Cheesden valley geographical separates Rochdale Bury and Rossendale. Moorland dominates at its northern end giving way to wooded valley at the south throughout which is the Cheesden Brook.
The Brook provided power for at least 15 water powered mills and employment for 2,000 people many of which lived in the valley. Steam and geographical isolation spelt terminal decline till little remained in 1900. Nature has reclaimed the valley but ruins of the former mills, lodges and a solitary chimney, along with other industrial workings such as Weirs and Dykes, are still evident today.
It is a haven for wildlife with stone chat curlew in the higher reaches of the valley and dipper wood sorrel and wood anemone in the lower reaches. Significant insects abound with Wall Brown, Small Heath, and Green Hair Streak Butterflies as well as the four spotted chaser dragonfly. In Birtle itself on the mill lodge is yellow fringed water lily. Other fauna includes Devil Bit Scabious, Marsh Violet, and southern Marsh Orchid.
Birtle is on the land looking over he end of the valley. There is much redevelopment in the area but still wildlife abounds. Higfgher up the valley the wind farm of Scout Moor looks on.