Clock Face Country Park sign

The Clock Face Country Park, St. Helens

Plus the new community woodlands nearby at:
Maypole Wood and Wheatacre within the Bold Forest Park

The Clock Face Country Park, St. Helens
Plus the community woodlands nearby at:
Maypole WoodWheatacre in Bold Forest Park
The Clock Face Country Park in St. Helens
Plus community woodlands at: Maypole Wood and Wheatacre
The beauty of Clock Face Country Park & Maypole Wood in Spring and Winter (16 photographs)
The beauty of the Country Park and Maypole Wood Slideshow
Clock Face Country Park is on the site of a former colliery that dates back to 1890. By the early 1960s the mine was producing over 160,000 tons of coal a year and employing over 700 men. However, in October 1965 the National Coal Board deemed the pit uneconomic and announced that the colliery would close in the following year. (View History of Clock Face Colliery here)

The 57-acre Clock Face Country Park in St.Helens can look beautiful when it snows

The 57-acre Clock Face Country Park can look beautiful when it snows

The park can look beautiful in snow

The site was reclaimed by St Helens Council as a community woodland and public open space in the late 1990s. Measuring fifty-seven acres, the country park contains developing woodlands, footpath networks, meadow areas and a fishing pond. It’s linked to the Sutton Manor Woodland, another former colliery along 'Miners Way', a reclaimed mineral railway route.
The above aerial view of Clock Face Country Park was photographed for Sutton Beauty & Heritage by a drone in September 2015. The image looks north-east towards Bold and Burtonwood, with Gorsey Lane on the left. Note the main entrance into the Country Park from Gorsey Lane with car park and aforementioned pond on the right.

The Country Park fishing pond is locally known as 'The Pit’ and is managed by Clock Face Anglers Club

The Clock Face Country Park fishing pond is locally known as 'The Pit’

The fishing pond is known as 'The Pit’

The present pond is one of three that the old Clock Face Colliery employed to store water that had been pumped out of the mine shafts. During the 1990s, fishing platforms were installed and new access paths were created. The re-established pond – sometimes called ‘Clock Face Pit’ - soon became a popular fishing spot with roach, tench and bream, amongst the available species. In 2009 Clock Face Anglers Club was formed and day tickets are available for non-members. Around the water’s edge you’ll find water lily, reed mace and flag iris, amongst other aquatic plants.

A jogger on a perimeter path in the 57-acre Clock Face Country Park in St.Helens

A jogger on a perimeter path in the Clock Face Country Park

A jogger on a park perimeter path

Birds of prey can often be seen in Clock Face Country Park. Buzzards soar high overhead as they look to prey on rabbits, while kestrels hover over the grassland seeking out small mammals. The elevated areas to the south of the site look down upon farmland, offering sightings of animals such as hares and foxes.

Beautiful wild flower meadow in the Clock Face Country Park in St.Helens

Beautiful wild flower meadow in the Clock Face Country Park

Beautiful wild flower meadow

Wildflowers grow in abundance on the former colliery site with the woodlands and meadows displaying colourful species such as purple loosestrife, early marsh / spotted orchid and ragged robin. There’s a rich variety of flora and fauna and the deciduous woodland includes wild cherry, oak, ash and silver birch. During November and December 2012, a toposcope, interpretation panels and new signage were installed. Clock Face Country Park is a fabulous place to walk the dog, exercise or simply relax. There are many benches where one can take a moment and enjoy the beautiful trees which have grown considerably over the last few years.
This aerial photograph looks southwest towards the Dream sculpture, surrounded by the Sutton Manor Woodland (at the top right). Note Hall Lane on the left, which links to Griffin Wood and Gorsey Lane on the right of the photo, which connects to Clock Face Road and the village of Clock Face. At the top left of the picture are the cooling towers of Fiddlers Ferry Power Station.

