PETS’ Corner in John Leigh Park, Altrincham, is to remain open, thanks to a Messenger-backed campaign.

Trafford Council had planned to close the attraction following approval for a package of budget cuts by executive members in February.

However, after Messenger ran an article on the closure, Altrincham resident, Dave Jolley, decided to reform the disbanded Friends of John Leigh Park group.

The council has agreed to delay the closure of the aviary – which had been scheduled for the end of the month – and, if the Friends put forward a viable business case, will transfer the running of Pets’ Corner to the group.

Indeed, some Friends members will be helping current council staff to look after the park’s birds during Easter weekend.

More than 44 people have expressed an interest in joining the group so far, but more friends would be welcome according to Dave.

“We don’t know how many of the 44 will be looking after birds, we’ve got about 10 or 12 solid members.

“But the group isn’t just about Pets’ Corner, it will also have a responsibility for what’s happening in the park and making things a bit better.”

Cllr Sean Anstee said: “I am thankful for the efforts of the Friend’s group to date and hope that a viable business plan is forthcoming and that this pause demonstrates the commitment of the council to try and secure an alternative sustainable future for the Pets’ Corner.”

If you are interested in joining the Friends of John Leigh Park, email