Clitheroe is just down the road from my home and at the back of my mind was an excellent  post from Shazza regarding a nature reserve in town. Three in particular I wanted to visit; Primrose, Crosshill Quarry and Salthill. 

I got away at lunchtime and eventually found somewhere to park adjacent to the newish Primrose Nature Reserve. I remember the excellent Primrose Nursery which used to trade across the road – now an Aldi. There is a bridge above the lodge dam and below is the new fish ladder allowing fish and eel access to Mearley Brook. The mill buildings are being converted to apartment living spaces. Work has been carried out to improve the water environment and access to it. Community And Wildlife | Primrose Nature Reserve | Clitheroe (

The lodge was created to supply Primrose Mill, opened for cotton spinning in 1787, the  arrival of the Industrial Revolution in Clitheroe Subsequently the mill was used for calico printing and later became a paper mill. The paper mill at Primrose had a relatively short life until1890, but the lodge continued to feed a Lower Mill which ultimately became a bleaching and dying works and continued to operate until 1963. The lodge became silted up. 

I stood at the bridge for some time intrigued whether the heron was real or not, it didn’t move an inch.  

I found a way into the reserve and down to a viewing platform – a few ducks only. The path through the reserve strip was followed with Blackbirds and Chiffchaff noisy in the canopy somewhere. I stopped at the ‘Manet’ bridge to view some water sluices when along came along a black Labrador which I thought I recognised from Shazza’s posts – Hugo. Of course, he was with Shazza herself, so I bravely introduced myself. What an amazing meeting of bloggers. She was as charming as her posts, and it was a joy to meet her.

I let her carry on with Hugo’s exercise as I left the reserve on to the main Whalley Road. The trustees and volunteers have created a vital green space in the centre of Clitheroe which will only improve as it matures.

Ahead of me was St. James Church looking almost as an L S Lowry painting in its starkness.

I walked back along the road and on crossing the lodge bridge once more I saw that the heron had changed its stance proving its existence.


  I next went to explore Crosshill Quarry Reserve but became distracted by the Ribble Valley Sculpture Trail, so I think I will leave that to another post.


  1. Eunice

    What a brilliant surprise that you happened to meet Shazza and Hugo on your walk. I love the photo and Hugo looks so well behaved sitting by her side. I’d love to meet her myself but I never get over to Clitheroe – I remember going with my mum once when I was about 14 and thought it the most boring town ever (sorry Shazza!) so I’ve never had any wish to go back. Maybe it’s changed over the years though.

    The nature reserve looks like it has the making of a nice place but I’m not keen on those industrial sluice gates (?) by the bridge. I’m all for preserving heritage in the right setting but those are just downright ugly and out of place.

    I know what you mean about the heron – I saw one a couple of years ago in an overflow channel off the Lancaster canal, it was till in exactly the same position two hours later and I was just beginning to think it was a lifelike model when it flapped it wings and flew off.

  2. Michael Graeme

    Lovely town, Clitheroe. The sculpture trail has been on my list for years but never got round to it, so look forward to your expose. Three miles is better than no miles!

  3. shazza

    Oooh just seen your post. Glad you enjoyed your walk and it was good to meet you! Great photos of the Heron, I actually saw a kingfisher flyby as I went on with my walk.

  4. shazza

    Hi I did comment but my comment disappeared just after I wrote it. Glad you had a good walk, lovely to meet you. Great pics of the Heron, saw a kingfisher just after I saw you.


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