Chorlton Water Park is a perfect sanctuary, just a couple of miles south of the city centre for picnics or a day of family fun. This highly popular water park was Manchester's first officially designated local nature reserve in 1999. It is easily accessible by car or bicycle and on foot through one of the many routes along the Mersey Valley. The many activities on offer include canoeing, dinghy sailing, windsurfing, angling, horse-riding, orienteering, model boating and there is also a special children's play area. For birdwatchers, the park is a site of national importance for wintering wildfowl.