Cheshire Wildlife Trust
An ancient woodland with a variety of trees and flowers
In Cheshire much of our remaining ancient woodland is in narrow, steep-sided valleys known as ‘cloughs’. Cotterill Clough is a superb example, and located to the west of Manchester Airport, this is one of our oldest nature reserves. It was purchased in 1934 from funds raised by public subscription for a memorial to T.A. Coward, a famous Cheshire naturalist (1867-1933). A narrow path winds beneath the ash, oak, wych elm and wild cherry. A flight of steps leads down the treacherously steep valley sides to the valley floor, where alder grows strongly with its roots in the Cotterill brook, a tributary of the River Bollin. Here the damp conditions allow ferns, mosses and liverworts to flourish alongside the flowering plants.The best time to visit is in the spring, when the ground is carpeted with bluebells, dog's mercury, yellow archangel, lesser celendine, wood anemone, wild garlic and marsh marigold; and the air will be alive with the song of the many woodland bird species that breed in the clough.
Species and habitats