Campaigners say they are in a “strong position” to fight plans for a Ryder Cup golf course and more than 1,000 homes at Hulton Park.

On Sunday, Deardens Farm in Over Hulton held a fundraiser for Hulton Estate Area Residents Together (HEART).

The Partington family farm in Manchester Road, which would be affected by the development should it go ahead, raised £1,912.26 towards legal costs to fight Peel Land and Property's proposal.

Sandra Hesketh, secretary of HEART, described Sunday’s fundraiser as “incredible”.

She said: “They know we have to raise a phenomenal amount of money to fight Peel. I do not have a shadow of a doubt that we will win.”

The farm's family fun day included children’s activities such as tractor rides, a mobile farm and duck naming.

All proceeds from their award-winning Milk Maids ice cream on the day were also donated to HEART.

Fiona Partington, who set up the ice cream company with her three sisters, said that their farm shop usually attracts 40 customers on Sundays but hundreds attended their first family fun day.

She said: "It went really well. The kids had lots of fun. It's important to us because without this farm we can't run our business. And without the cows and the grass we can't make our ice cream."

HEART also raised around £3,000 at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival where its “calendar girls” project featuring female campaigners was launched.

But Mrs Hesketh said that, beyond financial value, fundraising activities act as a reminder of people's opposition to the plans.

She said: “I didn’t know that we would have so much support. I’m actually overwhelmed. At Dearden Farm, it wasn’t just taking the money. It was awareness raising. Every single person was for our campaign.”

Campaigners fear the damage that will be done to the greenfield site should the plans be approved, including uprooting 23 acres of “ancient” trees.

Mrs Hesketh said: “We are doing it for the biodiversity, the wildlife, the nature and most importantly the farms.”

The controversial plans to build 1,036 homes and a golf course for the 2026 Ryder Cup on the Grade II-listed estate were initially approved by Bolton Council but later called-in by the government.

A Peel Land and Property spokesman said the company was disappointed by the decision made in July but "remain committed" to the development.

The spokesman said: “We remain committed to the Hulton Park development and believe it is the right project to secure the future of the site, delivering substantial economic and social benefits for the people of Bolton.”

HEART is now in the process of applying to Secretary of State James Brokenshire for Rule 6 status which means the group would be considered a main party at the inquiry.

However, the campaign group still have a long way to go until it can pay for legal representation which could exceed £50,000 if it lasts for more than two weeks.

Mrs Hesketh said: “We can’t rest. We need to raise three thousand pounds a week.”

Interested parties have until October 12 to make their objections.