The Nature Reserve and Orchard are situated on the SW edge of Lancaster within easy and safe walking distance of local schools, the city centre and the railway station (view leaflet with map) . The Nature Reserve is a source of learning activities for people of all ages.
It provide a safe area for children to study nature and the Fairfield Association welcomes visits from schools and other children’s activity groups. There are several different habitats within the Nature Reserve including woodland, meadow, hedgerow and wetland and the area has a wide variety of native wildlife flowers and trees, including ash, oak, sycamore, hawthorn, lime and willow.
In the Orchard there are fruit trees of many varieties including apples, pears, plums and the more unusual medlar. In late April/early May the trees are resplendent in their covering of scented blossom attracting bees searching for pollen and nectar. Common wild flowers and shrubs such as hedge parsley, pink campion, meadowsweet and buckthorn attract butterflies and other invertebrates. The mixed habitat provides home and food for at least 30 of our common (and not so common) birds, including summer migrants such as swift and chiff chaff. In autumn and winter the wetland is visited by birds such as lapwing, snipe and oyster catcher. There are accessible paths to all areas and benches and a log circle in the Orchard. Information boards in Fauna and the Orchard have pictures and information detailing some of the wildlife and varieties of fruit that can be seen.
Our Educational Visits page contains the information that you will need for planning a successful visit and the Curriculum Support page contains materials to support your visit before, during and after your visit.
Very well organised enthusiastic people. Very well cared for nature reserve. (St Lukes CE School)
Fantastic hands-on learning. Children experiencing local environment. Which some did not know was on their doorstep. (Dallas CP School)
For those of you with families, our Holiday Activity page has lots of fun things for you to do during the holidays or at a weekend. There are even activities for those rainy days!
The Adult Educational Programme
The Fairfield Association also offers an organised Adult Educational Programme and occasional lectures are held at The Storey on topics related to the organisation, the Nature Reserve or its history, often presented by Fairfield members. Topics have ranged from rare breed cattle to historical finds. We welcome suggestions for future talks. Bird watching walks are led by an expert in bird identification and there are also opportunities to take part in our various annual wildlife surveys which are also led by experts. On a more practical level, the Fairfield Association has a vigorous volunteering programme which offers the opportunity to learn skills such as hedgelaying and scything.