Leighton Moss, Gait Barrows Circular

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This circular walk starts by the causeway which crosses Leighton Moss RSPB site. From the road we go onto the public footpath that leads to The Trough, an old quarry in the limestone pavement area, home to several orchid species, many other interesting wildflowers and fossils. Exiting The Trough, almost as soon as it is entered, the path runs alongside the Silverdale Golf Course and crosses the (still used) railway line on the way to the next area of interest, Hawes Water. This is a wildlife-rich area based around the water, reedbeds and woodland. Many varieties of bird abound, including green woodpeckers, long-tailed tits and goldcrests. Rare bird's-eye primrose can be found in the meadows in late spring and early summer, along with numerous orchid species. The walk then crosses the road and continues through a mixture of woodland and fields.

There is a short road section heading back to the limestone pavement area at Gait Barrows; however, this is now shortened by cutting through the Coldwell Parnock Nature Reserve, heading down the main footpath through Gait Barrows, another fascinating limestone pavement area that abounds with rare flowers and butterflies in spring and summer and plenty to keep the birdwatcher entertained.

Leaving Gait Barrows (across a field that can be very muddy but which is easily skirted}, head out along a main, broad path through thin woodland and overlooking Leighton Moss RSPB. This remains in sight as you complete the walk across farmland towards Leighton Hall and back along the public footpath through Leighton Moss to where the walk began on the road above the RSPB visitor centre.

England - North England - Lancashire - Countryside

Features

Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Flowers, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Nature Trail, Public Transport, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
23/07/2018 - maria mccherry

A lovely walk but in late July 2nd herd of cows grazing between 31 and 32 were very aggressive towards dogs and closed us in. Attempts to escape into next field were met by barbed wire and hawthorn hedges, and another herd of aggressive cows. Would recommend cutting out this section and taking road back to start if you have dogs. First herd was fine and very placid , 2nd herd put us in very dangerous situation. Other than that a really beautiful walk

09/07/2016 - Frank Wall

Frank Wall 9/7/2016 I have used this walk several times and its good; however I was always concerned at Points 7,8 & 9 since; we are crossing a dangerous railway ( two lines) with no clear vision in one direction and since I am leading up to 20 walkers. Out there yesterday doing the recce again for next weeks trip: the crossing has now been boarded-up by B R and notices warning that the crossing is now closed: however, walking back maybe 15/20 yards to a wider track I realised a gate further down; going through this and on to a further gate , brought me onto the road I needed; so not only safer but a shorter route and I was back on my walk.

14/01/2014 - Richard Jones

Waymark 18 can be under water after prolonged heavy rain. The stream swells and can be quite impossible to cross, even using the gate as a climbing frame! By way of compensation I would strongly recommend the way-marked trails off to the left mentioned at point 23. Both the 'limestone' and 'yew tree' trail gives great access to the geology of the area. They emerge in the field between points 25 and 26. Turn left to follow the field edge (avoiding the muddy path across the centre of the field) and rejoining the route at the gateway (point 26).

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