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Pex Hill Nature Reserve

Pex Hill Nature Reserve at Cronton, Widnes, is owned by United Utilities and forms part of the Mersey Forest. It consists of stunted oak woodland surrounded by heathland, with excellent views of the Mersey Estuary, Widnes-Runcorn bridge, Liverpool and the mountains of North Wales, (on a clear day both Tyfan and Snowdon can be discerned). The reserve also incorporates a disused quarry. On the top of the hill are reservoirs, which were built 1868. Today the Liverpool Astronomical Society has an Observatory, known as Leighton Observatory, on the summit of Pex Hill. It was formerly known as Pex Hill Observatory and Visitors' Centre.

Pex Hill Quarry, CrontonPex Hill Cronton

Pex Hill which rises to 200 ft (61 metres) is part of a series of hills which runs north west to south east across the south west Lancashire and Cheshire plains. The sandstone which forms the hill dates to the Triassic period (205 - 250 million years ago).

Quarrying at Pex Hill began as early as the 16th century and continued until the late 1800s. During the Second World War the quarry on the reseve, particularly the Pisa Wall, was used as an area for target practice by the Home Guard. Nowadays the cliffs of the quarry are used by climbers for practice.

A walk from Pex Hill

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