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Orchard For Manchester: Volunteers Needed

Make a permanent mark on the city centre by planting a tree

Written by . Published on August 3rd 2011.

Orchard For Manchester: Volunteers Needed

As revealed in this story a couple of weeks ago St John’s Gardens is to receive the gift of an orchard. 

Thus Castlefield will become more apple-eeling. Er...right. 

We reckon not many people have dug a hole in the city centre and planted a tree. This is your opportunity.

The orchard is part of a garden than won a Gold Award at the recent RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. It was designed by Daniela Coray and will add to the core benefits of the area by helping St John’s pip other gardens in the city centre. We’ll stop the bad puns now. Ground work is already taking place in preparation for planting. 

BUT - as this will be maintained and managed by residents and workers in the locality - help is required. Castlefield Forum and the city centre management company, Cityco, are looking for volunteers to help plant the new trees, hedges and flowers from Tuesday 9 August to Thursday 11 August. 

Everyone is welcome, with work starting around 11am each day, and equipment provided.

Surely lots of people might want to donate an hour of their lunch time to help beautify the city centre? Maybe leave off the gym and work up a sweat in some lovely gardens instead. Whatever the motive, volunteers will be able to re-visit with friends and family over the years and say, "I did that."

The orchard here is all part of a process. Already pocket gardens and planting are starting to transform Castlefield - coordinated by the Residents Forum, Cityco and the City Council. You can check out the Forum's website here.

Below are some pictures of Granary Gardens above the Outdoor Arena, the repaired Sheep sculpture by Ted Roocroft and the cleared area between the Oxnoble and the White Lion pubs on Liverpool Road. Special mention of resident Carol Standfield's indefatigable efforts should be mentioned in dispatches. 

The crucial area is the aforementioned part along Liverpool Road. The Forum is waiting with bated breath to see what exciting proposals will be forthcoming from design practice BDP. Get rid of that useless fence, drop three trees, and encourage everybody to wander into the Roman fort and canal basin area is what Confidential says. 

Don't forget the short term though. Don't forget next week

We reckon not many people have dug a hole in the city centre and planted a tree. This is your opportunity.

Contact Gary Ellis at Cityco (gary.ellis@cityco.com) if you'd like to help out from Tuesday 9 August to Thursday 11 August. The Editor of Confidential will be there for an hour or two. Gordo might even come and watch from a picnic table. With some foie gras and Chateauneuf du Pape.

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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

jollieAugust 4th 2011.

i think its a great idea, the more green space in the city centre the better. i visited New York last year and loved this - http://www.thehighline.org
I'm sure there are disused railway bridges & arches etc in Mcr where we could do something similar. With our rain the greenery would thrive.

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 4th 2011.

Hey Jollie, we had that idea for the Castlefield viaduct three years ago. One day it will happen I swear.

jollieAugust 4th 2011.

I hope so, it would be a great addition to the city, NYC & MCR have a lot in common.

1 Response: Reply To This...
CBAugust 4th 2011.

seen on a banner during Man Utd pre-season tour...

"New York City: like Urmston only bigger"

Calum McGAugust 4th 2011.

I think someone proposed it as long ago as 16 years - but with red tape, lack of vision and lack of money, it's never been realised. But back then of course there was no Castlefield Forum... :)

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 4th 2011.

No Ali, it's ours, all ours, a Confidential idea - I'll fight you for it.

AnonymousAugust 4th 2011.

Fantastic! Proper gardens are what Manchester needs. Not parks department imposed but something democratic. Maintenance has always been what has let things down so if the locals get involved that should solve this problem.
Neglected railways or 'Beeching Forests' would make great gardens too

Jonathan Schofield - editorAugust 4th 2011.

I love our readers. Within 24 hours this story has ensured that there's no room for more volunteers.

GerardAugust 5th 2011.

Excellent idea

Ancoats Canal AdoptionSeptember 20th 2011.

The Ancoats Residents Forum represents the various residents associations in the Ancoats Urban Village area and we have worked with British Waterways to adopted the Ancoats section of the Rochdale Canal (Tariff St to Rodney st foot bridge).

Our first event is this Sunday and will be monthly after that(details listed on our website).


We aim to maintain and improve the canal environment, build wider community links and have fun in the process. Initial events will be mainly cleaning and maintenance. However we have had lots of ideas submitted for viability study ranging from bird/ duck house installation, public art, historic walks, planting of open areas/ wash walls to canoe and boat days. We have already had a small funding grant from City Camp (thank you!) to help with some of these.

We realise that city centre community/ gardening projects have been very popular and in fact tend to be oversubscribed with volunteers. We are happy to have people from further afield than Ancoats get involved ... so if that is you or you simply want to find out more please register your interest on our website.

There are no costs involved. How much people want to commit time wise is totally up to them. And hey – there are miles of canals to look after so we can always take on more!

Hope to see you on the canal one day.

James Headifen
Ancoats Residents Forum Chairman.

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