Stanley Park Nature Trail is a circular walk from the Visitor Centre round the edge of the boating lake and through the dedicated conservation area – the green dotted route in this map.
Follow the markers from A to J – get hold of a copy of the Nature Trail leaflet that this information is taken from, or print this out.
At a leisurely pace it will take you about an hour. Leave the Visitor Centre, turn left past the cafe and head down the path to the lake with the boat house on your left hand side.
Be careful: the path runs very close to deep water. Please keep a close eye on children and dogs. Swimming and ice skating are forbidden. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times – and please don’t let them chase the birds.
Marker A: The start of your route where the park becomes more natural and the lake is on your right. You’ll see huge numbers of water birds here throughout the year including Moor Hens, Mallard Ducks, Coots, Mute Swans and the Great Crested Grebe – many of them live on the islands in the lake. Canada Geese and Greylag Geese graze on the grasslands around the lake.
Marker B: You’re now on the edge of the woodland area which runs round the east side of the lake. Follow the left fork of the footpath to see native tree species including Cherry and Silver Birch with it’s aptly named pale grey bark, along with lots of Common Oak trees. Did you know they can live up to 1000 years?
Oak trees support more wildlife than any other tree with over 300 species of birds, mammals and creatures depending on them for food and shelter.
Continue down the footpath to cross a small bridge over a ditch – which attracts lots of different dragonflies such as the brightly coloured Emperor.
Marker C: Going deeper into the woodland you’ll notice typical British birds like Blackbirds, Chaffinch, Song Thrushes and Wood Pigeons – if you are lucky you might see a Great Spotted Woodpecker – tapping on the tree trunks which it climbs, looking for food.
Marker D: Visiting this area at dawn or dusk you might see foxes, stoats, weasels or wood mice. Grey squirrels are the most common mammal in the park.
There are also bat boxes fastened to trees in this area of the woodland and in the early evening you may see Pipistrelle bats leaving these boxes to hunt for food.
Marker E: If you look from here towards the north of Stanley Park Lake you’ll see a wooded island with a large colony of Grey Herons, which is called a Heronry.
A beautiful bird, the Heron is large, with long yellow legs and a long beak. They build their big nests, which can be up to 3 feet across, high in the trees – the ones which are occupied have droppings on the ground underneath. The same birds use their same nest each year – unless it is blown down by high winds.
You’ll also see lots of Black Headed Gulls, who like to perch on the old fence across the lake in front of the island.
Marker F: Keep an eye out for butterflies, they feed and lay eggs in the long grass, nettles, shrubs and trees. Between March and September you might find Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral.
You might also see dragonflies around the edge of the water, including Brown Common Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Emperor.
Marker G: Along this path you’ll see lots of wildflowers including Cow Parsley, Red Campion, Hedge Garlic, Cleavers, Meadow Buttercup and Honesty, with Bluebells in Spring.
Marker H: The viewing platform near the gate give syou a chance to see the birds on the lake from close quarters. Many of them are tame and will come and visit you on the chance of a snack!
Marker I: The ornamental bridges are one of the many attractive features to be found in the park, giving you a fantastic view of both sides of the lake and the woodland areas. Turn left off the bridge and walk to marker I for a panoramic view of the lake and bandstand.
Marker J: The picnic area was created by volunteers as a space for you to sit and enjoy the view. The Hawthorn shrubs in this spot attract lots of insects and birds so you should be able to see lots of them close up.
Pass the Cafe and formal areas of park to find the Nature Trail in Stanley Park
Stanley Park Nature Trail can be enjoyed during park opening hours which are dawn to dusk each day.
There are toilet facilities next to the car park, many areas of the park are suitable for disabled visitors.
The address for Stanley Park is West Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9HU
Tortoise shell butterfly