Runcorn Hill, a winner of the coveted Green Flag award, is a local nature reserve on a sandstone outcrop above the town of Runcorn. The site offers woodland walks, views of the Mersey Estuary, quarry, orienteering trails and is north Cheshire's largest surviving stretch of heathland, supporting a wealth of wildlife.
The River Mersey from Runcorn Hill
Formerly a series of sandstone quarries dating back to 1734, which was once one of the largest employers in the area, providing stone for building works as far apart as Liverpool Cathedral and New York harbour. Some of the present paths cut through the hill were the routes of tramways constructed to transport the rubble.
By the close of the 19th century quarrying activities ceased on the hill and in the 1920's an early job creation scheme involved local people in planting trees and heathers on the hill. A large variety of wild flowers now flourish there including wood sorrel, gorse, red campion, garlic mustard and bird's foot trefoil. Dragonflies can often be seen at the East Quarries Pond, these include the Common Darter, Spotted Chaser and Broad Bodied Chaser. Bats which frequent Runcorn Hill include the Pipestrelle, Daubenton's and Noctule. The Common Lizard also now inhabits the hill.
Caution is required when approaching cliff edges. Some banks can become slippy under foot during and after rain showers. The site is also home to tennis courts, bowling and putting greens and a visitor centre and free car park.
The park organises a range of of free events throughout the year. It also offers a free education service to Halton schools and other groups.
A walk at Runcorn Hill
Distance- 1.5 miles
*Commencing at the car park at the end of the track off Highlands Road by the Travellers' Rest pub, go along the track until reaching the cliffs with views over the Mersey Estuary. Continue along the track the north that drops to the bottom of the cliffs and then turn left.
*At the point when the cliffs come again into view, take the left track and descend the steps to the base of the cliffs . Continue along the path at the base of the cliffs until reaching a dell, continue until arriving at a rock wall which has a carving of a lizard on it. Turn left, ascending the steps and pass hrough a gully to reach the top of the hill.
*On reaching the summit of the hill, turn right and follow the track that passes just to the right of a pylon. Descend steps to a footbridge. From the top of the hill descend the steps and turn right. Continue along to the main track ignoring offshoot tracks
.*Shortly after rocky outcrops appear on your left, you will arrive at a meeting of several tracks. Follow the steeply ascending track on the left. Turn right at the top top the hill. Continue along this track until reaching a reservoir, then turn left at the reservoir to return to the car park.
Follow the Country Code
*Be safe- plan ahead and follow any signs.
Protect plants and animals and take your litter home.
Keep dogs under close control
Leave gates and property as you found them