Parks and Nature Reserves

There are many significant parks and open spaces in the Borough covering over 300 hectares, many of which have historical connections.

Together with river valleys, country parks and nature reserves they offer a wide variety of leisure activities.

For more information on leisure activities see Sports and Leisure.

  • Allotments

    The following allotment sites are owned and managed by Chorley Council:

    • Crosse Hall, off Crosse Hall Lane, Chorley, PR6 9AW
    • Windsor Road, off Sandringham Road, Chorley, PR7 1LG
    • Worthy Street, Chorley, PR6 0PG. also accessed from Buchanan Street, Chorley. Located behind terraced housing and alley gates. • Moor Road, Chorley, PR7 2NT – PR7 2NG. located behind terraced housing
    • Bay Horse, off Church Hill, Whittle-le-Woods, PR6 7LQ
    • School Lane, Brinscall
    • Manor Road, Clayton-le-Woods, PR6 7JR
    • Rangletts Recreation Ground, Brindle Street, Chorley, PR7 3HR

    Other allotment sites are available in the borough and are managed by:
    ​• Tansley Avenue, Coppull – Coppull Parish Council
    • Kem Mill Lane Allotments – Cuerden Valley Trust
    • Cophurst lane Allotments near the Top Lock Pub – private ownership

     Allotment locations can be found by selecting allotments in the My Maps section of My Chorley on the Chorley Council website.

    Allotment fees
    The annual rent is currently £47.00 per plot, regardless of the location or size of the plot. If you are over 60 the rent is half.

    How to get an allotment plot
    Allotments are in high demand within the borough of Chorley, and as a result we operate an allotment waiting list.

    We have around 90 people on our waiting list and it is currently taking around 2 years from joining the waiting list to being allocated an allotment plot.

    Anyone wishing to place their name on the waiting list should contact us (01257 515151) and provide your name, address, a day time telephone number and an email address (if you have one). Please let us know if you have a preference for any particular allotment site.

    Whilst you wait to be allocated an allotment plot of your own, why not get involved with the Astley Walled Gardeners or Chorley In Bloom.

    If you join our allotment waiting list, please make sure that you let us know if any of your contact details change. If we cannot contact you by telephone or email when a plot becomes available, we will remove you from the allotment waiting list.

  • Astley Park

    Main entrance - Park Road, Chorley, PR7 1QS
    Entrance two – Hallgate, Astley Village, PR7 1NP

    The brown tourist signs bring visitors to Hallgate Car Park on Astley Village. This offers disabled parking. This car park is very popular and alternatives are recommended in the town centre. Chorley Council are currently investing in creating more parking for Astley Park.

    About the area
    The beautiful surroundings of Astley Park are the perfect place for people to relax. After opening in 1924 the 43.75 hectare park, which was bequeathed to the people of Chorley by Reginald Tatton in memory of those who died in the Great War, is one of the town’s most visited places and has a green flag award.

    Just a short walk from the town centre and home to the River Chor, there are footpaths to enjoy the woodland, glorious gardens to relax in and a beautiful lake enjoyed by families.

    Facilities available include football and rugby pitches with changing facilities, bowling greens, tennis courts, pitch and putt, play areas, pet’s corner, woodland areas and a café.

    At the heart of the park is Astley Hall, a Grade I listed historic house, which is open 12pm-4pm on weekends, bank holidays and Monday-Wednesday in the school holidays. We acquired the Hall and 12 hectares of Park from the owners, the Tatton family in 1922 as a memorial to the dead of the Great War. The Park now covers 43 hectares.

    This attractive park is steeped in history and combines open parkland and ancient boundary woodland. Visitors of all ages will discover an attractive setting for a wide range of leisure activities. The park also stages summer fun days and family events. You can view these on our What's on page.

