Background Information:

A rural landscape in an urban setting

Gorton Heritage Trail was conceived and created by
Manchester City Council working in partnership with
local volunteers.

The trail is approximately 2 miles (3,22km) in length
and is situated either side of the A57 Hyde Road,
one of the main arterial routes leading in and out of
Manchester City Centre (3.25 miles away). It lies
mainly within the 
Gore Brook Valley Conservation area. 

The idea of developing the Gore Brook Valley into an
informal landscaped open space linking Sunny Brow Park
in the west with Debdale Park in the east was first put forward
by Manchester City Council in 1971. The area was designated
as a
conservation area in 1993.

Physical aspects
The Gore Brook, although a small watercourse has eroded a steep sided valley creating the topography of the area and the location of the Trail route. The Trail passes through a natural physical landscape that acts as a green corridor within the dense urban area of Gorton.

The Trail consists of a series of open spaces including parkland, urban countryside, church burial grounds, amenity greenspace, allotments and derelict land connecting to other green spaces in the surrounding area, including Gorton reservoirs, Debdale Park and the Fallowfield Loop, which is part of the National Cycle Network.



The trail is situated on land owned by Manchester City Council, apart from a small privately owned section around Brookfield Unitarian Church.  The Environment Agency is responsible for managing Gore Brook. 

Gorton Heritage Trail Action Group was established in 1997 as a local community group to help maintain the Trail via local community action days 
and clean up events.

After a number of active years the group declined and ceased to function so that the Trail became neglected and overgrown in several parts. However, in 2015 the group was reconstituted and received a small grant of £5000 from the council to help to restore the Trail


The group meets regularly and now completed the first phase of the restoration of the Trail. This has included designing a new trail route map, installing map lecterns along the Trail, printing 5000 leaflets for distribution in the community, and creating a website. A further small grant from Clean City funds enabled the Butterfly Garden to be restored and the meadow area behind Far Lane to be cleared of invasive undergrowth. Work has been carried out in conjunction with The Friends of Debdale Park supervising volunteers from the government welfare-to-work programme.

A second phase of restoration has now been planned with an application made to the National Lottery, Awards for All, to fund further improvement to the paths and the provision of further information lecterns and trail cams to aid the observation of the wild life of the area. The intention is to create a Nature Centre which will be of use to local schools and families as an educational and recreational resource providing a local ‘Nature Watch’.

Working in partnership with Gorton Horticultural Society plans are well under way to develop the Nature Centre based on the allotments.  Bird boxes with cameras have already been installed there and regular nature days exploring the area wildlife now take place. Further opportunities to engage with schools and the community in developing lifetime interests in nature are also being explored

The Trail is important because it has features of significant heritage value (History, Biodiversity) and is also used for recreation including cycling and dog walking, and as access or as a cut-through to surrounding residential areas. 

Some key points of historical interest include a number of historic buildings, the Richard Peacock Mausoleum, the former home of local industrialist Robert Grimshaw and the Gorton Reservoirs which were amongst the first municipal reservoirs to be built in the country providing drinking water to the growing city of Manchester. 

Join us!
The volunteers that form the Gorton Heritage Trail Committee meet regularly at The Plough on Hyde Road. Volunteers are from the local community and the skills they bring to the project has enabled the Trail to become what it is today. You may have further ideas or skills – please join us or get in touch.

Enjoy the Trail!