Maypole Wood by Clock Face Country Park

Maypole Farm sign St.Helens
Adjacent to the Clock Face Country Park in Gorsey Lane is Maypole Wood which is named after the neighbouring Maypole Farm and district, with Maypole originally being a Bold hamlet that has been traced back to 1786. The Forestry Commission acquired the Maypole Farm land in May 2001. Two years later it planted thousands of trees, plus a willow coppice that is used for willow weaving in the local area. It forms part of the expanding Mersey Forest and is a developing woodland with trees, meadows, paths and wildlife.

Wildlife that is known to inhabit Maypole Wood includes dragonflies, rabbits, foxes, roe deer, kestrels, buzzards and sparrow hawks. There are a number of benches which have been installed at designated points, so that walkers can take a break and admire the rapidly growing trees, as well as enjoy the birdsong and wildlife. Maypole is sandwiched between the large country park and
Griffin Wood, at the bottom of Hall Lane, with its remarkable sculpture trail. Combining the three together makes for a superb walk or cycle.

Some of the young trees in Maypole Wood two years after planting - photographed in February 2005

Some of the young trees in Maypole Wood two years after planting

Young trees two years after planting

“Trees

The flourishing trees in Maypole Wood adjacent to Clock Face Country Park - photographed in May 2007

“Trees

The flourishing trees in Maypole Wood photographed in May 2007

“Trees

The flourishing trees in 2007

The Forestry Commission's Notice on the Site States:
'Welcome to this Forestry Commission community woodland. Whether walking the dog or riding through take a moment to relax amidst this mosaic of woods, grassland and wet meadow. Watch finches on the seed heads or buzzards hunting rabbits. Listen for the "little bit of bread and no cheese" call of yellowhammer or just the buzz of bees amongst the wildflowers and trees. In the centre are willow beds where different weaving varieties are being grown.'
“Bird

Bird box intended for barn owls on a tall, heavy pole in Maypole Wood - photographed in 2013

“Bird

Bird box intended for barn owls on a tall, heavy pole in Maypole Wood

“Bird

Bird box intended for barn owls

An addition to Maypole in 2013 is this bird box for barn owls to encourage breeding, as there is known to be an owl population in the area. However other birds, such as kestrels, may well be seen using it. The box is on a tall pole as most birds of prey prefer to make their nests in an elevated position and to prevent people disturbing the birds.
“Walkway

Walkway which connects Maypole Wood with the Clock Face Country Park - photographed in July 2013

“Walkway

Walkway which connects Maypole Wood with Clock Face Country Park

“Walkway

Connecting Maypole and Country Park

In the summer of 2013 the Forestry Commission (FC) completed the installation of a raised walkway which connects Maypole with Clock Face Country Park. The main work took place in August 2012 when fifteen members of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) worked with the FC to install a boardwalk over a pathway that had been eroded by water. This had come from an adjacent stream that is fed by a natural spring that runs through old mine shafts in the area. The boardwalk had to be constructed from within the stream, so the workers were waist high in water at times.
“The

The flourishing Maypole Wood photographed from Clock Face Country Park in May 2011

“The

The flourishing Maypole Wood pictured from the country park

“The

The flourishing Maypole Wood

Click Here for Mersey Forest's Walking Map fact sheet with more details on Maypole Wood
“Aerial

By 2015 the Maypole Wood trees had matured considerably - Photo by Jon Morgan for Sutton Beauty & Heritage

“Aerial

By 2015 the Maypole Wood trees had matured considerably

“Aerial

The Maypole Wood trees in 2015

Wheatacre Woodland

It's also worth featuring Wheatacre here as like the other community woodlands, it's in close proximity to the Clock Face Colliery Country Park. The main entrance is off Gorsey Lane and the site is sandwiched between Colliers Moss and Burtonwood and runs alongside the Bold Business Centre. It's named after Wheatacre(s) Farm which in 1862 covered 64 acres. The Forestry Commission acquired the site in February 1998 and converted it into a woodland. Click Here for Mersey Forest's Wheatacre walking map fact sheet.
The Forestry Commission's Notice on the Site States:
'Created from farmland and now open for everyone to enjoy, there is something for you here whatever your age. Kick a ball about, gather with your mates at a bench or just stroll through listening to the larks. Walk the dog or admire the wildflowers and ponds, butterflies and dragonflies. Or ride your horse or bike through to other nearby open spaces.'
“Wheatacre

