Key species: Brimstone, Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak
Best time to see them: April-May (Brimstone), mid-July to mid-August (Purple Hairstreak), late June to early August (White-letter Hairstreak).
This site has more reported sightings of Brimstone than anywhere else in Cheshire, plus good numbers of the two hairstreaks. The site is also a prime bird-watching locality, especially for wildfowl, rare gulls and Bittern during the winter months. In addition a bird feeder often attracts Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Tit. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is a speciality of this reserve, best looked for in March.
Wheelchair access is limited; there are no stiles, but some steep hillocks would prove difficult. For refreshments, the Red Lion is at 119 Runcorn Road in Moore village.
Directions: Exit the A56 (Frodsham to Warrington Road) along Runcorn Road at SJ597850. This road heads towards Moore village. Just before the village turn north on Moore Lane. After a few hundred yards the road goes over the Manchester Ship Canal with the reserve's free car park signposted immediately ahead of you.
There are numerous well-signposted walks throughout this 200 acre Reserve which comprises of woodland and several large lakes. Brimstone can be seen anywhere. Most sightings of both hairstreaks are along Moore Lane leading to the reserve. Purple Hairstreaks are best looked for on Oak trees in early evening, White-letter Hairstreaks can be seen on Elm or Wych Elm trees either in the morning or early evening; the best areas are between the car park and Birch Wood.
Grid reference: SJ578853.