Mirrlees Fields Friends Group

MAN Energy Solutions propose to build on Mirrlees Fields

The Fields are currently designated as a green space and are not available for residential development.

But MAN would like to overturn this designation for over one third of the Fields.

Update 2nd November 2021: Our Response to the Planning Application -

We have now sent in our response to the Council. You can download the entire document in .pdf format here.

This year's AGM:

The MFFG AGM will be held on Tuesday 7th December at the Georgians Cricket Club starting at 7.30pm.

MFFG 2022 Calendar:

We will be selling the MFFG 2022 Calendar.from Woodsmoor Post Office, price £8.00. Want to buy multiple copies? Ring 078416 47275

Update 24th September 2021:

MFFG has used the money you donated to commission independent expert legal advice on the MAN proposal to build 200 houses on Mirrlees Fields.

The advice has been provided by an expert in planning law – Matthew Fraser of Landmark Chambers, 180 Fleet Street, London.

The report suggests some points which members can raise in their response to the application. Here is the link to the full advice: Landmark Chambers Mirrlees Fields Advice.pdf

Although the date given for the end of the consultation period is 26th September, the Council is legally obliged to consider comments received up and until a decision has been made.

Email your comments to citing the reference number DC/081719.

Please donate

We need to have a fund so that we are prepared, if necessary, to pay for legal advice and to fund ecological surveys. Any donations received that are not required to cover the costs of legal advice will be used to fund community or environmental improvement initiatives on the fields arranged by MFFG.

Please go to the ‘Go-fund-me’ website

If you are not already a member of MFFG and would like to be kept informed, please complete the sign-up form at the bottom of this page.

Can you help?

If you would like to support MFFG in the campaign to get the best outcome for the Fields, contact

The Fields

Mirrlees Fields is a large green space where you can walk in a peaceful, natural environment away from the noise of urban living.

There is a great diversity of wildlife including many species of birds, bats, ancient trees, an orchard, grassland and in the summer, wildflowers. Over fifty species of birds have been seen include buzzards and owls.

It is a beautiful space for families and children, walkers, runners and cyclists (on the bridleway) and is used by schools, scouts and cubs and other youth groups.

'The Fields provide a beautiful natural environment and an important habitat for some rare wildlife. They give us a chance to learn about our world and how to preserve it.' (local resident)

The Fields are easily accessible from Woodsmoor and Hazel Grove. There are three points of access:

  1. from Woodsmoor Station;
  2. from Kinross Avenue;
  3. Barlows Lane South and Hampton Wood estate.

These lead onto three rights of way which have been recently resurfaced and are suitable for disabled access, prams and wheelchairs.

The land is privately owned by MAN Diesel Turbo Ltd, but there is permissive access over the Fields.

Mirrlees Fields Friends Group was formed to protect and improve this natural habitat and widen public use. Recent innovations include a permanent orienteering course ( and a digital nature trail Eco Explorer (

Traces of the Fields' history can be found in old field boundaries, marl pits, butts and reins and ancient ditches (see History)

You may walk your dog on the Fields but please remember to clear up your dog's mess. Mirrlees Fields welcomes responsible dog-owners.

Welcome to Mirrlees Fields


Tawny Owl

Charlie Gallagher reported that a pair of tawny owls have been heard late evening and at night on the fields. Now that the stream is clean, pied and grey wagtails can be seen along the banks, and a pair of kingfishers have been seen downstream from the railway bridge. Altogether, over fifty species of birds have been seen on the Fields.   Pipistrelle and Natterer bats will become more common as spring approaches in the evenings and night times. Among mammals, water voles inhabit the streams, and rabbits, foxes and badgers have all been sighted on the fields. We also have smooth newts, and common frogs and toads. ‘Greenspace’ the forum for Stockport’s green areas and parks is encouraging people to report sightings of water voles. If you see any water voles on Mirrlees, contact Cheshire Wildlife Trust at Bickley Hall Farm, Bickley, Cheshire, SY14 8EF or tell Christine Hession [].
There is a wide variety of trees on the Fields. The list includes oaks, some of them at least 200 years old, and silver birch, hazel, lime, alder, poplars (grey, Italian and black), willows (pussy, osier, crack and white), yew, larch, Norway spruce, beech, holly, ash, rowan, whitebeam, cherry, blackthorn, hawthorn, and elder. Look out for a guided tree walk in the Spring.
Next time you walk across the fields, count how many of these 24 species you can spot!

An open space for everyone, not a toilet for dogs…

One of the biggest complaints we have from our members (and the land owners) is with regards to dog walkers who leave their dog’s faeces behind. Given the use of the fields by many local people, including young families, this practice is not only unpleasant but also dangerous; potentially leading to blindness in children should bugs from dog mess get in their eyes. An unfavourable new craze at the moment appears to be bagging up dog mess, and then leaving it hanging from the fence, trees, or just thrown on the ground. Who does this? Why do they do it? We would like to call on anyone who uses the fields to be extra vigilant and help us to identify/report any one seen leaving dog mess behind. It is a criminal offence not to clean up after your dog, even on private land. With this in mind MFFG is working with Stockport MBC and the local Dog Wardens to try and tackle this problem – and your details (times, descriptions of animals/owners etc) will help. We do appreciate, and are very thankful for, the majority of dog walkers who are very responsible with their animal's waste, and who ensure that their animal's behaviour is not threatening to any other users of the fields (canine or otherwise!). Together, we believe we can help stamp out the unacceptable behaviour of the minority – to make the fields and footpaths a much safer and cleaner place to be — for everyone.

The Disappearing Fields

The version of this map from about 1978 shows the fields as many of us remember them. Click the button to switch to the same map from 1993.
It's frightening to see how much has already been lost.

Map from 1978
Support the work of the Friends Group!

How 403 of our supporters helped Mirrlees Fields.

The MFFG submitted an application for Mirrlees Fields to be recognised as a 'Local Green Space' in Stockport's new development plan. As part of the application we included a report on the survey we carried out. We had 403 responses which was a brilliant response. Here's a link to the Survey Report.

As part of the application, Sue Bailey also produced an interesting document on the historical significance of the Fields, which you can download from this link.

Activities that the group has undertaken include:

You can also see more details of what we've been up to on our Facebook page:

Please help to support our work in the following ways:


None of our work would have been possible without the great generosity of our supporters and this will continue to be the case - the more that we receive in donations, the more that we can do to make our fields a great place for everybody.  You can donate on-line via our GoFundMe page:

MFFG and You

Join now or update your membership

New to Mirrlees Fields Friends Group?

Join now and have your say on the future of the Fields.

Already a member?

Help us keep our membership list up to date. Make sure we've got your details.

How to contact us:

We find when we talk to people on the Fields that many of those who use the Fields are not aware of the Friends Group or the issues about the ownership of the land. We cannot take for granted that we always be able to walk on the fields - UNLESS we can bring the Fields into some form of public ownership such as a Community Trust.

Please take the opportunity to talk to people you meet on the Fields about the Friends Group and why we exist. Encourage them to come to our website and to become members.

The size of our membership list is one of our biggest strengths when negotiating with MAN Diesel. They cannot dismiss us as a minority group when we have the support of so many local residents who want to see the Fields saved for now and future generations.