Become a permit holder at Woolston Eyes

Become a Permit Holder

You can support Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve and conservation effort by becoming a permit holder.

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You can support Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve and conservation effort by making a donation.

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1. Who are the Woolston Eyes Conservation Group?


The Woolston Eyes Conservation Group, a voluntary organisation formed in 1979, manages the rich and varied wildlife of the deposit grounds with the agreement of the Manchester Ship Canal Company, owners of the land. The Group’s aim is to promote the study and conservation of the wildlife and habitat of the area with particular regard to the ornithology. In 1986 the Reserve (which is over 200 hectares) was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in order to protect its wintering wildfowl especially Teal, Shoveler and Pochard. In 2004 the SSSI was revised to include the nationally important breeding population of Black-necked Grebe, Pochard and Gadwall.

The group undertakes management work to preserve or maximise the ornithological value of the Reserve, provides and maintains hides for the use of the public and permit holders, keeps the paths open and discourages disturbance. The Group produces an Annual Report which summarises the work undertaken each year and the results obtained, including the scientific study of the Reserve’s flora and fauna. To carry out this work the group raises funds by the sale of Permits, Annual Reports and by applying for grants from various organisations. Permit Holders are encouraged to become involved in the Group’s activities. If you would like to take part please contact the Chairman or any committee member below. Contact links open on clicking the names.

The Reserve is open from 08:00am throughout the year but closes at varying times in line with daylight hours. For more specific information please consult the website homepage ‘Notices’ and the opening time poster on the entrance footbridge. No.3 bed access requires a permit and key for the vehicle barriers and gated footbridge entrance - see homepage for permit application details.

The group is a registered charity and our charity registration number is 700362.

Officers and Trustees of the W.E.C.G.

Chairman Brian Ankers
Vice Chairman David Bowman
Treasurer/Secretary David Spencer
Recorder Brian Martin


John Blundell
Dave Hackett
John Haddock
Sue Haddock
Alexander Mansfield
Daniel Owen
Helen Wynn

Frank Linley, who died in October 2002, was a long-standing member of our committee who made highly significant contributions to the Conservation Group. He played a prominent role in the presentation of Annual Reports and Newsletters, established a database of members and initiated our first website. The Tower Hide has been dedicated to his memory.

WECG has had the privilege of the support of two nationally respected figures as our patrons. The eminent ornithologist, Chris Mead, who died in January 2003 was for many years Patron of WECG and had visited the site from time to time.

More recently the well known Naturalist and Wildlife Broadcaster Chris Packham has become our patron. Chris is best known as the presenter of the BBC programmes Springwatch and Autumnwatch. He first visited the reserve in 2006 as presenter of the BBC wildlife series Natures Calendar, filming a section for the Spring Wetlands feature.

Chris very kindly gave up his time on a chilly February evening in 2010 to entertain a packed house at Warrington’s Parr Hall with a talk and slideshow of his experiences as a naturalist and photographer in support of the group.

We must also recognise and thank Colin Woolf a leading UK wildlife artist who has generously contributed his wonderful artwork for the covers of our annual reports for a number of years. If you appreciate wildlife and stunning drawings and paintings visit Colin’s website admire his talent and perhaps invest in an original piece of art yourself?

Habitat Bird Species Flora and Fungi Butterflies Dragonflies and Damselflies Amphibians & Reptiles Insects and Spiders Aquatic Invertebrates Mammals