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Burrs Country Park lies on the River Irwell covering an area of 36 hectares of scenic countryside, one mile north west of Bury town centre. Burrs has been awarded a Green Flag.

  • Burrs Country Park, Woodhill Road (bottom end), Bury, BL8 1DA
  • Grid reference: (E) 379577, (N) 412738
  • Find on Google maps

Burrs features a wide variety of different wildlife habitats - woodland, open space, wetland, ponds and waterways. The park is a great place to visit, an ideal spot for a range of activities including walking, fishing, picnicking, bird watching and nature study. There is a Caravan Club site which can accommodate 80 pitches for caravans and tents. The park owes part of its existence to Bury's industrial past, many remnants of which still exist today.

Facilities, clubs and attractions

Friends of Burrs Country Park

The Friends of Burrs group is a collection of local residents and park users who are passionate about Burrs Country Park. The group carries out fundraising, practical park improvement projects including a gardening club, balsam bashing and litter picking.

Green Flag Award

Burrs Country Park has retained a Green Flag Award since 2005. The national Green Flag Award scheme recognises excellence in greenspace management and measures criteria such as cleanliness, maintenance, sustainability, community involvement, heritage, nature conservation, health, safety, security and overall management.

In The Loop recycling bins

Bury Council has joined forces with Hubbub and Coca-Cola to provide 15 multi-use litter bins, initially installing 12 within Burrs Country Park, as part of a recycling on-the-go initiative that tackles pollution along our waterways.

Why Burrs?

Burrs was chosen because of its popular location and links to the River Irwell, high levels of footfall, and amenities including: The Lamppost Café and The Brown Cow Pub, plus the Caravan Club campsite and the East Lancashire Railway, all of which have frequent visitors.

What does it look like?

The Derby Double E multi-use bins have brightly coloured branding with clear messaging to show where waste can go on both the recycling and general waste front, back and side panels. We will be collecting plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles. We have included an additional graphic on the general waste side to include dog waste bags

The project was launched on 1 August 2023 and will be in place for a trial period of three months, during which time we would welcome your feedback on the initiative.

To help inform our campaign, please take a few minutes to tell us your thoughts about recycling on-the-go in Bury. This survey will take around 5 minutes to complete.

History and industrial heritage

Burrs Country Park is overlooked by Castlesteads, a raised area where a settlement was established in pre-Roman times.

Burrs is one of Bury's earliest industrial sites notable for its use of water and its association with the Peel Family. Although many of the buildings which once made up the two mill communities at Burrs and Higher Woodhill have now gone, enough remains to give an interesting insight into manufacturing technology and life in the early nineteenth century.

The earliest surviving building at Burrs is the Brown Cow Public House, which was built as a farm in 1752 before the Industrial Revolution took hold in Lancashire.

In 1792 the well established group of entrepreneurs, Peel, Howarth and Yates built a water powered spinning mill at Burrs along with a manager's house, smithy, workers' cottages and ash pit. Higher Woodhill Mill was built at the same time for Richard Calrow who also engaged in the processing of cotton. Initially the mills were powered by water from the river Irwell and a weir and canal were constructed to carry water to the mills.

The construction of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal meant that a water supply was required to feed the header reservoir at Elton. To accommodate this, the canal feeder was constructed around 1803 and connected into the existing canal.

In 1808 Burrs Mill was sold to Richard Calrow, who expanded the mills and converted them to steam power. In 1829 a major fire led to the rebuilding of the mill.

The 1850's boom in cotton manufacturing was a time of great prosperity and it is thought that the surviving chimney dates from this time. In 1861 Burrs cottages, now Burrs Activity Centre, was made up of 28 homes, housing 141 people. Facing the cottages are the remains of a midden (toilet block).

The cotton famine of 1861 - 1865 brought about by the American Civil War was the beginning of the end of the cotton mills at Burrs. In 1870, facing mounting financial difficulties, the Calrow family sold Burrs Mill and Higher Woodhill Mill to the Yates family and was converted for paper making by 1880. By 1893, following further building it was being used for bleaching and dyeing by Samuel Rothwell Ltd. In 1920 it was taken over by the Star Bleaching Company.

By 1925 Woodhill Road had been constructed along the side of the canal feeder and a manager's house was built, which is now the Garsdale Public House.

In 1930 Higher Woodhill Mill was demolished and in 1933 the depression caused the remaining mills to close.

During the Second World War Burrs Mill and the associated buildings were used as a billet and then to house Italian prisoners of war.

In 1952 the earliest part of Burrs Mill was demolished. The rest of the mill followed in 1982 leaving only the workers cottages and the chimney. The site was acquired by Bury Metro in 1986 and work started on redeveloping the site as a country park.