Parks, leisure and the arts River Valleys

About River Valley sites

Manchester is home to many urban countryside sites, which are more informal in character than parks. These sites are vital environmental and educational resources and act as green corridors linking areas of greenspace across the city through walking or cycling routes - many of them have visitor centres.

In a city, natural greenspaces offer essential opportunities for children, young people and adults to escape their urban surroundings and go to a place where they can experience the informal outdoor world, and learn about and appreciate the environment and local biodiversity.

Manchester has three river valleys each containing a number of urban countryside sites, these are the Irk River Valley, Medlock River Valley and Mersey River Valley.

Across all these urban countryside sites we are working together with the River Valley Partnership to:

  • promote urban ecology in natural green spaces, such as designation of local nature reserves and sites of biological importance, woodland management, biodiversity enhancements;
  • continue to improve management of natural greenspaces through the river valley-based warden/ranger services;
  • reclaim under used and neglected areas within these corridors and transform into relevant, positive and used green spaces; and
  • develop basic infrastructures within natural greenspaces to ensure they are safe and accessible, welcoming, enhance biodiversity and involve communities.
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