This short easy walk of about 2km starts from Storrs Lane, just along from the RSPB Leighton Moss Visitor Centre (Grid reference SD480754) and Silverdale Station.
Go through the gate by the edge of the golf course and follow the permissive path into the woods. Carry on along this path and at the 4-way signpost continue straight ahead into ‘The Trough’, a natural feature, passing through the ‘karabiner’ gate and following the path which then bends to the right and brings you out into the more open ground of Trowbarrow Local Nature Reserve.
‘Trowbarrow’ (derived from two Anglo-saxon words – trow meaning trough and barrow meaning hill) was an industrial quarry for almost 100 years, producing lime for building, industry and agriculture and whilst the buildings and its quarrymen may have long gone, there are still many interesting heritage features to look out for and the site is designated as a geological Site of special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Continue walking straight ahead for about 75m until you reach the quarry floor and then turn left. Please take extra care from here and keep well away from the the high rock faces which are unstable and as such present a risk of falling rocks.
After 50m turn left and follow the old tramway track for about 500m down to the railway line. It was along this track that the quarried limestone was transported to the quarry buildings for processing or onward transportation via the railway. Follow the track to the right for about 70m before turning right again onto the Public Right of Way. This takes you up and though some woodland before re-joining the tramway as the walk takes you back up to the quarry. (If you prefer, you can stay on the tramway and just re-trace your steps).
Once back at the quarry floor, turn left. Take a moment to admire the rock formations – you may even be able to spot limestone sea coral and trace fossils. The large stone you can see is known as the ‘Shelter Stone’ and it was here that quarry workers would have sheltered during blasting.
The quarry closed in 1959 but it wasn’t until 1997 that Trowbarrow became a Local Nature Reserve. But in just a few years, a rich and diverse flora has colonised the quarry floor and butterflies, birds and bats have returned to the site.
Make your way around the quarry floor, remembering to keep well away from the rock faces, keeping your eyes open for birds such as Raven and Kestrel; butterflies such as Common Blue and Dingy Skipper; wildflowers such as Rockrose, Eyebright and the stunning Bee Orchid.
The site is also popular with climbers on the main quarry face and more recently boulderers on the Shelter Stone. Many of the climbing routes are named after David Bowie songs!
As you approach the southern end of the quarry floor, pass through the gate following the footpath towards Storrs Lane and ignoring the branch path off to the left, keep on this path until you reach the four-fingered signpost which you passed on your way into the quarry. Turn left and make your way back down to Storrs Lane to complete your walk.
For a pdf of the walk and further information on how to enjoy the rest of your day in Silverdale, click here