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What remains of Trafford Park’s boating lake, now the Trafford Ecology Park

Wikimedia Commons

Trafford ParkFirst planned industrial estate in the world, and still the largest in Europe., in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, England was until the late 19th century the ancestral home of the Trafford family; the present-day 11-acre (4 ha) Trafford Ecology Park is what remains of the family’s ornamental boating lake. Boating continued on the lake until the 1930s, by which time its water had become polluted by asbestos and oil seepage from the neighbouring Anglo American Oil depot. During the Second World War the site was used as a tip for foundry waste.[1]

Esso purchased the land in 1974 and levelled and partly seeded it, to improve the frontage to their own premises. Trafford Council acquired the site from Esso in 1983 for £50,000, but government spending restrictions delayed the park’s restoration and conversion, and it was not fully opened to the public until 1990.[1]

The present lake is about one-third of its original size, but although now relatively small it supports a wide variety of wildlife, including foxes, weasels, rabbits, hedgehogs, lapwings, kestrels, herons, coot, Canada Geese, and several varieties of newt.[1] The park is a designated Site of Biological Importance, and a Local Nature Reserve.[2]