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Rose Vale Park

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By Helen Morgan

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Published on Facebook 2022
Last Updated 16/06/2023


A place where adults, children and dogs can roam in parkland and woodland. A jewel in our crown.

Before the Park

The area that we take for granted to spend our free time in and rejuvenate both our mind and spirit, has not always been a park space. By 1934 Rose Vale, the cul de sac, had been built, but this just led onto a series of footpaths that crossed fields and farmland.  These good quality maps show the land use in 1937 and 1945.

Rose Vale Park Map 1937 c NLS.jpg

Fig. 1 Rose Vale Park Area in 1937 
© Old Maps Online

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Rose Vale Park Map 1945-51 c NLS.jpg

Fig. 1 Rose Vale Park Area in 1945,
published 1951
© Old Maps Online

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Residents I have interviewed recalled their memories from the 1940s and 50s.

"I loved trees and me and my friend would climb them. The trees where Rose Vale Park is now, we used to climb, sit at the top and sing to the horses in the field that is now the Oakdale Estate.
- Sheila Dean, 2021

"We used to walk in the surrounding countryside. Rose Vale was a favourite haunt to meet up with friends. There was no park then, just open fields. I can remember all the hawthorn bushes which smelt gorgeous...Just beautiful fields and hedgerows filled with May blossom. I spent many hours as a child just roaming the fields with friends.
- Marilyn Connolly, 2021&2022

With the boom in our village’s population from the late 1950s, the council set aside places to become parks. Rose Vale was one such area after 1959. By October 1962 a new football pitch was laid out along with seating  . The quote in the Ratepayer’s Contact Magazine states it is in the park at the end of Rose Vale, so it sounds relatively new with directions needed to find it.

Rose Vale Park fields Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Starting Out

Fig. 3 The football pitch, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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By February 1963 £2000, a lot of money in those days, was to be spent on play equipment for Rose Vale, East Avenue and Gatley parks  . In June 1963, in what thankfully was forward thinking on our behalf, Cheadle and Gatley Urban District Council took the bold move, in the face of soaring land prices for housing, to acquire 10 acres of land for Rose Vale Park  . With the park being alongside the busy railway line, British Rail were instructed by the council to improve the fence boundary in September 1963  . With the older residents of our village in mind, in 1964 the Ratepayers asked the council’s parks committee if all our parks could have suitable seating and rose gardens planted. This was happening within other districts so why not ours too?   .

Rose Vale Park 1967 68 winter Chris Hudson.jpg

Fig. 4 Rose Vale Park, Winter 1967 / 68
© Chris Hudson


Rose Vale Park to compare with C Hudson photo Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 5 Rose Vale Park, in the same direction towards Gatley Golf Club (behind trees)
© Helen Morgan
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A stream runs through the park and residents recalled their memories of playing there.

Rose Vale Park Stream Andrea Fawcett Jan 2019.JPG

Fig. 6 Stream and bridge, Winter 2019
© Andrea Fawcett
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Rose Vale Park stream Aug 2022 , H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 7 The stream here is fenced off and runs under the path, Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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"When I was a kid in the 50s, we would dam it up with stones and mud. Good times.”
- Ian Mann, 2022

"Fell in that a few times back in the day trying to get my ball back.”
- James Daniels, 2022

"When I was a kid there was green weed and small fish. No longer.”
- Chris Taylor, 2022

"This brings back lots of memories jumping over to the other side. Loved playing in the long grass in the summer.”
- Adele Hartley, 2022

"That’s where Erika Gwilt missed the other side and smashed her nose in.”
- Gaynor Downes, 2022

"Yep, still remember it to this day. Being carried home and Dad driving me to Wythenshawe Hospital.”
- Adele Hartley, 2022

"It’s unlucky how the bridge was taken down. I presume that this was because it kept being vandalised and had to keep being repaired.”
- Lewis Richards, 2022

"Yes, unfortunately it was dangerous after being damaged. We are working on getting an all-access bridge to replace it.”
- Hayley Shing, 2022

Rose Vale Tree Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

The park is home to some wonderful mature trees, including this beauty, that is on the path between Rose Vale and Motcombe Road. It measured around its girth 335cm, that’s 11 feet in old money! Chris Hudson kindly worked out its age, with the John White formula, and estimated the age to be at least 165 years.

Fig. 8 Tree, Rose Vale Park 2022
© Helen Morgan
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"I used to walk passed this tree every day to primary school, Prospect Vale, and it is a magnificent tree. In my view the calculation is an underestimation, and I would suggest an age of 180 or possibly 200. The 1875 maps show illustrations of many field boundary trees in this location which suggests they would be of a reasonable size then. Certainly, one of the older trees in Heald Green I would suggest.”

“It is also where I got caught riding my bike by the then policeman in Heald Green, who walked me to Motcombe Road giving me a right telling off, about 1968ish.”

- Chris Hudson, 2022

"We called it the kite eating tree! Hence, they never came down.”

“Oh my god, I remember climbing up this tree as a kid with Peter Redshaw, we did retrieve a kite once I remember!””

- Adele Hartley, 2022

"It was a home for a short while to my son’s brand new birthday drone. We had to get ladders and a fishing rod to get it down. It was dark by the time we got it. Luckily it had lights on so we could see it!”
- Sal Jackson, 2022

Friends of Rose Vale Park

A fantastic set of residents got together to form The Friends of Rose Vale Park in January 2006. They set about transforming the area to maintain, sustain and develop the environment of the park for the local community. How lucky we are to have such enthusiastic hands-on residents, who volunteer to go above and beyond. We should be truly thankful for that.

