What can be more classic than a day out feeding the ducks? Treat your elderly relatives to these finest of duck spots in and around Northwich!
It’s a classic activity as old as time. For centuries wherever the two meet, people have been feeding ducks by rivers, ponds and lakes. With the weather now fairer and the ducks as cute as ever, it’s a fantastic time of year to take your elderly loved ones out for the age-old favourite pastime that is feeding the ducks. However not all duck ponds are equal, and if you want nothing but the best ducky experience make sure you take your loved ones to the right spots.
Located just north of the village of Anderton to the north-east of Northwich, Marbury Country Park sits alongside the Budworth Mere and Forge Brook to the north while its east flank is marked by the Trent and Mersey Canal. As such there’s plenty of good spots to hunt for ducks, as well as lots of fantastic places to enjoy a warm afternoon walk or settle down for a scenic picnic. Bird spotters will be pleased to find signs and specially made huts that can help you find all sorts of local bird life, and all the paths along the water are clearly marked.
Marbury Park offers numerous other facilities and activities as well, including toilets and onsite parking, although keep in mind that some paths along the water are little more than dirt tracks. Keep this in mind if your elderly relatives have uneven footing and plan accordingly. Find the main entrance off Marbury Lane which turns out onto Marbury Road, north of Anderton off the A533.
Found within Northwich itself, Chinkers Field is a popular place to escape from the noise of the town centre. As well as playground equipment and extensive football fields, the park also sits alongside the River Dane and offers plenty of water for ducks to gather and swim. A footpath runs along its length, with several benches giving a great view of the water. Located as it is within the very middle of Northwich, there are plenty of places nearby to grab a quick bite – whether for the ducks or for yourselves. Find it by going down Walley Road via Brockhurst street off Chester Way across the river, or from the south by heading up the turnoff on Vickers Way before it turns into Manora Road.
A man-made lake to the west of Macclesfield, Redesmere has since become a popular site for all kinds of outdoor activities, from sailing, to fishing, to walking and to, of course, duck feeding. Local legends even tell of a floating island that used to be seen drifting across the lake’s surface and has become attached to a story of a knight and the faithfulness of his fair lady!
Redesmere has a very healthy population of ducks living in and about its waters, and you’ll soon spot entire flocks of them swimming serenely about as you step onto the grounds. A footpath leads directly to the water’s edge, although routes to other parts of the lake are limited. Fortunately the parts that are accessible have plenty of seating if your elderly relatives want to sit down, and parking is available both on the southern bank and by the Redesmere Sailing Club. Find it via signs off Congleton Road, or via Redesmere Road of Manchester Road if you’re coming from Siddington.
A little further out and south, just outside of Congleton, the Bereton Heath Local Nature Reserve is a small but very well looked after little nook surrounding the Bereton Pool. The Reserve itself is a veritable paradise with many wooded pathways, grassy fields and expansive views of rural England, but its collection of swans, geese and ducks upon the waters of Bereton Pool are why we’re really here.
The shallow banks of the Pool allow you to get up right close to the ducks if you wanted, but otherwise there are plenty of benches by the toilet blocks and carefully maintained pathways all the way around the pool. The Little Cow Shed just across the entrance also sells locally made dairy products. A car park allows for immediate access to the Reserve, but keep in mind that there is a charge to use it. Find it on Davenport Park Lane off the A54 from the village of Davenport itself.
Open from Sunday to Thursday, Abbywood Gardens is a beautiful outdoor space in Cheshire, which is great for families who want to embrace the great outdoors. You can expect acre upon acre of woodland, as well as six acres of formal and informal gardens. What makes this place so unique is that every garden is different and individual in its own right, which makes it very exciting. Plus, the garden cafe serves some delicious treats for everyone to enjoy too. There are accessible facilities in Ground Floor Room 2 in Woodside Cottage when visiting the estate. Find the gardens on Chester Road after turning off Abbey Road / the B5152 on the way towards central Northwich.
Moving further south we have Queen’s Park in Crewe, an historic park surrounded by the Queen’s Park Drive. As well as being a very lovely garden in itself, with lots of flowers, statues and fountains, it also has a very sizeable pond with an accessible island at its centre. With very well-maintained pathways throughout, plenty of seating, and an onsite café if you wanted lunch, Queen’s Park is the place to go if you wanted to feed the ducks in style. It’s fully accessible to all guests and provides lavatory facilities within the grounds.
Combine it with a day out to Crewe itself, which has plenty of shops and cafes to offer, and you’ve got an entire day trip planned! Find the main entrance to Queen’s Park off Victoria Avenue, just past the turnoff for Hughes Drive.
On the southern end of the town of the same name and just alongside the River Weaver, Nantwich Lake is just ten minutes away from the town centre and offers plenty of paths around its waters for pleasant afternoon walks. The Lake itself is home to many varieties of duck and waterfowl, with plenty of areas accessible to the water for easier feeding. The paths circle around the lake and head up the River Weaver further into town, so there’s lots of options for exploration. The paths are all paved, flat and provide benches and picnic tables for seating. In addition, lakeside parking is also provided though spaces are limited. Find it off Shrewbridge Road if coming from the south, or just after the turnoff between Shrewbridge Road and Park Road if coming in on the A530.
When feeding ducks, always remember to do so responsibly! While bread is the traditional choice, it’s always best to offer wholegrain bread where possible and to add variety with oats, seeds, lettuce and peas. While bread isn’t bad for ducks per se, neither is it very good for them. Filling up on bread makes them less inclined to forage for more nutritious food and could lead to malnutrition. If the bread is stale or mouldy, it can also make them ill.
Exercise restraint and make sure that everyone enjoys your day out, whether they have hair or feathers, while experiencing the great British outdoors. If you like the look of a ducky outing with the family, find out more about supported living in this area and see if home care in Northwich and Knutsford could be right for your loved ones.