An area for families to enjoy the great outdoors has re-opened at Moss Bank Park for the spring and summer seasons.

The Hive has been closed due to the colder weather, but it is now open to families and members of the public to enjoy with areas full of fun including a mud kitchen, a music station, a water play area, a mud pit, bug central and more.

The area is designed so children can explore the outdoors and be within nature at the same time as learning.

Katie D’Arcy Education Manager at the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire Manchester and North Merseyside said it is Bolton’s hidden gem.

She said: “We are now open April to November and this year is the first year we have done a launch event, and we are encouraging local families to come down and see what it is all about.

“We all feel excited, super excited, it is a beautiful space and site, it is a little hidden gem in Bolton.

“I grew up in Horwich and used to come here all the time when it was animal world with the butterfly house, so it is embedded within our childhood, and it is nice now to share this with other people within the community.

“It is really accessible both in terms of the site and also the price as well.

“The Hive is a safe, secure space for children and families to access natural play, we have got a number of different activities available, so we have water play, a mud kitchen, we sometimes do fire lighting which involves marshmallow toasting and more.

The Bolton News: Music StationMusic Station (Image: NQ)

“Access to things like this is super important for young people as exposing them to places like this will hopefully allow them to develop environmentally so they will grow into adults who will want to protect, look after and conserve the natural environment.

“For adults and families this is also a place for them to come together, it is fantastic for the local community.

“Within Bolton, The Hive sits within deprived areas so places like this that are accessible and don’t cost the Earth are vital.”

Read more of our top stories here:

Natalie Bradley and Sarah Almond were at The Hive on a day out with their children on Friday April 5 and they both said The Hive makes a difference.

Natalie said: “It is an outdoor area that is quite safe where our children have got space to run around without worrying about dogs.

“All of the staff are brilliant as well, they are really friendly and really welcoming, very patient, which is fabulous.

“Whilst outside we have a lot more conversations because there is more to see, so it allows for that inquisitive nature to come out.”

Sarah said: “There are so many things set up here that you don’t have to panic and think what shall we do with them.

“You can come along and there is already different stations and activities, and the kids can just have fun and it is a nice change from screen time.

“Spaces like this are really important because it teaches children about nature and the fun that you can have, we try and grow fruit and vegetables at home which my daughter enjoys, and this just gets children more interested in the outdoors and how the world works.”

The Bolton News: Katie D’Arcy Education Manager at the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire Manchester and North Merseyside Katie D’Arcy Education Manager at the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire Manchester and North Merseyside (Image: NQ)Nicholas Whitaker, volunteer co-ordinator at The Hive, said: “The amount of work that our volunteer groups do I don’t think it would be possible to put on events like this without them.

“We find The Hive is an important part of our community, a lot of people seem to appreciate that it is a closed safe space, so we know there are no dogs and no bikes, and it is their own little spot for young families, their own little haven.”

The Hive is open Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 3pm.

Families can either book an on the day ticket which is £6.50 for six individuals, or a season pass which is £45 but is unlimited access between April and November.

For more information go to

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at or DM me on X @chloewjourno.