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Waterfall along Millingford Brook in Golborne.

Volunteers clear Millingford Brook

It all started with an adventurous spaniel who fancied a swim on her daily walk along Millingford Brook in Golborne.

But when the pup, nicknamed ‘Fearless’, jumped into the water she soon got into trouble and had to be pulled out by her worried owner, Stan Crook.

When Stan realised that his dog had been caught up in debris that had been dumped in the brook over the years – including shopping trolleys, tyres & bags of rubble – he resolved that something had to be done.

Some of the rubbish that was blocking up Millingford Brook.

Some of the rubbish that was blocking up Millingford Brook.

Stan resolved to start clearing the brook himself – but thanks to some fantastic community spirit he wasn’t left to do the work all by himself for long.

First, Claire Baker from Golborne In Bloom offered to get involved, and suggested they get in touch with Golborne and Lowton West Voice Neighbourhood Forum. They jumped at the chance to help and soon there were a team of volunteers who gave as much time as they could – some of it during the recent lockdown – to clear the brook and remove the rubbish. Amongst the shopping trolleys and other items they also found a large number of items that seem to have been left by roadworkers at some time – including spades, road pins and crow bars.

Alan Percival from Golborne and Lowton West Voice repainting the Millingford Brook sign.

Alan Percival from Golborne and Lowton West Voice repainting the Millingford Brook sign.

And the volunteers were very resourceful – using some of the dumped material they found to create a new bench and a sign urging people to help keep the area nice. They even used the old road pins to make landing stages in the trees for the kingfishers that have moved back to the area. What a fantastic idea!

Handmade sign says 'Take nothing only photos, leave nothing only footprints, kill nothing only time - Fearless"

Fearless has a message to all those using the brook from now on!

So now, the brook is looking a lot better… and certainly a lot safer for Fearless, if she ever fancies taking another swim there! (Which Stan informs us she already has!)

Spaniel dog walking along Millingford Brook

Fearless is much safer on her walks, now that the brook is all clean again!

And with Stan sharing regular updates about the progress being made by himself and the volunteers, there’s been a really positive knock-on effect. Families walking by the brook have taken it upon themselves to pick litter along the way and there have been a lot of lovely comments about how much better the area looks. Of course, there are always one or two setbacks but despite a few disappointing incidents of vandalism and littering, Stan is hopeful that the vast majority of local people will try to keep the brook looking nice. And, with Fearless’s growing fame – she cannot go our for her daily walk without being recognised by an admirer now – Stan hopes the efforts of the volunteers will inspire people to take pride in their local area.

He said: “Please, if you are walking along the brook and enjoying it, just play your part by taking any litter home with you and picking up after your dog. If we all do this, the brook will stay nice for us all to enjoy.”

And the efforts of the volunteers didn’t go unnoticed – they were visited by local MP and councillor James Grundy, who praised the work the group have done. He even brought the Tory party vice chair Amanda Milling along with him so she could see the fantastic community spirit for herself.

Where is Millingford Brook?

Millingford Brook runs from Ashton to Newton, passing through Golborne. If you fancy taking a walk along the brook, you can access it off Bridge Street (just down from All Saints Church).

Have you appreciated the newly clean Millingford Brook?

Please let us know in the comments below.

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