Whinney Hill Woodland

Whinney Hill woodland is made up of two sites, East and West but as they join together it is treated as one site for the condition assessment.

to cover both sites.

Site:                                 Whinney Hill No.1 (East)

(Cricket Club End)

Location:                          Main access points on Livingstone Road and Thorneyholme Road, Accrington

Grid Reference:               SD 7617 2991

What3Words:                buddy.impose.perky

Nearest Postcode:        BB5 5BW

Size of site:                      8.61 hectares

Initial Planting Year:         1987                        Age: 35 years


Flat land associated with the former brick-shale quarry / waste tip reclaimed and planted by Lancashire County Council in 1987 and 1989.  A large urban broadleaf woodland with good footpath access and intense public usage.  Crossed by many public footpaths.  Preponderance of willow and alder.  Much potential for community involvement and habitat development.  PROSPECTS’ involvement to date with grant funded management and improvement has been very positive and demonstrates what can be achieved in one year with volunteer effort.


Site:                                 Whinney Hill No.2 (West)

(Pond End)

Location:                         Livingstone Road / Whinney Hill Road, Accrington

Grid Reference:              SD 7574 3023

What3Words:                pills.park.club

Nearest Postcode:          BB5 5FT

Size of site:                      6.50 hectares

Initial Planting Year:    1993                Age: 29 years


A former brick-shale quarry / waste tip and associated land, reclaimed and planted by Lancashire County Council in 1993.

How to get to the site by Public Transport:

Bus services 1 & 7 run to 'Ribblesdale Avenue' bus stop from Accrington centre with a 5 minute walk to the Livingstone Road entrance.

Condition Assessment

Whinney Hill Woodland Condition Assessment

Species of Trees and Shrubs recorded on Site: Hawthorn, Wild Cherry, Hazel, Holly, Birch, Willow, Alder, Ash, Blackthorn, Dogwood, Sycamore, Rowan, oak, Aspen, Bird Cherry, Field Maple, Whitebeam, Spindle, Guelder Rose, Grey Poplar

Species of Plants recorded on Site: Sedge, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, Bramble, Bryophytes, Nettle, Willowherb species, soft rush, Wood Avens, Ground Elder, Creeping buttercup, Field Horsetail, Bindweed, Male-Fern, Creeping Cinquefoil, Ribwort Plantain
Tufted Hair Grass, Yorkshire Fog

Species of Birds observed on site: tawny owls, tree sparrow, wren, blackbird, robin, carrion crow, great tit, blue tit, pied wagtail, dunnock, wood pigeon,

Hyndburn Butterfly Project's work at Whinney Hill Woodland

Whinney Hill 1&2 Timber Volume and Tree Number Survey 2022 Summary:

122 stems in 10 x 0.01ha plots = 1,220 stems/ha.

98 trees/shrubs in 10 x 0.01ha plots = 980 stems/ha.

88 canopy tree species (ex Hawthorn & Whitebeam) in 10 x 0.01ha plots = 880  trees/ha.

66 canopy tree species (ex Goat Willow, Hawthorn & Whitebeam) in 10 x 0.01ha plots = 660 canopy trees/ha.

The total volume of timber in the trees we measured is just under 10.5 cubic metres, which equates to approx. 105 cubic metres per hectare.

Hence the total timber volume in 15.11ha of woodland is approx. 1,582 cubic metres per hectare.

Ash Dieback at Whinney Hill 1&2:


These two sites were formerly associated with the Accrington Brick and Tile Works.  The land on which the previous works stood was acquired by LCC from George Armitage & Son, previous owners of the company.  It was reclaimed in 1987/1989.

Local History

In May 1825 Whinney Hill was used as the site of a mass gathering of hand loom weavers protesting about new machinery putting them out of business.  The weavers marched to Accrington to smash up weaving machinery.


Red fireclay known as Accrington Mudstone or shale was deposited in the area during the Carboniferous period when the Accrington area was flooded by a large lake.  Fireclay is found close to coal seams.

Local Industry

The area had many collieries and textile mills.  From 1887 world famous Accrington bricks (NORI) were produced at Whinney Hill.  The local fireclay was iron hard and was used to produce strong engineering bricks that were acid resistant.  It is a general belief that the name NORI was derived from IRON spelled backwards.  The clay was quarried at Whinney Hill up until the 1960s.  These special acid resistant bricks could be used for lining flues and chimneys.  They have been used in the construction of some iconic buildings such as Blackpool Tower, the Empire State Building in New York, Sellafield Nuclear Power Station and Battersea Power Station.

The brick works had its own mineral railway line connecting with the East Lancashire line at Huncoat and was close to the Leeds/Liverpool canal, allowing easy transportation of goods countrywide.

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