  • Blainscough Wood Nature Reserve
    Main entrance- Blainscough Road, off Springfield Road, Coppull
    Entrance two - Mountain Road, Coppull
    Entrance three - Spendmore Lane, Coppull

    This site is located within a residential area and has no dedicated parking. Please avoid parking in front of residents properties.

    About the area
    This is a small nature reserve created on a former agricultural and coal mining site. Following the end of coal mining activities, the site remained derelict and unsafe for a considerable length of time. Reclamation works undertaken by us between 1990 and 1993 made the site safe and established the nature reserve. Since then we have managed the reserve and works have included annual late summer cut of wildflower meadow, footpath improvements, maintenance of signs and way markers and creation of a pond.
  • Coronation Recreation Ground

    Off Devonshire Road in Chorley, PR7 2SR.

    On street parking is available on Ashfield Road for 1hr. Alternatively town centre car parks are within easy walking distance of the park.

    About the area
    Coronation recreation ground is currently undergoing significant improvements. The improvements are as follows and will be ongoing throughout 2018:
    • A refurbished single tennis court
    • A new toddler play area, which will replace the double tennis court
    • A new multi-use games area with a fitness zone and play equipment for ages 8+
    • Improvements to paths and entrance points
    • Creation of a kiosk and disable toilets

    The play areas, once complete will provide a fun day out for families with its modern play equipment, sports court and grassy areas.

  • Duxbury Park - Yarrow Valley Country Park

    Duxbury Hall Road, Duxbury, Chorley, PR7 4AT

    About the area
    Facilities include 21 hectares of ancient woodlands, with many picturesque riverside walks along the banks of the Yarrow.

    Duxbury Park covers over 85 hectares. Winding its way through the grounds of the old Duxbury estate lie Duxbury Park Golf Course, a magnificent 18 hole golf course that opened in the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The mixed broadleaf woodlands contain an abundance of wildlife including foxes, herons, kestrels and many other species. Woodland trails and riverside walks can be accessed from the golf club car park.

    Duxbury Hall, sadly demolished in the 1950’s, was home to the Standish family and the area is steeped in history. In particular Captain Myles Standish, who in 1620 sailed with the Pilgrim Fathers to America in the ship the ‘Mayflower’. Although the Hall no longer remains, the fine gardens and several other buildings are still in evidence. You can still see a fine beech avenue, an attractive display of rhododendrons in the spring and excellent specimens of coniferous trees.

  • Harpers Lane Recreation Ground

    Erskine Road, Off Harpers Lane in Chorley, PR6 0HS.

    There is no dedicated car park for this site so please respect local residents and avoid parking in front of properties.

    More about the area
    Harpers Lane Recreation Ground is currently undergoing significant improvements. The improvements include:
    • A new play area for 2-12 year olds
    • An improved ball court with artificial grass surfacing
    • A new pump track for off road terrain cycle sport
    • Improvements to footpaths and access points
     • Improvements to the bowling green

  • Invasive Non Native Species

    Giant hogweed is a fast-growing invasive plant. It mainly grows next to water, in damp meadows or on derelict land. It grows exclusively by seeds, which can be planted deliberately or carried by wind or water. It can cause harm to humans and animals and although not native to the UK, it’s now widespread.

    WARNING! Don’t touch giant hogweed as the sap can cause painful burns and make your skin sensitive to strong sunlight. If you’re affected by it, wash the area with soapy water and contact your doctor for advice.

    How do I identify it?

    Giant Hogweed is easy to identify when fully grown by height, size of leaves and size of flowers. However, when not fully grown it can be easily confused with common hogweed and cow parsley. When identifying Giant hogweed, look out for:
     White flower blooms
     Thick purple-reddish stem with many stiff white hairs
     A height of up to 5m (15') tall when fully grown.

