A picture of a man and a woman planting trees in a park in Ardwick

Community-led nature projects across Greater Manchester given Green Spaces Fund boost

  • A further £405,463 has been awarded to 18 community-led projects across in the final round of the Greater Manchester Green Spaces Fund.
  • Total of 86 different projects across the city-region now backed by the fund.
  • Successful projects are providing access to better green space where it is needed most.

Almost £2m has now gone towards nature recovery projects driven by local people right across Greater Manchester thanks to the Mayor’s Greater Manchester Green Spaces Fund.

A further 18 successful projects have been confirmed as receiving backing in the final round of the fund, enabling community groups to improve their local green space to benefit people from across the area. The schemes – all of which will be accessible to local people – will also encourage residents to get involved in nature recovery, from volunteering opportunities to building green skills.  

Successful projects being backed in the final round include:

  • Stretford Community Dye Garden in Trafford aims to create a permanent community dye garden within Victoria Park, increasing local people’s access to quality green space and provide an opportunity to learn about growing and using plants to dye fabric and other materials.
  • Daisy Roots and Welly Boots in Rochdale will turn an unused, overgrown, former tip area of a public park into a functional community growing space for residents who live in an environment of multi-story flats and terraced housing, mostly devoid of private gardens.
  • Ash Pit Growers in Bolton aims to improve and enhance a site with native trees and hedging, fruit trees, and shrubs to benefit to both wildlife and people.

Five of the latest successful projects are being backed by over £96,000 from Auto Trader, as part of their ongoing partnership with the Greater Manchester Environment Fund (GMEF). GMEF is a pioneering body created in partnership with the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, bringing together communities and funding bodies keen to channel their resources into addressing environmental problems.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The natural environment is critical to the health of Greater Manchester’s communities and the prosperity of our economy. That’s why we put the environment at the heart of our Greater Manchester Strategy – our vision for a greener, fairer, more prosperous city-region.

“The projects backed by the Green Spaces Fund over the last year and a half are always brilliant and demonstrate the creativity and passion of residents across the city-region wanting to make Greater Manchester a better, and crucially, greener, place to live. These projects ensure everyone can access the benefits of green spaces, for both individuals and communities, and I look forward to these latest projects taking shape.”

Christos Tsaprounis, People & Culture Director at Auto Trader, said: “At Auto Trader our purpose is to Drive Change Together, Responsibly. As a technology business who has chosen to make Manchester its home, we are committed to making sustainable contributions towards the region’s nature recovery. We are excited for our partnership with the Green Spaces Fund opening up the opportunity to support some brilliant local projects and are keen to continue making a difference to communities across Greater Manchester.”

Daveen Wallis, Director of Nature and Wellbeing at the Lancashire Wildlife Trust and programme lead for the Greater Manchester Environment Fund said: “Air pollution, habitat loss and climate change are threatening the future health and prosperity of Greater Manchester – the challenge is huge and we recognise that we can make a bigger impact through collaborating with businesses and other organisations.

“We want to foster more collaboration like our partnership with Autotrader, which have the potential to deliver a real boost to the natural environment across the city-region. There are loads of opportunities on the horizon for businesses looking to make a difference, so please do reach out to us if you share our desire to boost nature across Greater Manchester.”

The full list of funding recipients from the final round of the Green Spaces Fund is as follows:

Project name

Project description

Rainbow Surprise: Our Happy Place (Manchester)

A high-quality community garden at the rear and side of Rainbow Surprise in Manchester, which is already a hub for the community offering a food bank, community shop and classes/groups for the community. Vision is to set up a Gardening Club for adults, particularly engaging those with physical and learning disabilities. Residents will also create a “Help Yourself Garden” growing varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. There will also be a green outdoor space where people of all ages can get together, relax and spend time outdoors in nature to assist their mental health and wellbeing.

Local Food First: Wildbrook Ponds and Wildflower Meadow (Oldham)

Construction and installation of a pond and two swales on a Community Allotment in a natural dip between ‘no dig' growing space and orchard trees. Adjacent to the pond, wildflower meadows will be created for a pollinator friendly boundary and green pathway between the main fruit orchard and market garden. A seated nature education shelter will be created within the woodland, providing opportunities for forest school and nature learning, a quiet contemplation space and area to host nature, orchard and horticultural workshops.

Clifton Parochial Church Council: St Thomas’s Community Gardening and Biodiversity Project (Salford)

Aiming to increase biodiversity and tackle local food poverty, isolation and poor mental health by: establishing, managing, developing and maintaining an area of St Thomas’s Churchyard as a wildlife area, including a hedgerow, a small managed woodland and a wildflower meadow, and a further area as a community fruit and vegetable garden; helping local people to become more confident in working with others, in advocating for and working to improve the local environment and increase biodiversity; training volunteers from the local community in basic environmental management and sustainability; training participants to develop skills to grow and use fruit and vegetables.

Daisy Dell: Going Green in Deane (Bolton)

Aiming to improve and enhance the site with additional native trees and hedging, fruit trees, and shrubs with benefits to both wildlife and people while improving the biodiversity by providing habitats, host species, and food sources. A wildflower area and bog pond will enhance the site. Raised beds will be a key feature and will encourage a greater number of engagements with the outdoors while teaching the benefits of local, sustainable food production on the environment. A willow dome will be grown and developed as a focal point of the site, and it will serve as a central point for activities.

NorthCare Charity: Rewilding Fairfield Hospital for Everyone (multi district)

The project aims to revitalise Fairfield General Hospital's green areas, benefiting the hospital and the broader community. These improvements address identified disparities by providing training, volunteering, education, and childhood development support, enhancing the wellbeing of staff, patients, and residents. Additionally, the project promotes biodiversity and acts as a hub for green social prescribing. It aligns with local health needs by simplifying green service access. Collaboration with local schools and groups lacking green spaces will allow them to enhance their facilities and offer. Ultimately, the initiative aims to improve community services and outcomes beyond the traditional hospital setting for our neighbourhoods.

