What to see
There is so much to see and take an interest in. We think of the Park and Gardens we cover as three separate but linked areas: (1) Fletcher Moss Park and the Botanical Gardens, (2) Parsonage Gardens, (3) the Nature Reserve of Stenner Woods, Millgate Fields and the River Mersey.
Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens are open every day of the year from dawn to dusk. Entrance is free. Dog restrictions apply in some signed areas.
We are working on this section of the website so that readers will be able to find out what there is to see in each area in each season of the year. It will take some time but we will get there in the end!
We do encourage vistors to the website to contact us, either with information they have of what they have seen and enjoyed, or with queries - we are very good at answering them, as we have a lot of friends and supporters who know a lot about the area!
Parsonage Gardens - photographs by Elizabeth Maddock. Click on the link to see these wonderful photos.
Parsonage Gardens photos by Elizabeth Maddock
Fletcher Moss - photographs by Pam Siddons - Moods and moments in Stenner Woods and the Meadows
The Trees in Parsonage Gardens
There are a number of interestging, and some rare, trees in Parsonage Gardens. If you would like a location map please click on the link below. As always we welcome comments and queries about the trees. Please get in touch via the 'Contact' button on the left.
Summer in the Nature Reserve (Stenner Woods and Millgate Fields)
As well as our common resident species of birds (blue and great tits, flocks of long-tailed tits, wrens, nuthatch, tree-creeper, robins, blackbirds, thrushes, dunnocks, etc) we also have the usual summer migrants, mostly from Africa. These include Chiff-chaffs, Willow Warblers, Sand Martins, Swallows, House Martins and Blackcaps; more rarely a Whitethroat (heard singing in various areas). There is the usual unmistakeable presence of Swifts, a wonderful sight along the river when they are active. For many years Swallows have nested under the arch in the sluice gate beyond Millgate Lane, and once again they didn't disappoint us; amazing to think they can return to the very same nests after a winter round trip to South Africa of some seven thousand miles.
One of the regular reports these days is that of ring-necked parakeets all around the park and surrounding areas, particularly in Stenner Woods. These birds have established themselves very rapidly in recent years and are to be found in most south Manchester parks and nearby areas. They are very loud and noticeable. Some people love them, for others they are a nuisance to be ranked with Magpies in the dislikeability stakes. Whichever way you feel it is confidently predicted that in a few years time they will be the most numerous of all species in our parks.
The Butterbur along the river banks has again been prolific; as its name suggests its old-time use was to wrap and store butter. On ‘our’ bank of the river, near ‘the beach’, was a lovely display of Stitchwort, not the more usual Greater Stitchwort but the broader-leaved Wood Stitchwort (white star-shaped flowers), nothing like as common generally. And all along the river, and in other places, (eg Stenner Lane) there has been an abundance of Ramsons (wild garlic); you can pick it and use the leaves, raw or cooked, but beware – it can be surprisingly strong! The (yellow) Lesser Celandines were also very evident. This cheerful little plant is often seen as a pest by gardeners and a pleasure to nature lovers - Wordsworth wrote two poems in its praise! And we had a marvellous display of the glorious yellow Kingcups (Marsh Marigolds) around the edges of the ponds, along the east side of Stenner Woods (the ‘Willow Carr’ area).
Two years ago (2013) there were reports of a white mink on the riverbank around the Simon's bridge area. I am not aware of any sigthings so far this year. If you have seen this very unusual animal, or know anyone who has, pease let us know.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or sightings about the wildlife in the area. They can always be added to this page. To e-mail us, use the ‘CONTACT’ button on the left or write to email@example.com.
More information about the wildlife at Fletcher Moss can be found on the 'WILDLIFE' page of this website, and by clicking on the links below: