Ruff Wood; Ormskirk, West Lancashire.

Ruff wood is situated off Vicarage Lane, Ruff Lane, Ormskirk Lancashire in the north west of England. This is the fourth in the series of hidden gems looking at the wild life sites under the care of the West Lancashire Countryside Ranger Service.

Associated  pages.  Hidden Gems 1, Hidden Gems 2 and Hunters Hill.

The West Lancashire Countryside Service is based at the Beacon Country Park at Upholland West Lancashire.

 Ruff Wood.


Ruff Wood

Ruff Wood is another site cared for and maintained by The West Lancashire Countryside Ranger Service Under the leadership of Head Ranger Dan Massey and his team. Working in conjunction are the Friends of Ruff Wood a Group of dedicated people who keep the site free from litter and ensure the site is a place is fit for visitors to enjoy in tranquil surroundings.

Small it may be, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its woodland character that is a haven for wild life and a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The woodland is composed of oak, birch, and pine with an under story of holly. The woodland is situated amid arable land not far from the market town of Ormskirk.

In the summer months Bracken carpets the floor adding a tropical flavour to the general ambience.Before this occurs spring time plants such as the native blue bell and Jack by the hedge  { Garlic Mustard} may be encountered. During the autumn {especially} there is a diverse range of fungi that tenants the woodland.

During the spring it is a bird watchers paradise. Bird song cascades from the tree tops produced by a plethora of feathered throats. Many of avian choir nest in this beautiful woodland.   

Below--- The Great tit is one of the species that take advantage of the holes in trees in which to nest. Middle--- The greater spotted woodpecker is often encountered. Bottom---many footpaths meander through this wonderful woodland.


The woodland---

The woodland plays host to a myriad of insects which in turn attract the birds. Butterflies flitter among the foliage and understory while the arable land close by attracts species such as the Lapwing {a priority species of conservation concern} and pheasants can be heard calling their throaty notes from the near by fields.

Below--The pheasants throaty call can often be heard coming from the surrounding farm land    middle --The lapwing is drawn to the fields this bird is a priority species of conservation concern. Bottom--- a view of the surrounding land from the woodland edge.


During my visit.

During my visit {10th April 2011} I observed many species four of our common tits, the blue,great,coal and long tailed tit. The greater spotted woodpecker, mistle thrush, song thrush, chaffinch, black cap, tree creeper, robin, blackbird, wren, wood pigeon,chaffinch and green finch.

There is a good choice of pathways to take as they meander through the woodland one leading to the remains of an old quarry. This is all that is left of an important site which provided sandstone to build houses in Ormskirk during the 19th century. 

BELOW---A view of the woodland.   The half eaten pine cone.   The grey squirrel  . Bottom part of the old quarry remains. 



 Grey squirrels are active in the woodland  where once the red frequented. On my visit I found the half eaten pine cone {pictured above} . This is a classic sign of the red squirrel feeding activity, however, this pine cone could be many years old and somehow only become evident of late. But one can only hope.

Around the site there are seating areas, many of them benches, situated in strategic places that afford pleasant views of the woodland. I have always been of the persuasion, taught in the days of my youth, that to find a comfortable discreet place to sit,and let nature come to you. Ruff wood as ample situations which allow you to do this and the rewards are worth the effort.

Ruff wood is an ideal location for the nature lover, bird watching and for children's enjoyment, where they can play away from the dangers of traffic, or discover nature for themselves. On the day of my visit there were many families enjoying the facilities.

Many people have enjoyed the woodland over the years. I conclude with the words of this memorative plaque on one of the picnic tables which pays tribute to one persons love of the woodland.


Thank you for visiting.