    What you should know

    You should avoid contact with the plant as the sap can cause irritation to the skin

    It is the landowner's responsibility to control these plants. You must not allow it to spread to other people's land or property. However, you do not have to remove it from your own land

     If you see Giant hogweed on private land e.g. a neighbouring property, a construction site, agricultural fields, speak to the land owner in the first instance. To find out who owns a piece of land, visit HM Land Registry ​(external link). The Council does not intervene in private cases.
     You must not remove or dispose of Giant hogweed as it could cause the plant to spread, which is an offence
     You must not dispose of Giant hogweed in your green bin (garden waste) or take it to the tip (household recycling centre) as this is an offence – it must be disposed of as controlled waste.

    If you find Giant hogweed on your own land you can visit  GOV.UK​ (external link) for further information on how to prevent it from spreading.

    Giant hogweed on public land

    If you have found Giant hogweed on public land, you must report it to Chorley Council.

    The most efficient way to do this is by reporting the location on a map through My Account on
    Alternatively phone 01257 515151 and give an address, detailed description or GPS location if known.

    Reports within Council land will be investigated, and if found to be Japanese knotweed or Giant hogweed, it will be added to areas marked for treatment.

    Chorley Council aims to control invasive non-native species on its land, to support biodiversity and protect public health and property. Specifically, this targets Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed as these are regarded as posing the greatest risk.

    More details on how to identify Invasive Species can be found in the links to the right.

    We make every effort to contain the spread of Giant hogweed on public land and ensure the area is safe as a matter of priority, once reported.

  • Tatton Recreation Ground

    Silverdale Road, Chorley, PR6 0PR.

    There is a dedicated car park for this site off Silverdale Road at the community centre.

    More about the area
    • Tatton Community Centre - The community centre, built in 1976 is located on the recreation ground. The facility is owned and managed by Chorley Council. The community centre is available for hire 7 days a week from 9.00am to 11.00pm for a wide variety of uses including events, activities, groups, meetings and social events. It is very well used.
    • Bowling Green - The Bowling Green is used for informal public bowling, and by Clubs for club sessions and competitions.
    • Recreation Area - The area is hard surfaced and provides a range of recreation facilities including an unfenced basket ball court and a marked out cycle route.
    • Equipped Small Play Area - Includes a swing bay with 2 cradle seats, springy, multi play unit with a slide, toddler multi play unit with a slide, roundabout and play panel.
    • Zip Wire with bound mulch surfacing and swings
    • 5v5 Football Area on the grass with Goal Posts

  • Rangletts Recreation Ground

    Access 1 – Pilling Lane, Chorley
    Access 2 - Brindle Street Chorley.

    There is no dedicated car park for this site so please respect local residents and avoid parking in front of properties.

    More about the area
    Rangletts Recreation Ground underwent significant improvements which were completed in 2016. The improvements included:
    • A new play area for 2-12 year olds
    • An new ball court
    • A new concrete skate park
    • Improvements to footpaths and access points including installation of lighting and CCTV
    • Improvements to the grassed area to create an informal kick about area.

  • Hic Bibi
    Coppull Moor Lane, Coppull

    About the area
    Hic Bibi nature reserve is an 8 hectare site developed on a former clay quarry and brickworks.

    The area is rich in wildflowers, dragonflies, and butterflies, is attractive to birds and provides habitats for mammals and amphibians. The different types of ground across the site have enabled a wide range of habitats to develop including ponds, dry and damp grasslands, scrub and mire vegetation. There are several ponds within the site which attract a wide variety of wildlife including the Great Crested Newt, Palmate Newt, Smooth Newt, toads and frogs. Birdlife is also plentiful and includes Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler and the Grasshopper Warbler, which is rare. Other species of bird which can be seen at the site include Cuckoo, Little Owl and Goldfinch.

    We and our partners developed the former clay quarry as a nature reserve in 1997. The enhancement scheme has made the site more accessible by clearing old rubbish, creating new ponds and paths and providing new planting, fencing and stiles. The key objective of our management works is that the special features are maintained and enhanced whilst the site is developed as a resource for the enjoyment of the community.
  • Withnell Local Nature Reserve

    Main entrance – Bolton Road, Abbey Village. Please follow the brown tourist signage. Entrance two – Fellstone Vale, Withnell
    Parking There is no dedicated parking for the site.

