Smithills Area

The Hive at Moss Bank Park

The Hive at Moss Bank Park


The Hive is a local food-growing project based in Animal World on Moss Bank Park in Bolton. Whatever your age or ability, we can provide you with inspiration and training for growing your own food at home and enjoying nature while you do!

See our summer events and activities schedule by clicking here

For Schools

The Hive offers a unique learning experience inspiring pupils of all ages and abilities to explore and actively learn about growing food, wildlife and the environment.

We offer a range of programmes, some of which have been devloped specifically for the brand new 2014/15 curriculum.

Key programmes include:

Taste the Wild

An interactive and enjoyable session where students get to make healthy bread, pizza, soup or curry. A perfect fit for the new Design & Technology curriculum – what better way to learn about seasonality and where food comes from than to pick the herbs for the top of your pizza`, or by pulling up potatoes for your soup!

Our Miniature World

This session focuses around investigating the minibeasts that are friends and foes to the gardens of The Hive.; from the colourful ladybirds which eat our greenflies to the slimy slugs which make our lettuces disappear! A perfect session for KS1 students.

Plants – growing green!

The role and parts of a plant continues to be one of the most tricky subjects of science – especially when trying to deliver it in the classroom! This session uses interactive games and dissection of a plant to help students grasp this complex subject in an interactive, fun and effective way.

For more information on the education programmes at The Hive please contact James Hall on 01204 663754 or

You can view/download our education programme leaflet by clicking here.

For Families

Nature Tots: Join us for an adventurous bug hunt or get creative with nature art! A range of themes to help you and your little ones enjoy the outdoors!

10.00am – 11.15am: 15 months to 3 years
11.30am – 12.45pm: 3 to 5 years

There is a cost of £4 per sessions which includes refreshments for both children and parents.

Please contact Charlie Barlow on 01204 663 754 or email to book. Block bookings are available with an offer of 1 free session for every 10 block booking made

The Achieve Programme

Are you aged 18+? With our formal training programme we want to pass on skills that you can utilise within your own community, and inspire you to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

We have a range of training promgrammes available including plant propagation and outdoor cookery course. 

For information on any of the above programmes, please contact James Hall on 01204 663754 or click here to email.


Join us every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to meet new people and learn new skills. We have a range of sessions and activities including willow weaving, green wood working and helping develop The Hive’s new dinosaur zone for children.

Contact Charlotte Yates on 01204 663 754

 FREE Fun for the kids.

The Hive, Moss Bank Park

Off Moss Bank Way


Telephone: 01204 663754 



FREE – But Donations  are welcome

Age range: 5 – 12

Booking required: No

barrow bridge waterfall

Barrow Bridge Village

Barrow Bridge and surrounding areas are a lovely area which is a short walk from Moss Bank Park, the country side and views are well known for walkers and hikers alike.

Barrow Bridge Rd

Barrow Bridge was a busy village housing three cotton spinning mills, these mills were built in three separate areas of the village and which all have been demolished over 100 years ago.

Lords Mill

Built in 1863 for Halliwell Bleach Works is the 365ft chimney and is the only commercial building that still stands to this day though the chimney was not associated to the cotton spinning mills.

Barrow Bridge is a conservation area, the three sets of remaining houses leading to the 63 steps are picturesque they are all of different sizes and designs, they are stone built and have their own little bridge crossing over Dean Brook get to each one.

Bridge over the water

This area and the houses still look beautiful even on a rainy day!

Bridge of the water 2

Just before the 63 steps are some beautiful waterfalls

Dave at the falls Barrow Bridge Falls

Barrow Bridge’s 63 steps

These stone steps are famously known by local and not so local people, the workers at the cotton mills would have used these steps daily to get to work, and they now head up to fields and walking areas of the West Pennine Moors. Please be aware that there are a lot of steps (hence there name) are not for the faint-hearted, these worn down stone steps can feel like they go on forever, luckily there is a bench at the top for you to sit on and get your breath back 🙂

63 steps


Barrow Bridge Road
off Moss Bank Way
Bolton, Lancashire

Moss Bank Fairground

Moss Bank Park and its Surrounding Attractions

Moss Bank Park has been a popular park for children and adults for many years, for the children is a play area with climbing frames, sand pit, swings and playing fields.

More attractions for the kids are a small fairground with a roller-coaster, pitch and put and a mini steam train which are open on a number of events during the curse of the year.

For adults and children there is over 24 hectares parkland, which has great open space of great walking and picnic areas there is a new and updated outside tennis court.

Walled GardenYou can walk around the small Victorian walled garden



Moss Bank Park was popular and fondly known for a small zoo called Animal World which also had a tropical butterfly house which you could walk through and up close and personal with the butterflies. Sadly they were closed down by Bolton Council in September 2013 due to budget cuts.

Walking from Moss Bank park you can head for the chimney over the fields and have a nice walk a round Barrow Bridge Village.

Head to the chimney

Bolton Rock Garden in Moss Bank Park

Another local attraction at Moss bank Park is the Rock Garden.

This small area of multi-level garden, was discovered and brought back to its former glory by volunteers, it was re-opened for visitors in July 2012

Rock Garden Stand

Waterfalls from the above gardens into the rocky pond in the low level garden.

Moss Bank Park Rock Garden Pond

You can walk up rocky steps, gravel trails and over a great looking little red bridge over water trail.

Rock Gardens Bridge 2

this bridge lead to a smaller top pond, which is where the higher waterfalls start from.

Rock Gardens Bridge

Due to its nature and design this may not be for all people

Moss Bank Park Address

Moss Bank Way

01204 334050

Smithills Farm

Smithills Open Farm is a Winner for the Kids

The Rear of Smithills Hall

Smithills Hall Steeped with 800 Years of History