Parks and Nature Reserves

There are many significant parks and open spaces in the Borough covering over 300 hectares, many of which have historical connections.

Together with river valleys, country parks and nature reserves they offer a wide variety of leisure activities.

For more information on leisure activities see Sports and Leisure.

  • Allotments

    The following allotment sites are owned and managed by us:
    • Crosse Hall, off Crosse Hall Lane, Chorley
    • Windsor Road, off Sandringham Road, Chorley
    • Worthy Street, Chorley
    • Moor Road, Chorley
    • Bay Horse, off Church Hill, Whittle-le-Woods
    • School Lane, Brinscall
    • Manor Road, Clayton-le-Woods

    Allotment locations can be found by selecting allotments in the My Maps section of My Chorley.

    Allotment fees
    The annual rent is currently £42.50 per plot, regardless of the location or size of the plot.

    How to get an allotment plot
    Allotments are in high demand within the Borough of Chorley, and as a result we operate an allotment waiting list.

    We have around 400 people on our waiting list and it is currently taking around 5 years from joining the waiting list to being allocated an allotment plot.

    Anyone wishing to place their name on the waiting list should contact us and provide your name, address, a day time telephone number and an email address (if you have one). Please let us know if you have a preference for any particular allotment site.

    Whilst you wait to be allocated an allotment plot of your own, why not get involved with the Community Food Growing Project in Chorley. For more information you can watch our Chorley Community Food Growing Project video.

    If you join our allotment waiting list, please make sure that you let us know if any of your contact details change. If we cannot contact you by telephone or email when a plot becomes available, we will remove you from the allotment waiting list.

  • Astley Park

    Main entrance - Park Road, Chorley
    Entrance two – Hallgate, Astley Village

    Facilities available include football and rugby pitches with changing facilities, bowling greens, tennis courts, pitch and putt, play area, pets corner, woodland areas and a café.

    At the heart of the park is Astley Hall a Grade I listed historic house. Astley Park lies close to the centre of Chorley. We acquired the Hall and 12 hectares of Park from the owners, the Tatton family in 1922 as a memorial to the dead of the Great War. The Park now covers 43 hectares. This attractive park is steeped in history and combines open parkland and ancient boundary woodland. Visitors of all ages will discover an attractive setting for a wide range of leisure activities. The park stages summer fun days and family events. You can view these on our What's on page.

  • Blainscough Wood Nature Reserve
    Main entrance- Blainscough Road, off Springfield Road, Coppull
    Entrance two - Mountain Road, Coppull
    Entrance three - Spendmore Lane, Coppull

    This reserve was a former agricultural and coal mining site. Following the end of coal mining activities, the site remained derelict and unsafe for a considerable length of time. Reclamation works undertaken by us between 1990 and 1993 made the site safe and established the nature reserve. Since then we have managed the reserve and works have included annual late summer cut of wildflower meadow, footpath improvements, maintenance of signs and way markers and creation of a new pond.
  • Coronation Recreation Ground

    Get involved and help shape the future of Coronation Recreation Ground.

    You may have noticed the planting of the large border with herbaceous plants adjacent to the pavilion & the relocation of the Friends of Coronation Rec stone to the prominent position within the centre of this bed. The paths have benefited from extensive work including repairs, replacement / installation of grids & making good board & coble edges to paths. They have then been sealed with liquid tarmac which will bind the existing materials & give all paths the same look. The bins in the park have also been replaced & the fencing has been improved at the pavilion.

    As you can see there are lots of things happening to improve the park & we really want the help of the local community to make decisions on future improvements & enhancements to this well used green space. With this in mind the local elected members decided that as part of Chorley Councils Neighbourhood Working, Coronation Recreation improvements would become one of the 2014/15 neighbourhood priorities, part of this was to look to re-establish a Friends of Coronation Rec group.

    In the past there was a strong friends group which supported the council & also helped shape how the park looks now, what we did not have at that moment in time was a budget for the group to use to implement some of the agreed improvements. We are in a fortunate position this year to have £50,000 in the budget from 1st April 2014 allocated to improve a specific area of the recreation ground. This can also be used as match funding to leaver in more resources. With the budget in place it would be great to encourage local residents to share their vision for Coronation rec & also become a member of the Friends of Coronation Rec group which will be supported by the council but ultimately will be an independent constituted group.

    Initially we are arranging an informal “drop in” session on Thursday 31 August 6pm - 7.30pm at St Marys Club to share thoughts & also look at potential developments on the green space.

    If you are unable to attend the session but want to keep involved & you have an email address we will be able to update you via email & will also post updates on this page, Chorley Councils Twitter account & Facebook page.

     We hope to carry out some further consultation at Play Day on Wednesday 6th August 2014 which will also give people to opportunity to become involved in the new friends group.

