Wigg Island is a Green Flag Award winner and was officially opened on 19th April 2002 by the Mayor of Halton and popular bird watching celebrity Bill Oddie. Bill’s comments summed up the occasion when he said, “It’s a beauty; it’s great to have a green space slap bang in the middle of a very urban area” A triumph in industrial land reclamation and rejuvenation, it covers 23 hectares, which today, as well as being a popular bird watching environment, supports a rich variety of native wildflowers, including the delicate bee orchid. The park has a network of broad pathways with ample seating and picnic tables allowing easy access to take in the abundant wildlife and scenic views across the river. There are several wooden art features including the ‘Troll’ nature trail.
The Island is named after Charles Wigg who established the first industrial factories on the site in the 1860’s. Along with two partners, he set up a small alkali works close to the Old Quay Canal for extracting copper from its ore. The works expanded and diversified, supported by the later construction of the Manchester Ship Canal alongside the site. During the Second World War, Wigg Works East, then called Randles Works, was used for the production of mustard gas. ICI then ran the site until manufacturing ended on Wigg Island in the 1960s. Today, it is families and nature lovers who enjoy the open spaces of Wigg Island.