Medlock & Tame Valley Conservation Association

Founded in 1971

  • 1971 Leonard N. Kidd and Bert Hodson, members of the Oldham
  • Microscopical and Natural History Society corresponded with councillors and press regarding Saddleworth Parish Council proposal to use weedkillers to eradicate rosebay willow herb from verges and open spaces. This sparked the formation of a conservation group then known as the Medlock & Tame Valley Conservation Committee (MTVCC)
  • The Inaugural Meeting was held at Werneth Park Study Centre on 14th Aug, 1971 with objectives to protect the natural, industrial and local history in the two river valleys.
  • There were over one hundred members by the end of 1971.
  • 1975 The MTVCA opened the Museum in The Stables at Park Bridge (March) by volunteer work. A “glittering” night was held with many traditional acts performing. This put Park Bridge “on the map”.
  • In March, MTVCC becomes the Medlock & Tame Valley Conservation Association (MTVCA) and was registered with the Charity Commission on 16th September.
  • The MTVCA was given advisory and observer status on the Medlock & Tame Joint Valley Committee (Local Authority body) which had been set up in 1974 by Greater Manchester Council. The committee was composed of councillors and officials from Oldham, Tameside, Stockport and Manchester to monitor the management of the two river valleys.
  • 1976 The peak membership of MTVCA was reached with over 500 members including individuals and affiliated groups.
  • 1978 Despite the membership the MTVCA was relying on a very small band of active members.
  • The first decade of the Association’s achievements can be summarised as follows:
    • i) Shaped the policies of the Daisy Nook Country Park
    • ii) Established a Nature Reserve at the Royal George in Greenfield
    • iii) Restored the Stables at Park Bridge1980 The membership declined to about 100 throughout the decade.
  • 1995 The HQ was moved from Werneth Park Study Centre to 5 Oaken Clough Terrace by kind permission of Mildred Burlinson, a wildlife garden to be established in the grounds.
  • In February Oaken Clough was served with a Tree Preservation Order by Tameside Council.
  • In April the Joint Valley Committees were dissolved and the rivers become the responsibility of the Local Authorities. The MTVCA still had observer status at the meetings.
  • Membership was now around 50 – 60 during the 90s.
  • 1997 A plaque commemorating 25 years of the MTVCA was placed at the John Howarth Centre (Daisy Nook)
  • 1999 The MTVCA was acknowledged by Tameside and Oldham MBCs for its input into the “Agenda 21” documents produced by both councils.
  • The Garden at 5 Oaken Clough Terrace was declared a site of Special Biological Interest (SBI) because of the great crested newts in the pond.
  • 2002 Last AGM before Mildred became indisposed.
  • 2005 The Association was re-invigorated with a new Committee.
  • 2008 No 5 Oaken Clough Terrace became the property of the MTVCA (bequeathed by Mildred Burlinson) and became the main focus of the Association’s activities.

The Association works in co-operation with the countryside wardens and rangers, acts as a liaison between administrators and residents and continues to extend links with local conservationists. It seeks to act as a counterbalance to the loss of greenery and wildlife in leisure places, as a guardian of the quality of life and a sane advocate for the preservation of our heritage.

Non-political and non-biased the Association will continue to oppose building unconnected with present use on green belt land and in the river valleys.

Registered Charity (No. 504558). The headquarters at 5 Oaken Clough Terrace comprises a large end terraced house and three quarters of an acre of wildlife garden. Contained within the grounds are a pond, bird hide, apiary, botanical herb garden and wildflower meadow. Through on-going projects we seek to provide habitats and safe havens for pond life, birds, insects and animals within the garden.

In the cellar of the house we have established an alternative energy workshop to develop solar, wind and water power to provide useful electricity.

The Association confidently hopes that those living and working in the valleys are far-sighted enough to carry on the work of the Medlock and Tame Valley Conservation Association and that this will continue with the next generation and so keep our valleys green.

December 2013

Registered HQ: MTVCA, 5 Oaken Clough Terrace,
Ashton-under-Lyne,Lancs, OL7 9NY
Charity Number: 504558