Warton Crag


Warton Crag is a landmark site for the AONB, with the village of Warton nestling on its eastern margin. Warton is a historic small village, which features the oldest building in the area, The Old Rectory now managed by English Heritage. The village also has strong connections to George Washington, first president of the USA.

Only 1.5 miles from Carnforth Railway station, and with a good local bus service, the Crag is easily accessible by public transport.

It is a mixture of limestone grassland with scrub and woodland. The site is nationally important for butterflies and moths. Many interesting plants can be found and Peregrine Falcons regularly nest in the Main Quarry.

High on Warton Crag looking east
Looking east out of the AONB from high on Warton Crag

Nature Reserves

The South eastern part of Warton Crag is designated as a Local Nature Reserve, extending over approximately a fifth of the site. This LNR is managed by the AONB Unit on behalf of the owner - Lancaster City Council.

The Old Quarry is also designated as a Local Nature Reserve, managed by Lancashire County Council.

The rest of the site is managed by RSPB, who own the western part, and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who lease the northern part from Leighton Hall Estate. There is close cooperation on management of all 4 nature reserves.

Warton crag nature reserves aerial photo map
Aerial Photograph based map of Warton Crag




Warton Crag Guide

Click on the photo to download the Warton Crag Guide

We have recently published a guide to the Warton Crag Nature Reserves. The site is owned by four separate bodies: Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council - responsible for the area designated as Local Nature Reserve, and the RSPB and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who take care of the two remaining areas of nature reserve.

The Guide highlights the many interesting features of the Crag, tells you what to look out for and also explains the management work carried out to ensure the long term viability of the many specialised habitats found on the Crag.

If you want to pick up a free copy of the Reserves Guide, call in at the AONB Office, or phone 01524 761034 and we will post a copy to you. The guide is available as a pdf on the website - click here to download a copy now! (file size = 1311 kB).


Views from the Crag

Views abound in many directions from Warton Crag, even though it rises to only 163 metres (535 feet) above sea level.

Both from the summit of Warton Crag and on the many paths that cross the site, there are so many opportunities to enjoy breathtaking views that it is hard to pick out the best. Wide panoramic sweeps across Morecambe Bay, views out to the Yorkshire Dales and the Forest of Bowland or simply looking out over the village of Warton and the River Keer flood plain, with its shimmering lakes and pools where once gravel was dragged from the ground.

The variety of scenery is hard to match for a relatively small amount of exertion, as few of the paths are steep or difficult as they wind their way to the top of the Crag.

Looking out from a rocky outcrop over the village & River Keer Valley