A high-angle view of Wheatacre woodland with Fiddlers Ferry power station in the background

“Wheatacre

A high-angle view of Wheatacre with Fiddlers Ferry in the background

“Wheatacre

A high-angle view of Wheatacre

Country Park & Wheatacre Events April & May 2016:
Saturday April 2nd 2016 - 1:30pm - Dream / Clock Face Country Park Walk - Meet at car park notice board in Gorsey Lane, WA9 4SE - 90 mins health walk
Tuesday April 5th 2016 - 1:30pm - Wheatacre Walk - Meet at Burtonwood Playground Car Park, Gorsey Lane, St.Helens, WA5 4HP - 2 hour health walk
Wednesday April 13th 2016 - 1:30pm - Clock Face Country Walk - Meet at King George V Playing Fields Car Park, Jubits Lane, Sutton Manor - 1 hour health walk - View Poster
Friday April 22nd 2016 - 8.30am - Bold Country Walk - A 5 mile, 90 minute gentle pace walk. More details contact Andrew Brown andrewbrown@sthelens.gov.uk - Download St.Helens Go Active Walks Brochure March to May 2016
Tuesday April 26th 2016 - 1:30pm - Wheatacre Walk - Meet at Burtonwood Playground Car Park, Gorsey Lane, St.Helens, WA5 4HP - 2 hour health walk
Wednesday April 27th 2016 - 1:30pm - Clock Face Country Park Walk - Meet at the car park notice board in Gorsey Lane, WA9 4SE - 2 hour health walk
Saturday May 7th 2016 - 1:30pm - Dream / Clock Face Country Park Walk - Meet at car park notice board in Gorsey Lane, WA9 4SE - 90 mins health walk
Wednesday May 11th 2016 - 1:30pm - Clock Face Country Walk - Meet at King George V Playing Fields Car Park, Jubits Lane, Sutton Manor - 1 hour health walk - View Poster
Tuesday May 17th 2016 - 1:30pm - Wheatacre Walk - Meet at Burtonwood Playground Car Park, Gorsey Lane, St.Helens, WA5 4HP - 2 hour health walk
Wednesday May 25th 2016 - 1:30pm - Clock Face Country Park Walk - Meet at car park notice board in Gorsey Lane, WA9 4SE - 2 hour health walk
For more details of the above walks contact Mesnes Park Rangers on 01925 229021. Download April / May 2016 Health Walks Brochure with details of all St.Helens walks
Clock Face Country Park Contact Details:
St. Helens Council Civic Pride & Community Spaces Section: Tel. 01744 456123 Forestry Commission (responsibility for Maypole & Wheatacre) 01606 884937; FC Site Ranger: Phil Lee phil.lee@forestry.gsi.gov.uk Tel. 075543 33548
More About Clock Face and the Country Park:
Stephen Wainwright
This website has been written and researched and many images photographed by myself, Stephen Wainwright, the Sutton Beauty & Heritage site owner. Individuals from all over the world have also kindly contributed their own photographs. If you wish to reuse any image, please contact me first as permission may be needed from the copyright owner. High resolution versions of many pictures can also be supplied at no charge. Please also contact me if you can provide any further information or photographs concerning Sutton, St.Helens. You might also consider contributing your recollections of Sutton for the series of Memories pages. Sutton Beauty & Heritage strives for factual accuracy at all times. Do also get in touch if you believe that there are any errors. I respond quickly to emails and if you haven't had a response within twelve hours, check your junk mail folder or resend your message. Thank you! SRW
This website is written and researched by Stephen R. Wainwright ©MMXVI  Contact Me
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