One of Halton’s important historic sites is the ancient Duck Decoy in Hale Village. It has been restored for use as a nature reserve with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Owned by Hale Estates, it is an important Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Believed to have been constructed in the seventeenth century as a method of attracting and catching ducks, the Hale Decoy is the only surviving one in the North West and one of only three remaining in the country. Its survival maintains one of the most significant early post-medieval field monuments in the county.
A duck decoy was an ancient method of catching ducks for food, consisting of a pond where ducks swam underneath a series of hoops and a net, attracted by a small dog running alongside the bank. It is thought the ducks regard the small dog as a predator such as a fox, and swim towards it as method of drawing attention away from nesting or resting areas.
There is no public access to the Decoy and visits are restricted to guided tours run by the Friends of Pickerings Pasture Group.