Huncoat West Woodland

Site:                                 Huncoat West

(Canal Moorings side)

Location:                          West side of Altham Lane, Huncoat past the M65 motorway bridge

Grid Reference:               SD 7744 3146

What3Words:                  happy.loss.hulk

Nearest Postcode:          BB5 5UR

Size of site:                      5.75 hectares

Owner:                             Lancashire County Council

Initial Planting Year: 1983                Age: 39 years



Large area alongside M65 motorway to the west of Altham Lane.  Planted as mixed broadleaf species by Lancashire County Council in 1983.  The site has a long boundary with the motorway along the southern edge, with farmland to the north and a short canal frontage to the west.  Post and rail fence to Altham Lane.  Locked steel gate from Altham Lane and secure surfaced access road alongside motorway, shared with residential property near the canal. Public right of way (PROW) runs through the woodland through to the canal side and is marked by posts and signage.

Get there by public transport:

Bus service which serves Huncoat Village is the number 9.

Huncoat is serviced by a rail station with a 1 mile walk North towards the site on Altham Lane from the station.

Condition Assessment

Huncoat West Woodland Condition Assessment           (Click on link to download.  The file is a 2.6MB PDF)

Species of trees & Shrubs recorded on site: Ash, Alder, Birch, Elder, oak, Goat Willow, Guelder Rose, Willow, Hawthorn, Hazel, Swedish Whitebeam, Sycamore

Species of plants recorded on site: : Bramble and grasses (Reed Canary-grass, Rough Meadow-grass and Yorkshire-fog). Other flora included Tufted Hair-grass and Broad Buckler-fern. Bramble, Nettle and broad-leaved Willowherb, Bluebell, Lords & Ladies,

Species of bird observed on site: blackbirds, great tits, blue tits, robins, wrens, pheasant

Site management points:

  • Leave trees to become mature and over mature
  • Thinning of the canopy to allow more light to reach the woodland floor
  • Natural regeneration of native tree species to be protected from grazing
  • Non-native species (sycamore, grey alder etc) to be controlled and removed to encourage growth of native species.
  • Meadow management on the boundaries of Altham lane to encourage diversity of flora for pollinators


These 2 woodland areas were originally acquired by LCC from the National Coal Board and Central Electric Generating Board.

Local Transport

The nearby Leeds/Liverpool canal is the longest canal in England, stretching 127 miles long with 91 locks.  It took 46 years to complete and was opened in 1810. Houghton Barn Farm located alongside the canal was a canal packet station where goods were taken onboard and unloaded. The canal’s most important cargo was coal.  

Local Industry

Coal mining was the main industry in Huncoat and Altham in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Pits were located very near to the canal and supplied coal to the industries throughout East Lancashire.  The largest colliery in the area was Moorfield, situated on the site of the present day industrial site.  An explosion here on 7 November 1883 claimed the lives of 68 miners.

Coal also supplied the nearby Huncoat Power Station which operated from 1952 to 1984.  It has since been demolished.

Timber Volume and Tree Number Survey

HUNCOAT WEST tree & timber estimates 2023


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