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Gardener In Residence For City Centre

National Trust and Cityco combine and look for greening ideas

Published on December 9th 2013.

Gardener In Residence For City Centre

COULD you inspire 1,000 people in Manchester to try gardening - and bring the city’s green spaces to life?

I want Manchester to be known for its green spaces - nature taking back the first industrial city. 

That’s the challenge for the National Trust’s new Gardener in Residence, Sean Harkin, 29, who’ll be based in the Trust’s Manchester office. Previously Sean worked at RHS Wisley as Team Leader of outdoor display. 

John Darlington, Regional Director for the North West says: “We’re delighted that Sean is joining us. His enthusiasm and passion for sharing gardening with others was exactly what we were looking for in this new role, and he’ll be focusing on encouraging people living in the city to try gardening - even if they have limited space or little experience. 

"He’ll also be developing projects that people can get involved with – for example, encouraging wildlife, growing edible plants and creating beautiful spaces that provide an escape from the bustle of city life. He’ll be using social media streams such as Facebook and Twitter to help inspire as many people with the work he’s doing, as well as showcasing the city’s wildlife and natural environment." 

Sean says: ‘It’s great to be starting my dream job in my home city, back to my roots in other words. I want Manchester to be known for its green spaces - nature taking back the first industrial city. I can’t do this alone so I’ll be relying on the resourcefulness, innovation and get-up-and-go people in Manchester are famous for." 

 Flower Power - Sean Harkin, The National Trust's New Gardener In Residence Who'll Be Encouraging City Dwellers To Go Green Fingered C National Trust %26#38%3B Sean Harkin


Flower Power - Sean Harkin, The National Trust's new gardener in residence

As part of the Gardener in Residence project, the National Trust is talking to a number of partners in the city to grow support and identify projects.

John Darlington explains: "We know from this year’s Dig the City festival that there’s a real appetite for gardening in the city and we want to help people take this interest further and become passionate about gardening. 

"Sean will be coming up with lots of inspiration and ideas as to how we can enjoy green space in Manchester in the future, and to get everyone talking about the value of gardening and green spaces in the city. Gardening contributes to health and wellbeing, skills development, community spirit, sustainability and a positive image for the city which could impact on its economic prosperity. This project aims to help to make Manchester a greener place to work, live and visit’. 

Vaughan Allen, chief executive for CityCo, Manchester's city centre management company said: "To have a dedicated gardener in residence for the city centre is great news for Manchester. Our Dig the City urban gardening festival was one of last summer's biggest attractions and it was fantastic to work with the National Trust on the event. There is no doubt Dig the City will grow from strength to strength, demonstrating the enormous appetite for urban gardening ideas. 

"Green spaces are vital to the city's workers, residents and visitors, and over the past few years we've have been working hard to improve existing parks and transform brownfield sites into temporary gardens as part of the Manchester Garden City scheme."

The main picture at the top of the page shows the transcedental majesty of the Manchester Confidential growbox at Dig the City this summer.

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