MERSEY VALE NATURE PARK (MVNP)
Mersey Vale Nature Park is a local nature reserve (LNR) and a Site of Biological Importance owned and managed by Stockport Council. It is located on the south side of Didsbury Road beside the river Mersey and incorporating the Trans Pennine Trail West that passes along this section of the Mersey Valley. See the google map at the end of the page.
It provides habitat for a range of wildlife including the rare Banded Demoiselle Damselfly (click here to find out more about the different UK wildlife habitats). The map below shows the paths and features which include a traditional orchard, two ponds with dipping platforms and a wildflower meadow all with picnic and seating areas. Outdoor activities enjoyed by people include: walking, running (including the Burnage Park Run), cycling, horse riding, canoeing and bird watching. Visitors are encouraged to help protect the natural environment by following the countryside code.
MVNP opened in 2006, reclaimed from land that was once the bleachworks and railway lines and sidings.
- The bleachworks was first built by Samuel Oldnow in 1786 and managed by his brother Thomas Oldknow. This was before Heaton Mersey as a place existed; at that time, it was a rural area with a small collection of settlements along what is now Didsbury Road (such as Grundy Hill and Parrs Fold) and a few large houses (such as Bank Hall). The mill was located at the bottom of Vale Road on the west side and the owner’s house ‘Heaton House’ was nearby on the east side. These can be seen in the painting below (left) titled ‘Heaton Mersey’ (painted in 1831 by A Fraser).
- Heaton Mersey Railway line opened in 1880 and closed in 1961. The access to the station was off Didsbury Road, where Station Road now starts. The photo below shows Heaton Mersey railway station 1910
To see Heaton Mersey as it used to be click here. Compare now and then by moving the transparency bar.
The Heaton Mersey Heritage Walk leaflet has more information about the history of Heaton Mersey and the area that is now Mersey Vale Nature Park.
(Tip: click anywhere on the map to remove legend)