The Mersey Valley

Trafford has a rich heritage of parks and greenspace rooted in the local urban character.

The borough supports 30 municipal parks and a diverse range of historic open spaces and visitor attractions such as Sale Water Park, Longford Park and Dunham Massey.

The Trans Pennine Trail and Bridgewater Canal pass through the borough’s heart, linking local communities and visitors to the Mersey Valley and beyond.

More than 200 hectares of countryside around the Mersey Valley are looked after by the Trafford Countryside Management Partnership. The partnership is led by City of Trees and Trafford Council who work with range of organisations, including The Conservation Volunteers and the Environment Agency to change the way we manage the boroughs countryside.

Together we are improving access for people and taking steps to enhance biodiversity for wildlife.

Explore areas in the Mersey Valley below.

Sale Water Park 

Sale Water Park is a hub for outdoor activities and offers a range of opportunities for walking, wildlife watching, sport and practical conservation. It is connected to other beautiful areas of countryside via the Trans Pennine Trail and the River Mersey, including Priory Gardens.

Sale Water Park

The lake was excavated during the 1970s to create a gravel embankment for the M60 motorway. Broad Ees Dole, located in the northeast of Sale Water Park is Trafford’s first Local Nature Reserve. The wetland area provides a mosaic of habitats for resident and visiting birds, including herons, kingfishers, little grebe and many other species.

Things to do

  • Walk / Run - Discover walking routes near and around Sale Water Park.
  • Practical Conservation - The Conservation Volunteers Green Gym and Midweek Group inspire people to improve their health and wellbeing while contributing to the local natural environment. The weekly sessions are run by experienced leaders who provide training and practical skills. Each session includes a ‘brew’ break where volunteers can get to know one another. For more information email
  • Water Sports -  Peak Pursuits at Trafford Water Sports Centre offer a range fo water-based activities
  • Fishing - Check out details of Sale Water Park Angling Club

Transport: Metrolink: Sale Water Park

Social Media: Facebook: Friends of Sale Water Park; Twitter: @salewaterpark #salewaterpark

Access & facilities: Sale Water Park via Rifle Road, M33 2LX. Priory Gardens via Dane Road, M33 2BY. The lakeside path at Sale Water Park provides suitable access for wheelchairs, cyclists and pushchairs. Toilets on site.

Urmston Meadows and Ashton

Urmston Meadows is located on the southern fringes of Urmston close to the River Mersey. The meadow pastures, woodland paths, pond and ditches provide ideal habitat for wildlife and a peaceful place for visitors to unwind. Old Ees Brook offers spectacular views of the River Mersey as it meanders through the valley and is easily reached via a footpath located between Urmston Meadows and Eesbrook.

Urmston meadows

Things to do

  • Walk / Run - Discover walking routes near and around Urmston Meadows
  • Practical Conservation - Urmston Meadows Action Group helps local people get involved with the management of the site. Volunteers meet once a month to undertake a range of seasonal habitat improvements for the benefit of wildlife and visitors. The group is supported by friendly and experienced leaders from City of Trees and The Conservation Volunteers who provide tools, equipment and refreshments. For more information email

Transport: Bus: No. 276 or 278 to Church Road / Roabuck Hotel

Social Media: Facebook: Urmston Meadows Action Group

Access: Urmston Meadows via Riverside Drive, M41 9FL or Cedar Drive, M41 9HY. Old Ees Brook and Cob Kiln via Eesbrook, M41 9JA. The surfaced path at Urmston Meadows provides suitable access for wheelchairs, cyclists and pushchairs

Central Mersey Valley

The central Mersey Valley refers to an area of greenspace occupied by Stretford Meadows, Banky Meadows and Kickety Brook. Stretford Meadows supports an interesting array of wildflowers, including orchids, and is becoming increasingly popular with dog walkers and bird enthusiasts.

Banky Meadows and Kickety Brook are located to the south of Stretford Meadows and are regularly used by horse riders. The entire area is well connected to the Trans Pennine Trail with links to Urmston and Sale Water Park.

Banky meadows

Things to do

  • Walk / Run - Discover walking routes near and around the Central Mersey Valley.

Access: Stretford Meadows via Lesley Road, M32 9EE or Trans Pennine Trail. Banky Meadows and Kickety Brook via Bradley Lane, M32 8RF or Trans Pennine Trail. Limited access for wheelchairs, cyclists and pushchairs

Wellacre Country Park

Wellacre Country Park is made up for three distinct areas; Green Hill, De Brook Court and Jack Lane Nature Reserve. Together the site offers panoramic views of the Mersey Valley and extensive grassland and wetland habitat for local wildlife. The area is especially popular with dog walkers and anglers.

Green Hill at Wellacre Country Park

Things to do:

Access: Wellacre Country Park via Ambleside Drive, M41 6PL, Stott Drive, M41 6WA or Carrington Road, M41 6HX. Limited access for wheelchairs, cyclists and pushchairs

How to report a problem: You can report fly-tipping to Trafford Council and One Trafford by telephoning 0333 003 5865 or emailing Other matters related to parks and open spaces should be addressed to