Fletcher Moss Park is another great Manchester dog walking location. It’s another park that holds appeal to all Manchester residents, not just owners of dogs. So what can a dog owner who has recently moved to Manchester expect from this green haven?
Fletcher Moss Park – History
Why is it called Fletcher Moss park you may ask. Well the Moss family lived in the Parsonage as tenants from 1865. They purchased the property for £4000.00 in 1884. Fletcher Moss gifted the house and gardens in 1915 to the City of Manchester on the condition that he could continue to live there for the rest of his life. Fletcher Moss passed away in 1919.
Most of the present layout of Fletcher Moss park is as a result of work carried out by Fletcher Moss and his mother. The entrance to the gardens has a neo-Norman arched gate known as Eagle Gate. It was rescued by Fletcher Moss from the demolition of the Spread Eagle Hotel. Many of Fletcher Moss’ dogs are buried in the gardens and there is a rumour that his horse is also buried there too. The current care of the gardens is handled by The Friends of Fletcher Moss and Parsonage Gardens.
So if you are a dog owner planning to visit Fletcher Moss park, what can you expect? Well first you will need to know how to get there. The park is located in the Didsbury area and has three main entrances, on Wilmslow Road, Millgate Lane and Stenner Lane. The Old Parsonage has an entrance on Stenner Lane which is where you will find the Eagle Gate mentioned earlier.
Those living in Didsbury village may well decide to walk to the park but it’s also on a number of bus routes. For car owners you have a few options. There is a small car park at the Millgate Lane entrance. You should also be able to find parking on Stenner Lane. You could also park at The Didsbury Pub where there is a £2.00 charge which is refundable should you buy something in the pub.
Opening time of the park are from dawn to dusk and it’s open every day of the year. Entrance is free. Dog owners should note that dogs are allowed in all areas of the park but they are not allowed in the gardens or inside the cafe (you can sit outside the cafe with your dog though).
Fletcher Moss Park Cafe
In terms of facilities, the park does benefit from a cafe which is called The Alpine Tea Room. Based on the reviews I’ve seen it seems quite popular. The park’s toilet facilities are also part of the cafe but interestingly I’ve seen a couple of reviews indicating that the park has no toilet facilities. I’m not sure if those reviewers simply could not find the toilets or whether you need to buy something from the cafe to use the toilets.
Some Manchester residents will want to visit Fletcher Moss Park to use the tennis courts or the rugby and football pitches. I won’t go into more detail about these however as the aim of this article is to discuss the appeal of the park to dog owners. Having said that I would like to briefly mention the botanical gardens.
Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens
The main part of the botanical gardens is a walled rock garden that was laid out by botanist Robert Wood Williamson. He sold the gardens, rockery and his house known as The Croft to Fletcher Moss in 1912. The Croft was used as the first meeting place of the organisation that was later to become the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Williamson’s wife Emily formed the ‘Plumage League’ whose aim was to stop breeding of birds for their plumage which was used in women’s hats. The Plumage League later amalgamated with ‘The Fur, Fin and Feather Folk’ based in Croydon and it was at this time that the RSPB was born.
Fletcher Moss for Dogs
The park is perfect for dog walks of all durations and the terrain can be as varied as you and your pooch like. Besides some of the open fields of the the park itself, you can easily extend a walk to include Stenner Woods or The River Mersey. Signage in the park is good so it would be hard to get lost. Like many places in Manchester it can get wet under foot after rain so wear appropriate footwear.
One of the striking features of Fletcher Moss Park is the avenue of tall Poplar trees. Your dog might not pay the trees too much attention, besides wanting to pee up against the base but the avenue can make for a lovely photo.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about Fletcher Moss Park in the comments. Is it somewhere you walk your dog? What do you like about it and is there anything you would like to see that would improve it further. Do you find there are enough dog waste bins and are they emptied enough?