installed and local residents and schools helped by planting wildflowers and trees.

Typical wetland wildflowers flourish on the site such as Marsh Marigold, Purple Loosestrife, Tormentil, Silverweed and Cuckoo Flower. Up to 85 species of wildflowers are found here. The wet areas of the site are invariably shallow and seasonal, with the exception of one pond, favourite of the skimming dragonflies Broad bodied chasers, Common darter, Emperor and Emerald dragonflies, Common blue damselflies being the most abundant. The nearby ditches provide additional habitat for newts and frogs. The grassland and wildflower meadow areas are home to field voles and mice and provide vital nectar for visiting butterflies such as Large and small white, Meadow brown, Small tortoiseshell, Red admiral, Gatekeeper, Comma, Speckled wood, Skipper and Peacock.

Bird species recorded on site include Sparrowhawk, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Mallard, Buzzard ,Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Swift, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Lapwing, Reed bunting Blackbird, Song Thrush, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Starling, Jay, House Sparrow, Chaffinch and Snipe.

Noctule and Pipistrelle Bats take advantage of the insect life that swarm over the ponds and ditches.

The river Alt run from the old Hag Plantation - short distance south east of the wetland, through Croxteth Park, roughly follows the M57 motorway south of Kirkby, then flows north of Aintree and south of Maghull. Historically within Lancashire, it then runs south of Formby and empties into the Irish Sea, near the edge of the Mersey estuary at Hightown where it marks the northern end of Crosby Beach.

Huyton Lane Wetland Park
Huyton Lane
Merseyside L36 7XQ
The Park is open throughout the year.

For more information on the parks or details of walks and talks in the parks contact the Knowsley rangers on :- 0151 443 3682