Reddish Vale Country Park
Reddish Vale has always been renowned for its botanical and wildlife interest.
During the 19th century Reddish Vale was noted as a source of rare and interesting wild flowers and was the favourite haunt of the rambling 'hand loom weaver botanists' referred to in Mrs Gaskell's 'Mary Barton'. Ted Duncan also recalls that 'The Vale was completely unspoilt and wild flowers bloomed in abundance... To people who came from Gorton it was paradise.
More than a century before the Country Park was created, Reddish Vale was already a much-loved place for a day out.
The Vale has been managed since the early 1980's as a recreational open space. It was managed until 1985 by the Tame Valley Warden Service under an agreement within Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) aimed at maintaining and enhancing urban countryside sites. With funding from the Stockport and Tameside Councils and the Countryside Commision, a temporary visitor centre was established and a great deal of work was done to improve paths, provide better access, establish facilities and manage vegetation.
Despite these efforts there were continual pressure to develop parts of the Vale which was fiercely resisted by local residents. In 1988 a mass rally of about 3000 local people accompanied by the Gorton Brass Band succeeded in saving the Vale from a proposed housing development. In 1990, a proposal to create an artificial ski slope in Woodhall Fields was defeated by a 7000 signature petition.
The Country Park designation was finally approved in 1993 for a much larger area than originally envisaged.
The park boundary was further expanded in 1997 to its current size of 161 Hectares and, in 2000, a Local Nature Reserve was declared, covering 81 Hectares of the Country Park.
Reddish Vale Visitor Centre