Thornton Wood is part of an ancient woodland SSSI(Site of Special Scientific Interest). The woodland is largely ash and oak with hazel and hawthorn in the understorey. There is also a pond and a stream. The reserve occupies 15.41 acres (6.24 hectares) and runs along the steep valley of the Clatterbrook, a tributary of the Dibbin.
The area is dominated by deciduous woodland. The western part of the site has a dense ground cover of brambles and bracken, whilst further east it is more open. The woodland contains pedunculate oak, sycamore, wych elm, alder and grey willow. Birch, hazel, beech, ash, holly and rowan are also present. The base of the valley is very marshy, characterised by plants such as water plantain, golden saxifrage and reed canary grass. In the drier areas you can find foxglove, wood sage, bluebell and other woodland species.
The woodland supports a fairly diverse collection of woodland birds. Badgers breed in the area, and other small mammals have been recorded. A series of alder feeding butterflies have been recorded including the dingy shell and small yellow wave, these species are very local in Cheshire. The dead wood supports a variety of beetles and other invertebrates.
Not accessible to the public
However, if you would like to visit, why not take part in one of the work parties on the reserve.