A tale of two cities – from tower blocks to flower blocks
Manchester and Liverpool joined forces this year to become the proud winners of £120,000 in the Grow Wild England competition for a flagship project, which was voted for by the public and attracted over 65,000 votes.
Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the project will transform two prominent urban spaces with a wild flower display, planted and sown by volunteers. The result will be an inspiring display that enriches the urban landscape and adds life and colour to 10 hectares of land, the equivalent of about 20 football pitches in each of the two areas.
Landlife, the leading project, has partnered with Manchester City Council and Friends of Everton Park to deliver the project which kicked off on the 29 March with a mass community sowing effort, involving over 300 school children and attracting volunteers from as far as Colombia. Sowing began at Everton Park and ended in Manchester, Princess Park Way, where the changes are already being noticed by the 100,000 or so daily commuters who pass by each day.
A varied arts and music programme is also linked to the project and ongoing outreach and educational activity will be supported with a further £15,000, which will be awarded in 2016. These continued activities will work with local people and focus particularly on those aged 12 to 25.
The project will run until 2017 and the sites are to become a national example of how people and partner organisations can turn urban spaces into beautiful, inspiring and colourful wildlife havens. If you want to get involved there are still volunteering opportunities available.