Moses Gate Country Park is located to the southeast of Bolton, not far from the centre of town. Easy for a quick visit with ample parking and all the usual park features, play area for kids, pleasant lodges to stroll around and a bunch of extended walks following the River Croal and the disused but partially restored Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal.
The park is based around three large lodges that remain from the old Crompton Lodges, now re-purposed as ornamental lakes that are a haven for waterbirds. As already noted the River Croal passes through the park but the river was in the past heavily abused by both industry and domestic waste. People have taken years to clean up the river, both volunteers on the ground and by curbing waste from local businesses and litter from private individuals.
However, in the widespread flooding of 2015/16 the whole area has been devastated, tons of building waste, metal and plastics have surfaced from the surrounding mud and gravel then spread downstream. It was terrible to witness at the time and efforts to begin cleaning up the area have been hampered by the presence of the dangerous, Giant Hogweed in numerous places along the river bank. Things are looking better as spring 2016 is underway and it is good to see the new growth coming up from the recent deposits of mud and sand.
Wildlife has thrived despite the floods but the background to photos has suffered, I myself have a (not very good) photo of a Kingfisher perched among the flood debris. Wildlife is a big attraction here and even just a walk around the lodges on a gloomy day gives a lot to look at and photograph. I’m not a wildlife photographer, as you may have observed, but it’s such an easy time around the Crompton Lodges it’s just fun, like feet powered Pokemon Snap.
The park is great for dog walking and there are plenty of places for letting them off the lead, mostly along the river paths. It’s easy to gather a little pack of dogs and owners of all shapes and sizes (the dogs) and give dogs a bit of social time. Many people allow their dogs in the river but there’s sometimes some sharp looking metal down there, so take a look first.
Along the length of the Croal there are a ton of industrial remains that you can find and many around the Moses Gate Park area, as well as the old canal to explore.
Moses Gate Country Park image by munki-boy
The River Croal at Moses Gate Country Park image by munki-boy
Map of Moses Gate Country Park area C1850 image by Ordnance Survey
Marker type: Parkland
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The town of Bolton or Bolton le Moors to give its full-name is a town that grew out over the centuries from Little Bolton, a town that dates back to at least medieval times and probably beyond. The old town of Little Bolton was just north of the current “Town Hall Square”, which is generally assumed to be the centre of Bolton.