    About the area
    This 4.7 hectare site is a former railway cutting which links the village of Withnell, with Abbey Village. The area has been designated as a conservation area and forms an important wildlife corridor between the Nature Reserve at Withnell Fold and the West Pennine Moors. It is a green flag park.

    Visitors enjoying the walk between the villages can expect to see a large variety of wildlife including the Grey Squirrel, Common Shrew, Weasels and Stoats. Bats are also thought to roost under the aqueduct at night. A stream, pond and marshy areas host a number of amphibian species such as frogs, toads and newts. The abundance of berries and insects accommodate a valuable bird rich habitat which includes Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Green Woodpeckers.

    Withnell is ideal for birdwatchers, the railway cutting accommodates a valuable bird rich habitat with a diversity of common bird species. Due to dense cover, the woodland and scrub areas provide an excellent roosting and nesting territory as the birds are protected from disturbances and predators. Birds recorded include wren, great, blue and long-tailed tits, blackbird, song thrush and chaffinch. The abundance of the berries and insects allow the birds to forage for food all year round. A kestrel can regularly be seen hunting over the meadows. The grasslands provide foraging for invertebrates and cover for small mammals, which in turn provides hunting potential for birds of prey.

     Visitor code
     Withnell is a place for people and wildlife. Please follow the visitor's code:
    • Enjoy the Nature Reserve and respect its wildlife
    • Keep to the footpaths
    • Keep all dogs on a lead and under close control at all times
    • Take your litter home
    • No shooting, horse riding or motorcycling

    Local Nature Reserve
    This is an increasingly popular reserve, which we own. The site was originally part of the Chorley to Blackburn "Cherry Tree" railway line which became disused during the 1960s. The site was acquired in 1971 and reclaimed to form a nature reserve between 1990-91.

  • Withnell Fold Local Nature Reserve

    Withnell Fold Local Nature Reserve is managed by Lancashire County Council. For more on this reserve visit LCC's website.

  • Settlement Tanks - Yarrow Valley Country Park

    This Nature Conservation area is the site of the old effluent treatment plant that served the former industry at Birkacre. Since closure of the industry in the late 1960s the site, comprising a series of water filled tanks, has become overgrown and dangerous. The site does however support a diverse range of flora and fauna. In the mid-1990s work was carried out on the tanks to remove hazards, improve habitats and provide better access to the public.

    Owing to the remoteness of the site and the presence of deep water the public are excluded from gaining access through the site although much can be seen from the viewing area. Exclusion of the public from part of the site also reduces disturbance to wildlife a problem that is evident in other parts of Yarrow Valley Country Park.

  • Top Lodge - Yarrow Valley Country Park

    Top Lodge Local Nature Reserve was developed as a nature reserve in the mid 1990s on the site of a derelict reservoir. The reservoir originally supplied water to the former industrial complex at Birkacre, which closed in the late 1960s. The reservoir system is supplied with water from the River Yarrow via a stone weir situated some 200m upstream. In the years prior to its reclamation the reservoir filled with silt from the river which became vegetated with the species poor Reed Canary Grass.

    In the mid 1990s following an ecological survey of the site, the opportunity was taken to improve the biodiversity of the saturated silt bed by creating a reed swamp of Common Reed combined with areas of open water. Wetland habitats of this type support a much wider range of flora and fauna and are rare locally and declining nationally. Recent works on the reserve include the construction of a hide with seating from which to view the site.

  • Yarrow Meadows Masterplan

    We’re currently working with the Environment Agency and partners in the Douglas Catchment Partnership to improve the water environment and reduce risks to communities and wildlife.

    The Yarrow Meadows Masterplan seeks to deliver natural flood management interventions on the site to slow the flow of water to communities at risk.

