Some great photos from Jimmy Daine
Clock Face Country Park is on the site of a former colliery that dates back to 1890. By the early 1960s the mine was producing over 160,000 tons of coal a year and employing over 700 men. However, in October 1965 the National Coal Board deemed the pit uneconomic and announced that the colliery would close in the following year. (View History of Clock Face Colliery here)
The site was reclaimed by St Helens Council as a community woodland and public open space in the late 1990s. Measuring fifty-seven acres, the country park contains developing woodlands, footpath networks, meadow areas and a fishing pond. It’s linked to the Sutton Manor Woodland, another former colliery along ‘Miners Way’, a reclaimed mineral railway route.
The present pond is one of three that the old Clock Face Colliery employed to store water that had been pumped out of the mine shafts. During the 1990s, fishing platforms were installed and new access paths were created. The re-established pond – sometimes called ‘Clock Face Pit’ – soon became a popular fishing spot with roach, tench and bream, amongst the available species. In 2009 Clock Face Anglers Club was formed and day tickets are available for non-members. Around the water’s edge you’ll find water lily, reed mace and flag iris, amongst other aquatic plants.
Birds of prey can often be seen in Clock Face Country Park. Buzzards soar high overhead as they look to prey on rabbits, while kestrels hover over the grassland seeking out small mammals. The elevated areas to the south of the site look down upon farmland, offering sightings of animals such as hares and foxes.
Wildflowers grow in abundance on the former colliery site with the woodlands and meadows displaying colourful species such as purple loosestrife, early marsh / spotted orchid and ragged robin. There’s a rich variety of flora and fauna and the deciduous woodland includes wild cherry, oak, ash and silver birch. During November and December 2012, a toposcope, interpretation panels and new signage were installed. Clock Face Country Park is a fabulous place to walk the dog, exercise or simply relax. There are many benches where one can take a moment and enjoy the beautiful trees which have grown considerably over the last few years.
The Clock Face Country Park is located in the south of St Helens in Merseyside. It’s accessible from two main entry points in Gorsey Lane and from Clock Face Road (opposite Sutton Manor Woodland). Maypole Wood is located further up Gorsey Lane, in between the Country Park and Hall Lane. Wheatacre is located further up Gorsey Lane by Neills Road near Burtonwood.
How Do I Get To The Clock Face Country Park?
By Rail – St.Helens Junction Station on the Liverpool to Manchester line is one mile away. Lea Green Station is two miles away.
By Bus – Nos. 32A, 122, 141, 339 (Wheatacre buses: 141, 329, 339).
By Road – If travelling by car enter via Gorsey Lane. A fair sized car park is available although there is a barrier preventing access to high vehicles over 2 metres. The gate to the car park is opened at 8am each day and locked at 6pm from October to March and at 9pm from April to September. The aerial image below, which was photographed for Sutton Beauty & Heritage, shows Gorsey Lane on the left with vehicular (and pedestrian) access into the country park.
By Foot – Pedestrian access can be made from Bold Road via a footpath by a farmer’s field and from the Abbotsfield Road industrial estate. Both make for a very pleasant walk into the country park across Gorsey Lane. You can also walk into the park from the Sutton Manor Woodland by simply crossing Clock Face Road. In fact Sutton Manor Woodland, Clock Face Country Park, Wheatacre, Maypole and Griffin Wood are all in such close proximity, that they can easily be combined into an enjoyable morning or afternoon walk.
more info on location, including maps etc => http://www.suttonbeauty.org.uk/clockface…/clockfacelocation/
Thanks to Sutton Beauty for the descriptive text of the area to accompany the photos.