After months of planning, map drawing and planting of posts, the new permanent orienteering course on Mirrlees Fields is now open for use. With the help of the Greater Manchester Orienteering Association, maps can now be ordered and anyone can have a go at orienteering on the Fields. The project was made possible by generous funding from Stockport Grammar School, Stockport School and the Ladybrook District Scouts and with permission from the landowners MAN Diesel Turbo Ltd. Here's the link for more information and how to order maps. https://gmoa.org.uk/borough_stockport/mirrlees-fields-orienteering/ So why not give it a go on your own or with your family? We will be having a launch event in the near future.
The MFFG has submitted an application for Mirrlees Fields to be recognised as a 'Local Green Space' in Stockport's new development plan which is currently under discussion. As part of the application we included a report on the survey carried out over the summer. We had 403 responses which was a brilliant response. Here's a link to the Survey Report.
As part of the application, Sue Bailey has also produced an interesting document on the historical significance of the Fields, which you can download from this link.
You can continue to support our work in the following ways:
You can also see details of what we've been up to on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mirrleesfieldsfriendsgroup/.
Charlie Gallagher reports 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
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!
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 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.
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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.