Know before you go
Not suitable for wheelchair users.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring to Summer
About the reserve
Owley wood is an ancient, semi-natural woodland on the steep banks of the River Weaver. The canopy is dense and dominated by ash, English oak and sycamore, with occasional sweet chestnut and birch. To the north, species usually associated with an understorey such as hazel and hawthorn are notable due to their excessive height and presence in the canopy. Woodland management has included the selective felling of the non-native sycamore. Where this has taken place, ground flora has become particularly dense in response to the increased levels of light reaching the woodland floor. This has also allowed young, native trees to become established. Scattered willow line the woodland edge where it borders the River Weaver, and here isolated stands of common reed are present at ground layer. Several springs and seepages emerge on the steep banking, and are associated with dense stands of tall herb including the invasive Himalayan balsam. Volunteers have worked to control this alien species by pulling up the plant and its root, and piling on composting heaps.