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Etherow Valley

The Etherow Valley

Great Wood Local Nature Reserve

Great Wood Local Nature Reserve is one of the few remaining ancient woodland sites in Tameside and so it is of special conservation value. Once part of the great Longdendale Forest, parts of the woodland are over 400 years old. Most of the trees are oak, but in places there are birch, alder beech and willow that add to the variety. Dead and dying trees are as important as live ones and the dead wood provided food and shelter for spiders, millipedes, beetles and fungi. In turn these are eaten by the birds and bats that live in Great Wood. In the clearings in the wood you will find wildflowers like bluebells, red campion and wood sorrel. You can explore Great Wood by using the paths that run through it, or you can follow the Great Wood Trail from Lymefield Visitor Centre.

Location map for Great Wood Link to External Website

More information on Local Nature Reserves.

Contact: Park Bridge Heritage Centre

Hodge Lane Dye Vats

Dating from the late 18th century, this series of large stone vats or baths are part of the Hodge print works, probably the earliest known textile site in Tameside. Each one of the baths is made from giant stone slabs joined together by iron stays, and they are about six feet deep. Grey cloth would have been bleached with lime to make it white, and then laid out in the field to dry.

The site was excavated and recorded by the Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit in 1986, and recent work has been done to safeguard this important site for the future.

Location map for Hodge Lane Dye Vats Link to External Website

Contact: Lymefield Visitor Centre

Hurst Clough

Hurst Clough is an extension of Great Wood, separated from it by the main Manchester to Glossop rail line. The south end of Hurst Clough is a narrow wooded valley with the stream running along the bottom. As you move north up the clough, it begins to get wider, and open areas of grass begin to appear where you might find wildflowers and butterflies. There are footpaths throughout Hurst Clough making it easy to explore, with benches where you can stop and rest but remember it might be muddy after rain. If you want to explore further, the Trans Pennine National Trail also crosses through Hurst Clough. There is also a car park at the northern end, opposite The Wagon public house on Broadbottom Road.

Location map for Hurst Clough Link to External Website

Contact: Park Bridge Heritage Centre

Lymefield and Broad Mills

Once the site of a huge complex of cotton mills, the site of Broad Mills at Broadbottom, adjoining the Lymefield site, has been carefully reclaimed, and the remains of the mills, with their complex arrangement of millraces and sluices, restored for visitors to enjoy.

Location map for Lymefield and Broad Mills Link to External Website

Woolley Copse

On the banks of the river Etherow in Hollingworth is Woolley Copse. This small site has a lot to offer. There are small woodland areas and some big beech trees to marvel at. There is also a picnic site next to the river where you can site and watch the birdlife on the river, or on the nearby pond. You can find Woolley Copse at the end of Water Lane, or from The Boulevard, Hollingworth. From here it is a pleasant walk across farmland to Lymefield Visitor Centre following part of the Tameside Trail.

Location map for Woolley Copse Link to External Website

Contact: Lymefield Visitor Centre