In the late 1960s, Hale Unity District Council approached Cheshire County Council regarding setting up a Countryside Management Service. This was to operate across administrative boundaries along the length of the River Bollin. Assistance and funding from the Countryside Commission (now part of Natural England) led to the partnership being set up. The Partnership started in 1972 as a pioneering experiment in managing land around towns for wildlife and informal recreation, with due regard for local farmers.
Initially the Partnership only covered a small area of the River Bollin's Catchment between Wilmslow and Bowden. By 1987 the area had extended from the fringe of Macclesfield Forest, where the River Bollin rises, to where it flows into the Manchester Ship Canal between Partington and Warburton.
The earliest site managed by the partnership was Rossmill Woodland in 1976. Macclesfield Riverside Park opened officially in 1989 and the Aviation Viewing Park managed in partnership with Manchester Airport plc in 1992 (the latter is no longer managed by Bollin Valley Partnership). The way-marking of the Bollin Valley Way, a long distance footpath following the course of the River Bollin was originally completed in 1993 and not long afterwards the Trafford section of the long distance path the Trans Pennine Trail, from Heatley to Broadheath, opened to walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and people in wheelchairs or those pushing buggies.