Bury Wildlife

Hawkshaw Two Brooks Valley

Two Brooks Valley lies in the Hawshaw valley between Turton Road and Bolton Road. It has a significant industrial past mills, works, farms and cottages. The remains of many of these can still be seen within the valley. There is a network of public paths that were used in previous times by horses, carts and workers.


The industrial revolution brought textile manufacturers to the area, making use of the plentiful supply of soft water by the bleaching and calico printing companies. The population in 1891 was 17,000 residents. Many of these lived and worked in the Two Brooks area.


The Whowell family worked Two Brooks Mill from 1850 as a bleaching business where up to 200 people were employed at its peak. Many remnants of this are still visible on site in the form of stone walls, slabs, channels and lodges. Two Brooks mill chimney still stands on the hill side at some distance from the works itself, and was served by a flue which ran underground from the boiler house in the valley bottom. It was recently restored.


The Valley has a variety of wildlife habitats including grasslands, heath, open water and marsh. Species-rich ancient oak woodland occurs on some slopes, with thriving populations of bluebells, and violets. Woodlands with these characteristics are ideal habitats for a variety of birds including the great spotted woodpecker and tawny owl.  Wetter areas have Brooklime and Golden Saxifrage. Whilst heather and bilberry is found areas of heath. Insects include greater spotted chaser dragonfly.


There are many paths but these seems to be across the valley so a circular route is not easy and it can be very muddy. If you are not familiar with the area use OS map as the guide map is not up to a good root around. There is some off road parking.