The benefits of exercise and the great outdoors are vital for your mental and physical health. Here are our top-five green spaces in Salford.
Despite its industrial past, Salford is surpisingly abundant in the amount of accessible green spaces we have on our doorstep. Our Dirty Old Town is filled with the most lovely landscapes, being home to over 60 parks, five of which we will highlight in this blog. The impact a little greenery and exercise can have on your mental health is remarkable.
After reading our blog post, explore the benefits of nature on your mental health here.
Clifton Country Park is a hidden gem located in the heart of Greater Manchester. This local nature reserve, situated in the Irwell Valley, offers 48 hectares of stunning countryside that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Clifton Marina, a gravel pit that was developed during the construction of the M62 motorway in the 1960s. Today, it is a popular spot for walkers, joggers, and fishermen, with a surfaced path that provides a fully accessible circular walk around the lake for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
The visitor centre is also fully accessible, with all-important clean and comfortable toilet facilities. The park’s open woodlands and meadows offer plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, whether you are looking to go for a leisurely stroll or would prefer to enjoy a lakeside picnic. The park also offers fishing opportunities, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings while casting a line. For those interested in the city’s industrial past, Clifton Country Park offers a glimpse into Manchester’s history, with hidden remnants of its past as an industrial powerhouse. Clifton Country Park is also an area under The Salford Ranger Team. The team works in a number of Salford’s parks and nature reserves, providing outdoor education, events, guided walks and more, aiming to make these green spaces somewhere for everyone to enjoy.
For directions and more information to Clifton Country Park, click here.
Blackleach Country Park is an exquisite destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful outdoor escape. Located nearby Walkden Town Centre, the park is easily accessible and offers a range of activities and walking routes. From picnics and leisurely walks to fishing and birdwatching, Blackleach has been officially designated as a Local Nature Reserve since 2004 and is the proud holder of the prestigious Green Flag Award, which recognises well-managed parks and green spaces.
The park’s centrepiece is its beautiful reservoir, which attracts a variety of wildlife such as Tufted Ducks, Grey Herons, and even Cormorants. The wetland sections of the park also provide a home for Damsel and Dragonflies. Blackleach is a dog-friendly and family-friendly park with plenty of loops to explore (depending on how far you want to go!), with clean and tidy paths and plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the lovely view across the water. For those wanting to visit, there is an easily accessible car park and plenty of entrances to begin your adventure!
The Salford Ranger Team help to manage and maintain the park, alongside a local volunteer group, The Friends of Blackleach. This group meet up to discuss future projects and management of the site. The Friends of Blackleach are also involved in fundraising and have successfully gained a grant to create an orchard at the park.
For more information on Blackleach Country Park, click here.
A mile away from Salford Royal hospital, Buile Hill Park is the largest public park in the borough and has a significant history to match its substantial size. Being the second oldest park in Salford (after Peel Park), Buile Hill is a Grade ll public park and hall. It has close links to the artist LS Lowry, as well as being used as a military base in both world wars. The park has a range of paths perfect for taking a stroll, with scenic surroundings amidst a more industrial landscape across Salford and Manchester, which can be enjoyed from the terraces of Buile Hill House. The site has a range of attractions, suitable for all ages, including a tree trail, tennis courts, a multi-use games area, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas and more!
Buile Hill Park has a thriving community spirit, with its focus based around The Community Building and the Pavilion Café by the bowling green. These areas of the park are where projects, events and activities are discussed, including maintenance and ways in which the park can be improved. The helpful volunteers that run these projects are always extremely friendly and welcoming to visitors of the park and are always on hand to deal with enquiries.
Mental health advocate, Mark Frith, founder of Growing Togetherness, is also actively involved in the Buile Hill Park community. Mark works in partnership with the park and a group of dedicated volunteers that tend to the allotments and gardens, alongside working with the council to help manage the park and to organise events. Mark runs a range of other horticultural and wellbeing services which you can see here.
If you have any queries for the team, Friends of Buile Hill Park, you can reach them on Facebook here.
Victoria Park is over 100 years’ old and is carefully maintained to reflect its Victorian heritage, whilst also catering to the contemporary needs of the diverse local community of Swinton, in which it is situated. In recent years, significant efforts have been made to improve access to the park, and to improve and increase the facilities within. This has included new gates at the entrance, the installation of a new car park, and the resurfacing of the path system. Victoria Park was first awarded Green Flag status in 2005 and has now been a municipal park for more than 100 years. The heritage of the site makes it a fantastic destination for those who are looking for a peaceful and serene setting to unwind amongst years of history.
The park’s attractions include tennis courts, a bowling green, a children’s play area, and a multi-use games area. These facilities provide a great opportunity for visitors to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors at the same time. Victoria Park is also home to ‘The Hive Wellbeing Hub’, an amazing community space and organisation that strives to support the residents of Salford in all aspects of their welfare and wellbeing. There’s always something going on at The Hive and a friendly welcome is guaranteed.
For further details, you can contact The Hive Wellbeing Hub here.
Close by to Salford Royal hospital, Lightoaks Park is situated in a tranquil, serene setting, making it the ideal location to soak up the beauty of nature and enjoy a casual stroll. One of the park’s most popular features is its duck pond, which is home to a variety of waterfowl species. The pond provides the park with a staple attraction, drawing in visitors to relax and unwind amongst the natural beauty and wildlife of the park.
In true Salford spirit, Lightoaks also has a strong community backing and is maintained by a large and active group of kind volunteers – ‘The Friends of Lightoaks Park’. Not only do the group maintain the park to the highest standard, but they also organise regular events for the local community.
For updates and information regarding Lightoaks, you can follow the volunteer group here on Facebook.