Hidden gem park in north Manchester is declared a new local nature reserve

Broadhurst Clough in Moston is the 10th site to be named a local nature reserve in the city.
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Part of a park in north Manchester is set to become the city’s newest nature reserve. Broadhurst Clough in Moston is the latest site to be designated by Manchester city council as a local nature reserve, taking the total in the city to 10.

Its new status will help protect the natural features and wildlife habitats of this section of Broadhurst Park and increase its chances of getting investment. It is also hoped the move will encourage more people to visit the beauty spot. It comes after a former tip transformed into woodland south of Chorlton Water Park was declared as a local nature reserve last year. Kenworthy Woods in Northenden was named as the city’s ninth local nature reserve in December.

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Friends of Broadhurst Park chairman Celia Cropper said: “We are delighted that Broadhurst Clough is to be designated as a local nature reserve. We are pleased that the wide range of species within the Clough will have more protection and hope that the publicity will encourage more people to visit.”

Linking to Moston Fairway and Boggart Hole Clough – which is also a local nature reserve – this part of the Irk Valley Corridor contains the Dean Brook which trickles through a steep-sided woodland ravine. The rest of the site consists of grassland – some rich with different species – and marshland.

Mature poplars sit alongside young copses of birch and alder woodland which have been planted in partnership with the City of Trees. Extensive stands of flag iris can also be found in the marshy areas and seasonal ponds, providing ideal cover for common frogs and toads, as well as rest stops for dragonflies. Regular events such as bat walks, nature walks, pond dipping and fungal foraging take place at the clough along with clean-ups organised by the Friends of Broadhurst Park group alongside the council’s Parks team that manage the green space. The town hall has now approved the proposal.

 Broadhurst Clough in Moston is the 10th site to be named a local nature reserve.  Credit MCC Broadhurst Clough in Moston is the 10th site to be named a local nature reserve.  Credit MCC
Broadhurst Clough in Moston is the 10th site to be named a local nature reserve. Credit MCC

Labour councillor Tracey Rawlins, executive member for environment and transport at Manchester council, said: “We want to get the right balance between people and nature and by developing the city’s natural environment, it’s woodlands, rivers and meadows for residents and visitors to enjoy, it helps to preserve the precious eco-systems that we already have and contribute to an increasing and diverse wildlife, flora and fauna in our natural environment. It is also another step in our journey and ambition to not just mitigate the impacts of climate change but to become a zero-carbon city by 2038.”

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Labour councillor Lee-Ann Igbon, who is the executive member for vibrant neighbourhoods, said: “It is wonderful news that we are expanding the number of green areas with LNR status following the declaration at Kenworthy Woods in south Manchester a few months ago. This is a much loved and well used space in north Manchester, and I am pleased that we can play our part in preserving and enhancing a cleaner, greener and healthier biodiverse city for everyone to enjoy. We want as many of our residents as possible to have the opportunity to connect with nature and the benefits it provides.”

Manchester city council’s executive committee approved the move at a meeting on Wednesday (March 22). According to a report, Natural England has confirmed informal support for the site becoming a local nature reserve.