Where is this walk?

Gait Barrows Nature Reserve

July 13, 2017

In the Arnside and Silverdale AONB is the Gait Barrows Nature Reserve. It is full of wildlife and the tracks are good. I enjoy combining it with a trip to the nearby beach for a nice contrast.

The Walk

Managed effectively by Natural England, Gait Barrows Nature Reserve is a naturalists delight. Not being an expert myself I consulted the web and found it is one of few homes of the extremely rare Lady’s Slipper Orchid – my orchid viewing ex work colleague Pauline would have been very impressed. The walk through the reserve is interesting for us non botanists with the lake at its heart. Hawes Water is a centre for birds, marshes and unusual butterflies whilst the woodland is a mix of yew, oak and ash. It creates a wonderful canopy in the sunlight or when it is raining.

The Reserve is an area of SSSI formed within the lovely limestone scenery of the whole Silverdale headland. The limestone itself was formed by marine creatures fossilising millions of years ago but the actual lay of the land was most effected by the ice age of 15,000 years ago. It was the retreat of the glaciers that left the exposed limestone and Hawes Water. Little has changed since!

The better known nature reserve at Leighton Moss is a short walk away so you could extend the walk here.


Spring and early summer are best times to visit, when the flowering plants are out.

Navigation Tips at Gait Barrows Nature Reserve

The permissive footpaths are well signposted in the reserve.

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