Drinkwater Park

Please be aware instances of Giant Hogweed have been found at Drinkwater Park. Contact can cause burns to the skin which may require medical treatment. - Find out more

Visitor information

Drinkwater is a great mixed woodland, popular with the local community for its wide network of paths

Situated in Greater Manchester, Drinkwater Park is home to a diverse mix of native woodland, open meadows and borders the River Irwell. It is connected by a superb network of paths making it the perfect location for a leisurely stroll, blood-pumping run or if you just want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Formerly home to Irwell House, a Georgian mansion that was later turned into an isolation hospital, the park is full of a rich history. Keep your eyes peeled for part of the mansions foundations that can still be seen today!

The National Cycle Network 6 and the Irwell Sculpture Trail also run through the site.

At a glance

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Sculpture trail 
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding 
  • Dogs welcome 

Things to do

Whether you're a seasoned naturalist or enthusiast amateur it's easy to take part, just start recording wildlife on your next visit...

Download the free iNaturalist app before you visit 

Discover and record wildlife through the app on your forest adventure

Download now on iOS

Download now on Android

iNaturalist is an independent third party application. Please check their full privacy policy and terms of service before signing up You can create records without having 4G or Wi-Fi in the forest. Download our full user guide and top tips

Walking in the woodland is the perfect way to get some fresh air and explore some of Manchester's natural landscapes. 

Drinkwater Park is connected by a network of public paths that take you throughout the park. The Irwell Sculpture Trail also runs through the site. Find out more about the trail below. 

Nearby forests

field with rocks

As a former coal mine, Colliers Wood forms an interconnected area of woodlands and grassland surrounding Higher Folds. The various footpaths offer quite a lot of opportunity for exploration and discovery.

There has been recent planting near Cooling Lane which is now coming into fruition. From Queensway, there is access to an area once used by bird watchers.

Colliers Wood is located approximately ten miles west of Manchester. 

Barn Owl

A number of paths link together areas of open grassland and young woodland across this hillside site.

The young trees provide incredible displays in autumn, and at dusk you may well see hunting barn owls.

Shaded forest woodland walk

Rochdale Woodland is a wildlife haven. Woodpeckers, dippers and kingfishers are regulars, along with many other species and wet grassland areas, providing a fantastic habitat for frogs, toads and insects.

With mature broadleaf trees and coppiced willow, Rochdale also supports a healthy population of woodland birds.

Meadowfields (off Albert Royd Street) is a mix of woodland and expansive open grassland on the banks of the River Roch.


Popular with walkers, cyclists and wildlife watchers, there is a network of over 5km of trails around the woodland, and visitors can enjoy the striking wooden viewpoint created by artist Richard Caink.

Part of the Abram Flashes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the Flashes of Wigan and Leigh National Nature Reserve, Viridor Wood features a mix of woodland, grassland and fishing lakes.

Membership invitation - click to find out more about membership
Volunteer with us invitation - click to discover volunteer opportunities across England