Know before you go
Parking informationOff the Links
Part of the reserve runs alongside the Manchester and Rochdale railway line. There is a fence along the reserve boundary for safety and on no account should visitors cross this fence line.
Steep paths make access difficult for people in wheelchairs and for those with limited mobility.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times.
Best time to visitSpring to Summer
About the reserve
The frenetic streets of Manchester might lie just a mile away, but try telling the wildlife that. This urban wilderness is lush with cotton-grass, marsh willowherb and even patches of heather, combining urban marsh, woodland, grassland, boggy fen and mossland habitats in an area no larger than a football pitch. Spring and summer bring the spikes of southern marsh orchids, while a rich variety of mosses and liverworts can be seen all year round. Look out for the ‘Witches Tree’, a willow that was struck by lightning.
It’s hard for visitors of all ages not to be inspired by the amazing wildlife right on Manchester’s doorstep. Reed buntings, linnets, kestrels and snipe are all seen regularly, while frogs and smooth newts breed here year after year. Spring and summer bring clouds of butterflies, moths, damselflies and dragonflies, with brown hawker and broad-bodied chaser dragonflies spotted darting around the vegetation.
And the transformation of Moston Fairway is still only just beginning. Working closely with Manchester and Oldham councils, we want to make the reserve even more valuable for both people and nature, opening up an inspiring wildlife corridor to our local communities.