Risley Moss nature reserve, Warrington.

Another weekend another adventure! This time we ventured not too far from home, to a nature reserve named Risley Moss. Nature reserves have always been a firm favourite for me – when I was younger my parents and myself would wander around the various reserves in Yorkshire and I’d run around pretending I was an Elf fighting alongside Legolas and the Fellowship – or a Pokémon trainer. Quite apt that as I reach thirty years old, I’m still wandering places looking for Pokémon..

Risley Moss didn’t disappoint us on our latest visit.

The car park and entrance to Risley Moss is beautifully tended, and even on a Sunday the visitors centre was open. This was novel to us as usually when we wander on a Sunday everything is locked up and closed!

When we arrived, we loved the idea of a tower hidden away in the wood – so that’s what we went searching for first. What we found was a huge wooden structure which resembled a UFO!

The view was spectacular. There were a number of gaps in the wood as you can see, above, and beyond that was a huge amount of things to see. Luckily, in front of the windows themselves is a huge map pointing out anything you should know – from potential nesting sites to Manchester Airport.

Megs is a little too little to be carrying her own phone to play Pokémon, so instead she had a ‘real life’ Pokémon hunt – looking for bugs and critters for Mike to test out new Canon camera on. Its the first camera we’ve invested in as a couple so I’m glad we got to test out its capabilities – I’ll do a post on that soon if people want to know more about our choice of camera / lens!

While we explored, we discovered little areas that local groups had obviously been using as camping spots, but these were done in spaces where there would be minimal disruption to the natural environment – and they were well tended. Other areas had been used to store trees which had been felled, letting them decompose back into the wood itself.

We had two excitable ones with us, so we didn’t really get chance to sit and watch quietly to see what we could snap – but the hut itself was cosy and I wouldn’t mind going back on a grey day. Compared to the huts we saw at Pennington Flash, I think these have the edge – even if we did have to share with the local spider population!

A number of carvings were around the path, a little easier to spot than some of the carvings we were treated to at Lymm Dam and nature reserve. This gentle giant was sitting close to a pond behind the visitors centre, next to some seating. The pond was filled with photographic opportunities (as you can see below), and Little Miss was busying herself picking Dandelions for Rusty – so Mike disappeared into the pond reeds.

As you can see, the local wildlife didn’t disappoint. I love dragonfly, and though we only managed to get pictures of some of the smaller ones some were as big as our hands! The pond was teeming with life, from frogs to sticklebacks, to various critters flitting around – it was hard to capture some as there were a lot of people walking the pathway so nothing really settled.

As we made our way to the exit, we passed some more carvings – the bench with the squirrel / bear / cute little guy on was an immediate hit with Little Miss. I actually wouldn’t mind him for myself either, he’d look quite at home in our back garden!


Thank you for spotting my little blog, guys! Ben the Bear is utterly charming, and myself and my little Lady are incredibly envious of your parks beautiful addition.
We did both decide that he would be much happier living at Risley Moss to our back yard in Newton-le-Willows!

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  • Nature parks are my favourite! Especially if they've got little bird watching huts like that tower you found. That's perfect to get photos of the birds and have them not be disturbed.

    I think (well, I hope) I make it to the nature reserve just by The Netherlands tomorrow. My OH and I are off to cycle the coast of Belgium and we're hoping to make a stop at the nature reserve at the end of the day. We'll try but we might stop too many times on the journey to make it in time before the train home!

    Oh those sculptures are really awesome! I wish we had some things like that at our nature reserves! Can't go wrong with hunting for little critters!

    What a fantastic day out! and gorgeous photos too!

    ~ K


    • Most of the wildlife reserves here huts and hides – it's controversial as some people don't agree with them saying it interferes with the wildlife in their natural environment. I'd prefer huts to people disturbing nests to be honest!

      I hope you managed to get to the reserve – sorry for the long delay in getting back to you, I've been abysmal at commenting lately and it's something I'm working on.


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