Etherow Country Park is now owned and managed by Stockport Council and is an award-winning Green Flag Park. It was established in 1968 as one of Britain’s first Country Parks and is a popular retreat from urban living. Over a quarter of a million people now visit the Park each year to enjoy the natural beauty of ancient woodland walks along the Etherow river valley, in the foothills of the Peak District National Park.
The Park was once part of the estate of George Andrew who built Compstall Mill in the 1820s. Operation of the cotton mill required a large workforce and in the tradition of mill owners of the day, George Andrews built the village of Compstall, the church and school.
Despite the area’s industrial past, the ancient Keg Woodland ‘cloughs’ (narrow incised valleys) survive on the slopes, and Ernocroft Wood and the wetlands of Keg Pool and Marsh have gradually been reclaimed, both by man and by nature. The importance of these areas for wildlife was officially recognised in 1969 by the declaration of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, now managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, and in 2000 by the designation of all three areas as a Local Nature Reserve.
The downloadable leaflet will enable you to explore the park at your leisure on circular walks of up to 3 miles or so.
Accessibility and facilities
While some of the paths in Keg Woodland and Ernocroft Woodland may be steep and possibly muddy in parts, we understand that many of the paths around the main lake and along the river Goyt are well-surfaced and level. Indeed, according to Cheshire Wildlife Trust its reserve on site is wheelchair-accessible, and several visitors have remarked that paths within the reserve are suitable for wheelchair-users and those with pushchairs.
How to get there
The entrance to the park is close to bus routes serving Compstall village. Alternatively, it is a pleasant 1.2 mile / 1.9 km walk from Marple train station via Brabyns Park to Etherow Country Park.
To work out how to get to and from the walk start point, simply click the Google Maps link on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click on the train icon.