Friends of Woodbank, Vernon and Poise

Turncroft Lane, Offerton

Location Map - click

The Friends of Woodbank, Vernon and Poise are working in partnership with Stockport Council and Stockport Heritage Trust to reinstate the old Nature Trail, include Heritage features and improve access along a section of the River Goyt near Nab Weir. They have applied to the Big Lottery Community Spaces Fund for financial support but  need your help to develop the project by answering completing this survey.

They are also working in partnership with Stockport Heritage Trust and Stockport Council to remind people why Woodbank Memorial Park was gifted to the people of Stockport.  
They want to celebrate the memory of all those who gave their lives in The Great War, in the Second World War and in all wars and conflicts since.  They will also remember the innocent victims of war - civilians and the animals who also served.  They have applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a Your Heritage Grant for financial support and need your help to develop this project by answering the following questions


Woodbank Park
Woodbank Memorial Park is situated adjacent to Vernon Park, Offerton. It is ideal for a leisurely stroll in its wide open spaces.
Woodbank Hall is a Grade II* listed building. The park connects with the River Goyt and the Goyt Way. Footpaths can lead you through Poise Brook or towards Otterspool and Bredbury, with the Midshires Way and the Fred Perry Way passing through the parks.
The park is home to Stockport Harriers Athletics Club, who manage the athletics stadium. Woodbank Memorial Park has a Local Nature Reserve and Poise Brook Nature Reserve lies further east along the side of the River Goyt.
• Athletics stadium
• Children's play area
• Ponds
• 2 Nature Reserves
• 2 x cricket squares
• Orienteering course (maps available at Stockport Museum Cafe, Vernon Park)
A 42 year old Nature Trail, lost for years, has been found and is being restored by the Friends group. This trail links many of the Heritage features of the park that many people don't even know exists.

In 1921, Sir Thomas Rowbotham, a former Major of Stockport, presented to the town, Woodbank Memorial Park in honour of the Stockport men who died in the Great War. The park is 90 acres in extent, is beautifully wooded and, skirted by the river Goyt, presents striking natural views. The bluebells in the woods are a feature almost unequalled in any public park in the country. (Taken from the Stockport Official Guidebook 1949)

Vernon Park
Stockport's historic Vernon Park received a £1.6 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant to give it new life and restore the Park to its former Victorian and Edwardian splendour.
This was the biggest lottery grant to be awarded in the Borough.
This is Stockport’s oldest public park lying just to the east of the town centre. It’s an exceptional Victorian / Edwardian asset to both the local community and the North West region. The park is well used by schools for historical and environmental studies and provides unique areas for traditional pastimes such as crown green bowls in conjunction with beautifully restored areas of formal and informal parkland. The site also boasts a mature woodland along the river terraces which is being sensitively managed whilst maintaining public access.

This park has benefited from a Heritage Lottery grant of 1.6 million pounds, which amounted to 2.1 million pounds including match funding. This work has included restoration work to many of the features of heritage value in the park. Other features, which had been lost, have been replaced with new replicas of the originals.

The Park celebrated its re-opening on 29 September 2000.

Also to Vernon Park's credit, it has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award.

Facilities & features

• Grade 2 status in the Historical Parks and Gardens register
• Vernon Park Museum
• Historical plant collection (many themed planting beds)
• Cannons
• Drinking fountain
• Bandstand (new, but design matches original)
• Water cascades
• Fountain / lily pond
• Traditional cast iron / stone carved main entrance gateway
• Authentic Victorian style seating
• Walkways in mature river terrace woodland
• Historical stone seat
• 2 bowls pavilions and greens
Historical plant collection including: the Sunken Rose Garden, Plants from Around the World, the Fernery, Plants from Great British Plant Collectors, Rhododendron Bed, Herbaceous Borders, Victorian Annual Bedding, The Rockery and Stockport’s first Pinetum.

The opening of the park took place on Monday 20th September 1858.

Once known as “Pinch Belly Park” or the “People’s Park”, Vernon Park was built by Stockport Corporation on land donated by George John Warren (Lord Vernon). It was an instant success, with mill workers helping to construct park features.

Vernon Park is designated Grade II in the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, and is an important example of an early public park.