The Wigan Flashes were formed through the extraction of coal, which led to subsidence and extensive flooding.

The project of enhancing the Wigan Flashes is very much a working partnership of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Wigan Council, who owns much of the land. The Wigan Flashes was designated an Local Nature Reserve in 2006

Wigan Flashes are a group of eight shallow wetlands, formed originally as a result of mining subsidence, which extends south from near Wigan’s town centre. Over time, the industrial landscape has evolved in to a mixture of open water, reedbed, mossland, willow carr and fenland. Management of the site aims to further enhance it to become one of the most important wildlife sites in the North West. Work already carried out at the site has made quantifiable improvements in terms of habitat development and recreational amenity.

The Wigan Flashes is important for water vole, willow tit and bittern and can be enjoyed by local people, as it is easily accessible from the town centre and local communities, which surround the site.

Reserve facilities


Footpaths and nature walks


Horse Riding


Cycling as part of NCN 55


Car Parking

Location and Directions

More info coming soon

Walks and Maps

Contact us

If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch!