Helsby Quarry has been awarded Green Flag status, a prestigious award which is the national benchmark for parks and open spaces. This indicates that the park has fulfilled the judging criteria and is a safe, welcoming and well maintained park offering a range of recreational and leisure opportunities for people of all ages.
Whatever the time of year, Helsby Quarry has something for your visit. The quarry’s carpets of bluebells and primroses in spring become a green gem in summer and in autumn and winter the rock faces are especially striking.
With rock faces; a tunnel, woodland and a meadow Helsby Quarry Local Nature Reserve is a great place to spend an afternoon exploring the history of the area and enjoying the wildlife.
From the car park, walk down the main path that has a coppiced edge of hazel. Look out for the coppice hazel hurdles around the site! The meadow is a popular place for dog walkers. Look into the scrubby edges to see the tall and striking teasel in summer, that provide a vital food source for finches, including Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
Pass by the meadow and you will see glimpses of the sandstone rock faces that were laid some 240 million years ago. Walk along the south end of the meadow and sit a while on a beautiful carved bench.
Venture further and you will walk through the rock tunnel that was once a tramway to move sandstone to Ince pier. Stone from the quarry is believed to be used in the Albert Docks, Liverpool.
The main paths through the site are surfaced, with numerous steps and level changes. The north-eastern loop is suitable for assisted wheelchair access. The site has a car park off Alvanley Road.
As the name suggests the site was a former quarry in the 19th Century and more recently was a landfill tip until the 1970s. It was reclaimed in the 1980s and since then has become a beautiful reserve.
It was designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2001, for wildlife and people. It is also a RIGS (Regional Important Geological Site) for its sandstone cliff faces, formed in the Triassic period from river deposits and sand dunes.
Exploring further afield
To the north of the Quarry is Helsby Hill which is managed by the National Trust and signposted from the car park. The ten minute walk uphill is well worth it to see stunning views of the Welsh Mountains. A Public Right of Way runs along the west of the site.
Cheshire West and Chester Council