    We really hope you are able to participate in whatever way you can. As part of Chorley Councils recognition of the time you may spend giving your ideas at the “drop in” session we will be able to offer each participant a Time Credit, which can be used to access an hour of enjoyable activity at a range of venues. For more information on time credits please look on OUR WEBSITE & search ‘Time Credits’

  • Duxbury Park - Yarrow Valley Country Park

    Duxbury Hall Road, Duxbury, Chorley

    Facilities include 21 hectares of ancient woodlands, with many picturesque riverside walks along the banks of the Yarrow.

    Duxbury Park covers over 85 hectares. Winding its way through the grounds of the old Duxbury estate lie Duxbury Park Golf Course a magnificent 18 hole golf course opened in the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.  The mixed broadleaf woodlands, contain an abundance of wildlife including foxes, herons, kestrels and many other species. Woodland trails and riverside walks can be accessed from the golf club car park.

    Duxbury Hall, sadly demolished in the 1950’s, was home to the Standish family and the area is steeped in history. In particular Captain Myles Standish, who in 1620 sailed with the Pilgrim Fathers to America in the ship the ‘Mayflower’. Although the Hall no longer remains, the fine gardens and several other buildings are still in evidence. You can still see a fine beech avenue, an attractive display of rhododendrons in the spring and excellent specimens of coniferous trees.

  • Hic Bibi
    Coppull Moor Lane, Coppull

    Hic Bibi nature reserve is an 8 hectare site developed on a former clay quarry and brickworks.

    The area is rich in wildflowers, dragonflies, and butterflies, is attractive to birds and provides habitats for mammals and amphibians. The different types of ground across the site has enabled a wide range of habitats to develop including ponds, dry and damp grasslands, scrub and mire vegetation. There are several ponds within the site which attract a wide variety of wildlife including the Great Crested Newt, Palmate Newt, Smooth Newt, toads and frogs. Birdlife is also plentiful and includes Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler and the Grasshopper Warbler, which is rare. Other species of bird which can be seen at the site include Cuckoo, Little Owl and Goldfinch. 

    We and our partners developed the former clay quarry as a nature reserve in 1997. The enhancement scheme has made the site more accessible by clearing old rubbish, creating new ponds and paths and providing new planting, fencing and stiles. The key objective of our management works is that the special features are maintained and enhanced whilst the site is developed as a resource for the enjoyment of the community.

  • Withnell Local Nature Reserve
    Main entrance – Bolton Road, Abbey Village

    Entrance two – Fellstone Vale, Withnell

    This 4.7 hectare site is a former railway cutting which links the village of Withnell, with Abbey Village. The area has been designated as a conservation area and forms an important wildlife corridor between the Nature Reserve at Withnell Fold and the West Pennine Moors.

    Visitors enjoying the walk between the villages can expect to see a large variety of wildlife including the Grey Squirrel, Common Shrew, Weasels and Stoats. Bats are also thought to roost under the aqueduct at night. A stream, pond and marshy areas host a number of amphibian species such as frogs, toads and newts. The abundance of berries and insects accommodate a valuable bird rich habitat which includes Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Green Woodpeckers.

    Withnell is ideal for birdwatchers
    The railway cutting accommodates a valuable bird rich habitat with a diversity of common bird species. Due to dense cover, the woodland and scrub areas provide an excellent roosting and nesting territory as the birds are protected from disturbances and predators. Birds recorded include wren, great, blue and long-tailed tits, blackbird, song thrush and chaffinch. The abundance of the berries and insects allow the birds to forage for food all year round. A kestrel can regularly be seen hunting over the meadows. The grasslands provide foraging for invertebrates and cover for small mammals, which in turn provides hunting potential for birds of prey.

    Visitor code
    Withnell is a place for people and wildlife. Please follow the visitor's code:
    • Enjoy the Nature Reserve and respect its wildlife
    • Keep to the footpaths
    • Keep all dogs on a lead and under close control at all times
    • Take your litter home
    • No shooting, horse riding or motorcycling

    Local Nature Reserve
    This is an increasingly popular reserve, which we own. The site was originally part of the Chorley to Blackburn "Cherry Tree" railway line which became disused during the 1960s. The site was acquired in 1971 and reclaimed to form a nature reserve between 1990 - 91.
  • Withnell Fold Local Nature Reserve

    Withnell Fold Local Nature Reserve is managed by Lancashire County Council. For more on this reserve visit LCC's website.

  • Settlement Tanks - Yarrow Valley Country Park

    This Nature Conservation area is the site of the old effluent treatment plant that served the former industry at Birkacre. Since closure of the industry in the late 1960s the site, comprising a series of water filled tanks, has become overgrown and dangerous. The site does however support a diverse range of flora and fauna. In the mid-1990s work was carried out on the tanks to remove hazards, improve habitats and provide better access to the public.

    Owing to the remoteness of the site and the presence of deep water the public are excluded from gaining access through the site although much can be seen from the viewing area. Exclusion of the public from part of the site also reduces disturbance to wildlife a problem that is evident in other parts of Yarrow Valley Country Park.