They started by asking local residents to complete a questionnaire, about what they felt the park needed. Once their responses were in, they formulated plans to reinvigorate the park.


Rose Vale Park Flyer 2006 07 showing old play area.jpeg

Fig. 8 Flyer, 2006
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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Fig. 9 Questionnaire, 2006
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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Fig. 10 Responses, 2007
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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The Friends immediately got involved with raising funds to buy lots of bulbs, that then needed planting!! They attracted the attention of local newspapers.

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Fig. 11 Stockport Times West, Nov 2006
© Stockport Times
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Fig. 12 Stockport Express, Nov 2006
© Stockport Express
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On the pathway, from Rose Vale to Motcombe Road, stands two benches with brass plaques recognising the Friends' achievements.

The questionnaire responses were considered and reflected in planning proposals you can see below.  Hayley Shing, who joined the Friends after they were prepared in 2006/7, explained:-

"...there are parts of [them] that were implemented...the play area adjacent to Prospect Vale Primary School is where our new orchard has been planted. This is our main focus along with replacing the bridge across the stream."

Plans continue to be developed with Committee members.


Rose Vale Park  Bench 2, Aug 2022, H Morgan.jpg

Fig. 13 "The Friends of Rose Vale Park purchased these benches in November 2006 thanks to a kind donation from Brookfield House Community Award." Aug 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Fig. 14 Rough Plan, 2007
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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Rose Vale Park Planning Proposal 2008.jpg

Fig. 15 Formal Plan, 2008
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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Fig. 16 Christmas Social, 2019
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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In 2019 the Constitution of the Friends was revised. As of 2022 the Friends are currently made up of the following volunteers:

Chairperson Hayley Shing
Vice Chair Kim Corrall
Treasurer To be elected, Sue Frost is acting in the meantime
Members Sue Frost, Coral Harris, Phil Harris, Michael White, Phil and Louise Banks.

Hayley continued:

“In 2019 the park group managed to organise to have the entrance via
Motcombe Road resurfaced, after it was left in a dangerous state with potholes and trip hazards. The group joined forces with The Orchard Project, after discovering there was an existing orchard that was planted towards the railway line. This however was not managed or planned out very well at the time, so it was decided by the group and experts at The Orchard Project, that this area was to be left for biodiversity and a clearing day event down the line. Stephen Pearson, our previous Treasurer, contributed a lot to the revised constitution and new orchard plans. He was also a key member in helping us rebuild and organise our very first Christmas event."


"We held 3 public consultations to plan the new orchard and had this planted opposite the playground, adjacent to Prospect Vale Primary School boundary.

The new orchard was planned in a rainbow shape with the hope of future "rings" to be added down the line. The first row is apple trees, second row is stone fruits such as cherries and plums and the outer ring is more edible fruits including some cider apples. The trees were planted by families, members from the Scout group, school and surrounding community. The planting day event created a great buzz around park with the councillors also attending."


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Fig. 17 Orchard Project 2019
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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After 15 years of waiting, the park has finally been given an official Stockport sign and the Friends of Rose Vale Park logo, designed by a Prospect Vale student, is on there too. This has helped give the space more identity and feels more official as a park and not just an open green space.

Rose Vale Park Sign June 2022, H Morgan.PNG

Fig. 18 Park Sign, 2022
© Helen Morgan
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Rose Vale Park Logo winning entry Prospect Vale Student.jpg

Fig. 19 Winning logo 2021
© Friends of Rosevale Park
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Hayley continues:

"The group hopes to raise more money for wildflower planting to show some colour around the orchard trees. Also, a perimeter footpath, to allow for a potential cycling route for exercise and extra access to and from the primary school during flooding months. A new circular route would lead perhaps to a trim trail with fitness equipment along the route. The old play bridge was damaged and has since needed replacement."

"This is our next main project to get this replaced with a footbridge for all to access easily, and to create a wider walking loop, from the informal football fields to the meadow area for all who walk around our park. The group is always looking for new members to help organise and volunteer during events to improve our green space. We hope to tackle the overgrown older orchard area and the stream is high on our priority list. Weekly meet ups in the park will begin again soon!”

The old play area has become the new tree planting area. Long gone are the swings and roundabouts and tall, steep slide with nothing but gravel and grit underneath them. My eldest daughter still has the scars on her knee, along with what she says are bits of gravel, after flying off the end of the slide, straight onto all fours on the ground! The new child friendly area is gated and fenced off and gets used a lot, especially straight after school from the children from nearby Prospect Vale Primary.


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Fig. 20 Orchard, 2021
© Colin Barnsley
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Rose Vale Park 3 2021.JPG

Fig. 21 Play Area, 2021
© Colin Barnsley
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This jewel in our crown is in safe hands. If you have never been, go and take a look. There’s a mixture of woodland walks through mature trees and formal pathways around the park. Places for the children to run around, along with their own play area, and a cracking football pitch. Also, fields for your dogs to roam in. All I would say is please take the dog poo home, there was a lot on that football pitch this morning!

It’s right on our doorstep whether it’s winter or summer - enjoy.


Rose Vale 2021-01 Jamat Ali.jpg

Fig. 22 Rose Vale Park, Winter 2021
© Jamat Ali
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