THE Canal & River Trust and volunteers from the local community have joined forces to create the first urban orchard and wildflower garden on the Rochdale Canal in Newton Heath, Manchester.
CRT has been assisted by members of Troydale Residents Association, Northwards Housing Association and local councillors to create the garden along the banks of the Rochdale Canal between locks 69 and 70.
Over the last few months, the former piece of scrubland has been transformed into an oasis for the local community to come and enjoy being by the water. A number of fruit trees including apples and plums have been planted along with wild herbs and flowers and a pathway created to allow local residents to access the garden right next to the canal.
Terry Evans, volunteer leader at the Canal & River Trust, said: “This has been a fantastic project to be involved with. Working with Northwards Housing Association, residents, councillors, and Newton Heath Library, we’ve really transformed the area. We’ve now got a beautiful new wildflower garden on the waterside.
“The fruit trees have a double benefit. In spring, their flowers are a visual delight, whilst in late summer and autumn, the fruit will be available for local people to enjoy and a great new food source for birds, animals and insects.
“We know that there are great health benefits from being by the water, so the creation of this garden will really help everyone’s wellbeing. Also, volunteering is a great thing to do and we’re always on the lookout for more people to help, so if you are interested do get in touch. The more people we have, the more improvements we can make for the benefit for everyone to enjoy.”
Coun June Hitchen, Lord Mayor of Manchester said: “I would just like to say a special thanks to Derek Purnell from Troydale Residents Association and all the volunteers who’ve worked so hard to bring this concept to life. With investment from Manchester City Council’s Leisure & Parks department and Northwards Housing Association, this has made a real difference bringing the community closer to the canal. This is what make’s Manchester so good everyone coming together.”
For more information on the work of the Canal & River Trust including how to volunteer or donate visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk