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Moorcroft Wood Local Nature Reserve

One of only a few Countryside sites on the west side of the Borough, Moorcroft Wood Local Nature Reserve is a secret haven full of insects and other wildlife, and an amazing landscape reminding us of its geology and it's incredible industrial past.
A bostin' place for bats!
Moorcroft Pool and the woodland that surrounds it is a bit of a hot-spot for some of our nocturnal residents - Bats!  Several species of bats have been recorded on site, inculding the enigmatic Daubenton's Bat (or Water Bat), which is easily recognised by its appearance (silver belly and big hairy feed!) and its behaviour (skimming over the water looking for food!).  Bat walks are a regular activity at Moorcroft Wood, so if you fancy discovering the 'creatures of the night' why not come along to a walk?
Fancy listening to Moorcroft Wood's bats?  Click here to download the MP3! (Zip 2MB)
A Wild Network of Pools
The large pool at Moorcroft Wood Local Nature Reserve, Moorcroft Pool, is used for fishing & recreation by local residents.  But the real hidden secret to discover is the amazing mosaic of shallow pools amongst the clinker rocks. The network of pools at Moorcroft Wood is pretty special, as it is a haven for amphibians like newts and aquatic insects like the scary sounding (but completely harmless!) water scorpion. There are even records of all three UK species of newts on this site, but Great Crested and Palmate Newts haven't been recorded for some years now. I wonder if you can find one?
Industry at Moorcroft Wood Local Nature Reserve
The industrial history of Moorcroft Wood has been shaped by the presence of coal measures which are rich in iron ores overlain by beds of sand and clay.  The coal and iron ore were both mined extensively in the 18th and 19th centuries, and at the Moorcroft Iron Works they were combined with limestone from Walsall and Dudley to produce pig iron in huge blast furnaces!
You can see evidence of the ironworks today:  the maze of clinker rocks around the edges of Moorcroft Pool.
By the beginning of the 20th century all industrial activity on the site had ceased, because the thick coal seams had become too expensive to mine due to flooding and geological faulting.
The Moorcroft Environment Centre
Residents of the area will be very familiar with the sight of the Moorcroft Environment Centre, which is run by the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country. Together with Walsall's Countryside Services, Moorcroft is fast becoming the place to go for environmental education (from pond dipping to den building) and even today's hot topic: Forest School. So if your thing is bats, bugs or bushcraft, Moorcroft Wood is the place to be!
Site Info:
Location:  Darlaston
Parking:  Hawkswood Drive
Buses:  Buses 23 and 80
Nature Trails:  Paths all around the site (But we think its more fun off the beaten track!)
Wildlife to see:  Daubentons Bats, amazing aquatic insects, Amphibians
This site is great for:  Environmental Education, Forest School, Pond Dipping
Grid Reference: SO968951
Site Links:
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Contact us
Environmental Improvement Team
Clean and Green Environmental Depot
200 Pelsall Lane
Brownhills
Walsall
WS8 7EN
Telephone 01922 65 3344

Email:  eit@walsall.gov.uk