The Clock Face Colliery Country Park can look beautiful when it snows - photographed in February 2007
The site was reclaimed by St Helens Council as a community woodland and public open space in the late 1990s. Measuring 57 acres, the park contains developing woodlands, footpath networks, meadow areas and a fishing pond that is leased to the Clock Face Angling Club. It’s linked to the Sutton Manor Woodland, another former colliery along 'Miners Way', a reclaimed mineral railway route.
A jogger on a perimeter path in the Clock Face Colliery Country Park, St Helens - photographed in May 2006
There is plenty of wildlife to spot if one looks close enough. This website's owner once jogged over the site at 5am and counted 30 rabbits. I can discount scurrilous suggestions that it was one hyperactive rabbit which I saw running about 30 times!
Wild flower meadow in the Clock Face Country Park, St Helens - photographed in June 2006
There's no big extensive sculpture located at Clock Face Country Park and no amenities of note. However it's a fabulous place to walk the dog, exercise or simply relax. During 2011/12 a number of benches have been installed where one can take a moment and enjoy the beautiful trees. These have grown considerably over the last few years and those lining the perimeter and within contain a remarkable variety.
The site is now a haven for a rich variety of diverse flora & fauna with compartments of deciduous woodland containing native tree species such as ash, oak, wild cherry & silver birch. Swathes of native wildflowers are found in abundance on the meadow areas and woodland rides with species such as purple loosestrife, early marsh / spotted orchid & ragged robin adding a splash of colour in season. Birds of prey provide regular sightings with kestrel often seen hovering over the grassland areas in pursuit of the numerous small mammals and the much larger buzzard soaring high overhead, preying on the site’s large population of wild rabbits. The elevated boundaries to the south of the site look down onto the adjacent agricultural fields and can provide regular sightings of both foxes & hares.
Maypole Wood by Clock Face Colliery Country Park
Maypole Wood has a number of benches which have been constructed at designated points so that visitors can take a break and admire the young trees, which are growing rapidly, as well as enjoy the birdsong and wildlife. It's 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 - photographed in February 2005
The trees in Maypole Wood are flourishing - photographed in May 2007
The Forestry Commission's notices on the site state:
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.
Wheatacre Community WoodlandIt's worth also mentioning 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 Farm which the Forestry Commission acquired in February 1998 and converted into a woodland. Click here for Mersey Forest's Wheatacre walking map fact sheet.
An entrance to the Wheatacre woodland photographed in June 2009
The Forestry Commission’s notices on the site state:
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.
A high-angle view of Wheatacre woodland with Fiddlers Ferry power station in the background
Heritage: Clock Face Colliery; Colliery Photo-Album; Education: Clock Face School / St.Aidan's School;
Streets & Placenames: Origins of Clock Face;
Tuesday June 11th 2013 (TBC) - 1:30pm - Clock Face Maypole Health Walk - Meet at the Country Park car park in Gorsey Lane, WA9 4SE - One hour health walk
Download St.Helens Health Walks Brochure for April and May 2013
• St.Helens primary school teachers took part in a 'Forest School' taster day at the Clock Face Colliery Country Park in July and November 2012. The event was organised by The Mersey Forest as part of their Access to Nature programme. Forest School is an approach to education that was first pioneered in Scandinavia during the 1960s which helps children reconnect with nature through regular outdoor lessons in woodland environments. One teacher said: "It's been great to stimulate my imagination, and learn about activities which I can take back to use with the children." The Mersey Forest will now support the teachers to receive further training to become accredited Forest School leaders and make outdoor lessons in their local woodlands a regular feature for their pupils.
St.Helens Council Civic Pride & Community Spaces Section: Tel. 01744 456123
The Mersey Forest: Tel. 01925 816217; Email: email@example.com;
The Mersey Forest Love Your Woods | View The Mersey Forest Spring 2012 Newsletter
Sutton Beauty & Heritage strives for factual accuracy at all times. Please do also get in touch if you believe that there are any errors, with details of any corrections contained within the site's update history page, which also details the regular updates. Many individuals from all over the world have kindly contributed Sutton information and photographs. If you would like to participate in this project, I would be delighted to hear from you and this website always credits any assistance given. Do also consider contributing any recollections of old Sutton that you might have for the Sutton Memories pages, which are proving very popular. I respond quickly to emails and if you haven't received a response within 12 hours, do check your junk mail folder or re-send your message. SRW