In 2009 representatives of Reddish Vale Country Park and the Cheshire & Peak District branch met to discuss a small remnant area of heathland at Tiviot Dale. This habitat contains a significant patch of Heather (Caluna vulgaris) and Gorse (Ulex europeaus) which is unique so close to Stockport Town Centre. It was decided that there was potential for a small project aimed at enhancing the area for the benefit of the public and the wildlife.
During 2010 the following actions were taken in connection with this project:-
a) The history of the site was investigated, especially former land uses.
b) The area to monitor was mapped, together with a surrounding buffer zone.
c) Expert advice was obtained to assess the current state of the heath.
d) Soil was examined and pH content measured.
e) Scrub encroachment work was undertaken.
f) Regular species surveys were carried out by the branch throughout 2010 with monitoring continued in subsequent years.
Survey results proved that the site supported a rich and varied flora and fauna, especially for an area so close to a town centre where the public can benefit from open access. Almost 100 species of plant were identified in this small area whilst less common butterflies included the Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Small Copper and Common Blue.
The area of heathland is currently in a favourable condition with the Heather spreading naturally. From time-to-time a little management work will still be required, whilst the branch will continue to monitor the development of the site on a more casual basis.