Etherow Country Park
was one of Britain's first country parks. Established in 1968 around
an old cotton mill, the park has steadily grown in size and
popularity and now attracts over a quarter of a million visitors
every year. The park lies within easy reach of the Stockport and
Manchester conurbations and also of the un-spoilt countryside of the
Pennines. The park is the halfway point of the 12 mile Valley Way
Footpath which links Vernon Park in Stockport with Woolley Bridge on
the Tameside/Derbyshire border. The Goyt Way, a ten mile footpath to
Whaley Bridge, also starts at Etherow Country Park. Leaflets are
available for these paths at the visitors centre.
Etherow Country Park covers an area of 240 acres at the heart of the
Etherow-Goyt Valley. The park offers a variety of leisure pursuits
such as bird watching, rambling and nature study. Sailing, model
boating and angling are also available by club membership. The park
also plays host to the Marple & District Round Table Raft Race each
Motorised wheelchairs are available free of charge to allow disabled
visitors to enjoy the park's many attractions (booking recommended,
especially at weekends). A Visitors Centre, cafeteria and toilets
(including disabled facilities) are located next to the car park.
There is space for 116 cars (pay and display parking).
Etherow Country Park is rich in wildlife. The park is home to over
200 species of plants and more than a hundred species of birds have
been recorded here.
The park has its own
nature reserve which is a designated Site of Special Scientific
Interest (SSSI). The reserve is managed solely by Cheshire Wildlife
Trust and there is now a short permissive footpath through the SSSI
with access to a bird hide overlooking the River Etherow.
The wide variety of habitats within the park allow an abundance of
wild plants to thrive here. With the exception of mid-winter, plants
are easily spotted throughout the year. Look out for flora such as
Dog's Mercury, Wood Anemone, Hedge Woundwort and Common Spotted
Orchid, among many others.
The many areas of woodland in the park provide an ideal home for a
variety of wild plants and animals.
Etherow Country Park provides ideal hunting territory for a variety
of birds of prey. Tawny Owls hunt frequently in the Keg woodlands.
Etherow Country Park was once part of the estate of George Andrew,
who built Compstall mill in the 1820's. Compstall village was also
built by Andrew to house his mill workforce. The waterways which you
can see today were also built by Andrew to carry water from the weir
on the river to turn the mill wheel, which stood where the car park
Andrew was also fond of shooting and fishing and the Keg woods and
pool were his own private shooting and fishing grounds. Nowadays
these areas are a quiet sanctuary for a variety of wildlife.
The Etherow Country Park is situated at Compstall on the B6104
between Romiley and Marple Bridge and is well signposted from the
The Etherow-Goyt Valley Wardens are based at the park and are always
pleased to give talks or guided walks by prior arrangement.
Motorised wheelchairs are available free of charge to anyone who has
difficulty in walking around the park. For further information
please contact the Wardens.