    The masterplan will build on the good work already invested in the Croston Flood Alleviation Scheme as well as enhancing the flood plain of the River Yarrow within Yarrow Valley Country Park.

    An example of some of the work to be carried out is as follows; floodplain connectivity, bank rehabilitation, preservation or restoration of habitats, removal or softening of hard banks, inclusion of woody debris, non-native species eradication, woodland creation and woodland management.

    Over the period of project delivery, local schools, scout groups and local residents will be involved with helping deliver small projects within the masterplan where resources allow, such as bird box making, tree planting and wildflower planting.

    Some access points to Yarrow Valley Country Park have already been improved, including the Yarrow Valley Country Park car park and footpaths through Duxbury Woods, Yarrow Meadows, Wallets Wood, Kingsley Wood, Copperworks and Big Wood. More improvements to access points in the Gillibrand area will be made to ensure members of the public can continue to enjoy their time in a safe environment.

  • Yarrow Valley Country Park

    Birkacre Road, Chorley, PR7 3QL

    Free parking is available at the café/information centre.

    More about the area
    Chorley's increasingly popular Yarrow Valley Country Park is a 700-acre facility, run by us, including a café and information centre built using Heritage Lottery funds. Yarrow Valley Country Park has been awarded Green Flag status. Have a look for yourself and see why the park is so popular on the Yarrow Valley/Flickr image gallery where you can upload your own photos.

    Yarrow Valley Play Area
    Since July 2011 Yarrow Valley Country Park has been home to “Yarrow Rocks”, a radical new play space in which young people are encouraged to challenge themselves and take calculated risks. Features within this fabulous facility include;
    • Giant rope swing
    • Natural climbing wall
    • Rock stacks
    • Story tellers throne
    • Embankment slide
    • Basket swing

    While we encourage all the family to play together we ask that parents and carers take particular care to watch toddlers as there are a number of attractions designed with older users in mind. In this area dogs must be on a lead at all times and kept on the main path, away from the play space.

    Treeface Café & Yarrow Valley Information Centre.

    Toilet facilities including baby changing and accessible facilities are available to all park users.

    Ranger Service
    The role of the Ranger Service is to patrol the park, nature reserves and open spaces - including Yarrow Valley, give advice and information to visitors, run events and activities, coordinate and carry out conservation tasks and management works in our parks and open spaces.

    The ranger service does not provide an emergency response. In an emergency situation please contact the police, fire or ambulance service.

    We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help with conservation duties, in the visitor centre, children’s activities and leading health walks. Volunteers should be over 16. Contact us for more information. Yarrow Valley Advisory Group Yarrow Valley Advisory Group meets three times a year and membership consists of all groups and organisations with an interest and role to play with the management of the park.

    Groups represented are:
    • Chorley & South Ribble Disability Forum
    • Chorley & District Natural History Society
    • Chorley Council
    • Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society

    • Friends of River Yarrow
    • Lancashire Moth Group
    • Lancashire Wildlife Trust
    • Lower Burgh Meadows Conservation Group
    • Model Aircraft Society
    • Ramblers Association
    • River Douglas Catchment Partnership

    •​ Wigan & District AA

    Lower Burgh Meadow Conservation Group
    The Group was formally established in March 2010 with the aim of maintaining and developing Lower Burgh Meadows and the woodland to its edge. They have a programme of regular work days, hold group meetings and fund raising events and social activities.

    Group membership is increasing and you are welcome to join the group. For more information please visit their website.

    Chorley Historical & Archaeological Society
    The first mention of Chorley Historical Society was an article in the Chorley Guardian on February 2 1924 "A lantern lecture, arranged by Chorley Historical Society took place in St Georges Street school, when Mr. Donald Atkinson B.A. from Manchester University spoke on the civilisation of Roman Britain."

    Then in September 1954 the Society was resurrected and reformed and has grown from strength to strength over the past 60 years. For more information on the Chorley Historical Society, it's history and activities please visit their website.