The city council has been working in partnership for many years to try to improve the open spaces in the Irwell Valley known as LIVIA. The Forestry Commission has leased land from two key landowners in the area, the city council and United Utilities, and is using Newlands funding for the reclamation and long-term maintenance and management of over 200 hectares of land in Clifton, and at Prestwich in Bury. A draft master plan for the area is available to download below.
This area of land has seen many changes over the years. More recently, some of these have been improvements but for over a hundred years the site suffered from a legacy of dereliction and neglect from its industrial past. These include colliery workings, a former power station, former manufacturing uses, a derelict canal, a disused sewage works, abandoned railway sidings and landfill sites.
Despite these problems the site has many outstanding assets. It has considerable existing tree cover and many landscape features. From key viewpoints in the valley it is possible to get long distance views to the Pennines or across Manchester city centre.
The site also links well with a number of other recreation routes along the valley, such as the Croal Irwell Valley Way, the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal, the Irwell Sculpture Trail, the national cycle route, and to key recreation areas including Clifton Country Park.
Some badly contaminated sites have already been cleaned up, often at huge expense, such as the old Tar Ponds. A number of environmental improvements have been carried out including footpath works, landscaping of the former sewage works, and a new footbridge has been built over the river linking Salford with 'Prestwich Forest Park' in Bury.
If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.