If you have been reading other pages of this site before coming here, you could be forgiven for thinking that the problems on Crompton Moor out weigh the prizes. That would be a very misleading impression.
If you were to ask any of the regular visitors to the moor why it is important? I have no doubt you would get many differing answers. I can only really speak for myself on this matter.
I have been very fortunate in my life to grow up around open spaces. Whilst always living in urban areas, there has always been an area of natural landscape within walking or cycling distance of my home.
As a child these local ďwildĒ places were my playgrounds and very often an important learning environment too. I canít imagine the type of person I would be without them.
As I got older I have been able to travel further afield and my work and leisure activities have taken me to some of the last true wilderness areas of Northern Europe and Arctic Scandinavia, but I have always held on to the importance of a local patch of nature where ever I have lived.
Like many people, we canít afford to live out in the country and commute to our work, so for us a green space like Crompton Moor is a valuable haven from the pressures of modern life.
When we decided to move to Oldham a few years ago the first thing we did was buy a 1:25000 scale map of the area to work out where we were going to live.
Even before we had moved here, Crompton Moor became a key factor in our decision to settle in Shaw.
Of course many cities and towns have parks, with neatly trimmed lawns, pathways and visitor centres. While such places may be attractive to some people, it is certainly not what I want to see when I need to get away from the urban sprawl.
While Crompton Moor is a very small site, nestled as it is on the edge of the conurbation of Greater Manchester, it manages to retain a spirit of wildness that many over managed country parks seem to lack.
When we rescued Skadi, our ageing mixed terrier, our visits to the moor became even more frequent. Our appreciation for the unique character of Crompton Moor grew too.
The moor has had a mixed and varied history from open heather moorland, grazing and farming after the Enclosures Act to the quarrying and mining of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Remains of all these previous lives can still be seen clearly on the moor and with the later creating of conifer plantations in the seventies has provided a mixed habitat for birds, mammals and insects. The old walls and workings shelter a surprisingly diverse variety of plant species too.
This is like a pocket wilderness that can be visited every day and always have a fresh sight to see.
Certainly the moor has itís share of problems like any other site this close to a crowded urban area, but it also has a great importance to many of itís regular visitors, human and animal alike.
This isnít just some convenient place to walk our dogs, have our picnics or pursue our leisure activities. Crompton Moor is a precious and vital part of our lives and one that we will fight to protect.
Contact the Rangers on 0161 620 8202 (Strineside Centre) or 0161 627 2608 (Tandlehill) Other contact details
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