What is Mere Sands Wood?

Mere Sands Wood is a stunning nature reserve, not far from the Woodlands Animal Sanctuary in the agricultural landscape of Lancashire. It is a 42-hectare reserve comprised of woodlands, wetlands, lakes, walking paths and wildlife viewing stations. Due to its rich and varied habitats, the reserve is a wildlife haven to many beasties and creepy-crawlies. The reserve is managed by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and is a perfect day out for all the family!


As mentioned, Mere Sands Wood has a vast population of wonderful wildlife. It has an array of habitats, including heaths, and sandy wet meadows that encourage a range of plant life. In spring and summer, the reserve is sprinkled with gorgeous wildflowers, such as:

  • Marsh orchids
  • Golden dock
  • Yellow bartsia
  • And more!

Spring and summer are also brilliant seasons for wildlife! During these seasons, the air is alive with the symphony of birdsong and the humming of stunning insects like dragonflies and butterflies. Not only this but Mere Sands Wood is an excellent spot for birdwatching, all year round. Over 170 species have visited the reserve, including:

  • Tree sparrows
  • A sparrow hawk (they nest in the woodland!)
  • Kingfishers ~click for more info!
  • Goldeneye
  • And more!

During the warmer months, visit the lakeside. You might be lucky enough to see great crested grebes perform their mating rituals!

Not only is Mere Sands Wood a wonderful place to visit during the warmer months, but it’s also great to visit during the colder ones, too! The reserve is a terrific walk all year round, in all kinds of weather. Its vast habitats are home to 17 species of mammals including stoats, roe deer and foxes that roam the broadleaved and conifer woodland. Amazingly, the reserve also has a small population of red squirrels hidden amongst its trees. So, keep your eyes peeled!

Due to its impressive wildlife population, dogs must be kept on a lead when visiting the reserve and owners are expected to act responsibly.

Facilities at Meres Sands Wood

Facilities at the reserve include:

  • Toilets
  • A shop
  • A visitor centre
  • Picnic area


Not only is Mere Sands Wood awesome but it’s accessible, too! 95% of the paths of the reserve are wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Similarly, the reserve has a total of 6 hides and a viewing station that are also fully accessible.  Need a helping hand? The reserve kindly has two motorised buggies available for loan from the Visitor Centre.

Visitor Centre

Want to take a break from walking? Why not visit the Visitor Centre? The centre is accessible on foot and in wheelchairs. It has a range of fun activities for kids, including board games! Feeling peckish? Pop along to the centre’s café! It has all kinds of tasty snacks and beverages. The centre also has a nature-themed shop, which is great for knickknacks!

The Visitor Centre is open 10 am-4 pm 7 days a week whereas the car park and reserve are open 24/7.

Q Is parking free?

There's a £2 charge for parking, however you can pay £30 for an annual parking pass.

Q When does the Visitor Centre close?

The Visitor Centre at Mere Sands Wood is open 10 am- 4pm 7 days a week. However, the car park and reserve itself are open 24/7.

Q Can I bring my dog?

Yes! Your furry friend

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