Rural West

Talking West Cheshire

Hide outs for wildlife watching at Bickerton Hill

22 May 2012

Visitors to Bickerton Hill now have the perfect hideouts for wildlife watching, thanks to the National Trust.

The Trust, in partnership with the Habitats and Hillforts project, has built two bird hides close to the Sandstone Trail at Bickerton Hill.

Bickerton Hill is one of very few remaining areas of lowland heath in Cheshire and is considered to be one of the best examples of this environment in the county. Some of the many birds that can be seen there include greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, kestrel and buzzard.

Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, said: “West Cheshire is proud to be home to such a varied and important array of habitats, including Bickerton Hill’s heathland.

“This additional access will allow more people to enjoy the bird life the hill attracts”.

David Morris, National Trust Area Ranger, said: “The bird hides will enable visitors to this timeless landscape to view birds and wildlife in a relatively undisturbed habitat and they will be able to record their sightings in the books provided.

“One of the hides is in a 10-acre field near Kitty's Stone. This field is undergoing a long term restoration plan, guided by, until recently, the late Dr Andrew Deadman, a longstanding and influential National Trust volunteer and professional ecologist as well as the Chair of the Habitats and Hillforts Project. I will be working with a team of volunteers to continue the work to return the field to lowland heath, contiguous with the surrounding Bickerton Hill.”

The second hide is close to Maiden Castle. Exact locations of both hides are clearly marked on the maps on the National Trust notice boards in the area. The hides will be open to visitors during daylight hours.

Further information on Bickerton Hill and The Sandstone Trail can be found on the National Trust website and Cheshire West and Chester Council's website. The National Trust Rangers can be contacted on 07831 561588.