  • Top Lodge - Yarrow Valley Country Park

    Top Lodge Local Nature Reserve was developed as a nature reserve in the mid 1990s on the site of a derelict reservoir. The reservoir originally supplied water to the former industrial complex at Birkacre, which closed in the late 1960s. The reservoir system is supplied with water from the River Yarrow via a stone weir situated some 200m upstream. In the years prior to its reclamation the reservoir filled with silt from the river which became vegetated with the species poor Reed Canary Grass.

    In the mid 1990s following an ecological survey of the site, the opportunity was taken to improve the biodiversity of the saturated silt bed by creating a reed swamp of Common Reed combined with areas of open water. Wetland habitats of this type support a much wider range of flora and fauna and are rare locally and declining nationally. Recent works on the reserve include the construction of a hide with seating from which to view the site.

  • Yarrow Valley Country Park

    Birkacre Road, Chorley

    Chorley's increasingly popular Yarrow Valley Country Park is a 700-acre facility, run by us, including a visitor centre built using Heritage Lottery funds. Yarrow Valley Country Park has been awarded Green Flag status for the fifth year in a row! Have a look for yourself and see why the park is so popular on the Yarrow Valley/Flickr image gallery where you can upload your own photos.
    Yarrow Valley Play Area
    Since July 2011 Yarrow Valley Country Park has been home to “Yarrow Rocks” a radical new play space in which young people are encouraged to challenge themselves and take calculated risks. Features within this fabulous facility include;
    • Giant Rope Swing
    • Natural Climbing Wall
    • Rock Stacks
    • Story Tellers Throne
    • Embankment Slide

    While we encourage all the family to play together we ask that parents and carers take particular care to watch toddlers as there are a number of attractions designed with older users in mind. In this area dogs must be on a lead at all times and kept on the main path, away from the play space.

    Treeface Café & Yarrow Valley Visitor Centre
    The Yarrow Valley Visitor Centre has recently been refurbished and the Treeface Café is now open.

    The Treeface Café serves drinks, cakes, ice creams and hot and cold food and can be contacted on 01257 515151. Please use the number given below if you wish to contact the Ranger Service.

    Toilet facilities including baby changing and accessible facilities are available to all park users.

    The Treeface Café, Visitor Centre and toilet facilities are open from 9.30am – 4.30pm daily. These times are extended in the summer months and when events are taking place.

    Free parking is available at the visitor centre. 

    Ranger Service
    The role of the Ranger Service is to patrol the parks - including Yarrow Valley, give advice and information to visitors, run events and activities, coordinate and carry out conservation tasks and management works in our parks and open spaces.

    Working Hours: 8.30am - 4pm (October - March) 8am - 4pm (April - September) 7 days a week.

    The Ranger Service is based at the visitor centre. The visitor centre telephone line has an answer phone facility and messages are checked daily. Telephone: 01257 515151 (Visitor Centre - please note that this is a separate line to the Treeface Café) or contact us. The ranger service does not provide an emergency response. In an emergency situation please contact the police, fire or ambulance service.

    We are always on the look out for volunteers to help with conservation duties, in the visitor centre, children’s activities and leading health walks. Volunteers should be over 16. Contact us for more information.

    Yarrow Valley Advisory Group
    Yarrow Valley Advisory Group meets quarterly and membership consists of all groups and organisations with an interest and role to play with the management of the park.

    Groups represented are:

    ​Butterfly Conservation Society ​Charnock Richard Parish Coucil
    ​Chorley & South Ribble Disability Forum ​Chorley & District Natural History Society
    ​Chorley Community Safety Partnership ​Chorley Council
    ​Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society ​Chorley Older People's Forum
    ​Coppull Parish Council ​Euxton Canoe Club
    ​Euxton Parish Council ​Find Your Feet Walkers
    ​Friends of River Yarrow ​Groundwork Wigan & West
    ​Lancashire Moth Group ​Lancashire Wildlife Trust
    ​LCC Countryside Service ​LCC Projects Team
    ​Lower Burgh Meadows Conservation Group ​Model Aircraft Society
    ​Ramblers Association ​River Douglas Catchment Partnership
    ​TCV ​Treeface Café
    ​Wigan & District AA ​Yarrow Valley Minnows Angling Club
    Lower Burgh Meadow Conservation Group
    The Group was formally established in March 2010 with the aim of maintaining and developing Lower Burgh Meadows and the woodland to its edge. They have a programme of regular work days, hold group meetings and fund raising events and social activities.

    Group membership is increasing and you are welcome to join the group. For more information please visit their website.

    Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society
    The first mention of Chorley Historical Society was an article in the Chorley Guardian on February 2 1924 "A lantern lecture, arranged by Chorley Historical Society took place in St Georges Street school, when Mr. Donald Atkinson B.A. from Manchester University spoke on the civilisation of Roman Britain."

    Then in September 1954 the Society was resurrected and reformed and has grown from strength to strength over the past 60 years. For more information on the Chorley Historical Society, it's history and activities please visit their website.