Marple Local History Publications

A Natural History of Ludworth and Mellor

A detailed examination of the flora of the area and its historical development.

Author: Tony Smith and Ron Weston.

Published: New Mills Natural History Society, 2009.

A4 booklet, 63 pages,40 illustrations.

Price: £2.50


  • A detailed examination of the flora of the area and its historical development
  • Physical background
  • Origins of woodland and hedgerows
  • Roman & Anglo-Saxon influence
  • The Lyme
  • Domesday & after
  • Common lands and Royal Forests
  • Samuel Oldknow’s estate
  • Woodland indicators
  • Open space
  • Boundaries, fences and walls
  • Water courses
  • Inland rocks


Whilst only two members of New Mills Natural History Society have been involved directly in the compilation and final preparation of this manuscript, this is very much a project in which all of our members have contributed to a greater or lesser event. Brian Foxy our past President had the inspiration for our first major project - a natural history of the Roman Lakes, which, sadly was incomplete at his death. The detailed knowledge of the area which Anita Partington has accumulated in her 40 years or so of walking the area has been invaluable; Dr. Elaine Radford has kindly given her professional expertise in making comments - especially on the classification of Plant Communities; John Hawksford has provided meticulous plant lists on each of our outings and proof-read for us with a very keen eye; Mary Weston has become an expert on ferns; Pat and Anne O'Mara have provided bird lists. The many eyes of all those of our members who attend outings have helped to make this as full an account as possible.

Many people who are not members of our Society have generously contributed time and experience. We owe a particular debt to Rachel Hunter and members of the Lyme Natural History Recording Society, of which the past vascular plant records have been patiently extracted by Rachel for each 1km recording square in our area. Dr. Alan Willmot helped with difficult ferns; Ian Smith has contributed expertise in his special interest areas within the invertebrate fauna.

Members of the North Western Naturalists' Union and notably Alan & Norman Bamforth have contributed records. The assistance of the staff of the Derbyshire Record Office in enabling access to historical documents has always been extremely helpful. Finally the friendly help of Richard Barclay of New Mills School is acknowledged with gratitude.

The final outcome is solely the responsibility of the responsibility of the authors Ron Weston mainly for the geographical and historical sections and Tony Smith for the detailed natural history interpretation of species records.

We hope that that you will enjoy the result and find it interesting and useful.


Ron Weston & Tony Smith. January 2009