Friends of Cheetham Park: Cheetham Park Community Orchard (Manchester)

This scheme will create a beautiful community orchard in a public park, in an area of multiple deprivation. It will plant fruit trees, fruit bushes and flowers to improve the quality of this green space, and provide habitat and forage for wildlife. The orchard will provide training and volunteering opportunities for local residents and create a focal point for people to come together to work in the orchard, grow and harvest fruit, and celebrate as a community. This will provide opportunities to address social isolation and promote physical and mental health.

Growing Together Radcliffe: Redbank Partnership (Bury)

Through partnership working between Radcliffe Football Club, Radcliffe Primary School, Radcliffe Anglers, and Growing Together Radcliffe, this project aims to improve a deprived urban area of approximately six hectares. The project will focus on four main areas: Redbank lodges to create natural spaces that feels safer and more welcoming, the football club to create a community garden, the school to engage children and families and offer the first steps into accessing their local spaces, and Milton Road field to improve the site from fly tipping and encourage greater use by residents and wildlife.

Higginshaw Community Project: Sarah Moor Community Project (Oldham)

Aiming to encourage increased use of existing green space surrounding the sports facilities. This will cover measures including a review of the condition off existing damaged trees, management of the undergrowth and planting new trees, improvement of connectivity between established walkways, improvement of accessibility with new steps up to the higher level in 3 locations, installation of picnic tables, six new benches and litter bins for public use, improvement of plant biodiversity by enhancing food and shelter provision, provision of clear navigational signage avoiding the residential areas, and provision of free unobstructed green space access in one of the most deprived areas of the country.

Patricroft Community Group CIC: Ivy Park Sensory Garden (Salford)

This project will see the local community begin to transform a local park into a place that is accessible for all to enjoy. At present, Ivy Park is a park which has a lot of anti-social behaviour, which forces local children to play on the streets. This project will help address that by making an area of the park a sensory garden which all our local community can enjoy.

Harpers Lane Community Garden: Ivy Rd Community Project (Bolton)

The project is on Ivy Road in Bolton and will transform it into an accessible growing space for our diverse community, who are largely without access to gardens or growing space. On one side of the site under the mature trees we will develop a woodland glade with a roadside bench for resting and meeting friends. On the opposite side of the road we will establish a Forest Garden with improved, accessible paths and install raised grow beds and a safe play area. Everybody will be welcome to use the site at all times and all produce will be free.

Vintage Worx Community Development Trust: Daisy Roots and Welly Boots (Rochdale)

The project will turn an unused, overgrown, former tip area of a public park into a functional community growing space for residents who live in an environment of multi-story flats and terraced housing, mostly devoid of private gardens. Conversations with residents and other park users have confirmed they would like to be involved in creating a secure community growing space within the park, where they can learn about gardening, take part in green activities, and meet new people.  The project will bring people together of all ages, abilities, and cultures, increase people’s environmental awareness and improve health and wellbeing.

St Gabriel’s Community Garden (Tameside)

From unused, neglected grass and weeds, the aim is to create a multi-use garden in which the whole community, whatever their age, ability, race or gender can engage with the natural world. The project aims to increase awareness of biodiversity issues and enhance ecological resilience in the local area. It will focus on accessibility, introducing raised beds to facilitate food growing for people with disabilities, path improvements to aid safe routes for people with low mobility, a multi-use welcome garden and a patio area where everybody can sit among nature, socialise and learn how to care for the natural world.

Stitched Up Community Benefit Society Ltd: Stretford Community Dye Garden (Trafford)

Stretford Community Dye garden is a partnership project between Stitched Up Community Benefit Society and Friends of Victoria Park Stretford, CIC Charity. Its goal is to create a permanent community dye garden within Victoria Park. The project will increase local people’s access to quality green space and provide an opportunity to learn about growing and using plants to dye fabric and more. During the growing season, there will be weekly volunteer sessions, and throughout the year, opportunities to attend learning sessions. Alongside the garden, an open-access natural dyeing online knowledge bank will be created to share learning about natural dyes.

Wardour Street Community Allotments: Entrance and Path (Wigan)

This project will create safe accessible access to the site and a safe main path across the front of the site, allowing its use by the local community groups and individuals after two years of site clearance.

New Bury Community Allotments: Ash Pit Growers (Bolton)

Aiming to improve and enhance the site with native trees and hedging, fruit trees, and shrubs with benefits to both wildlife and people. Biodiversity will be improved by providing habitats, native plant species, and food sources for wildlife. Raised beds for food growing will be a feature and will encourage a greater number of engagements with the outdoors while teaching the benefits of local, sustainable food production on the environment. To create a family and community space on what was once an ash pit for the estate and has remained unused for several decades, with the project community led.

Crumpsall Lane Primary School: Supporting biodiversity and creation of safe, green space through intergenerational working (Manchester)

This project aims to create an improved pond and new community garden with public access for use by children by day and then neighbouring elderly residents and wider community out of school hours. This project will be intergenerational and will empower the whole community to get involved with nature, particularly in an area with limited green space and high deprivation.

Groundwork Greater Manchester: Engaging with Nature in Shaw (Oldham)

This project will engage with the local community to bring about biodiversity improvements at George Street Playing Fields, with Groundwork delivering public events and workshops at the site with two local primary schools and the local public. Biodiversity improvements will involve the restoration of a pond and the creation of new wildflower meadow habitats.

Westcroft Community Garden (Manchester)

The aim of this project is to create a public garden out of the unloved concrete space in front of the community centre, adding fixed seating and planters to create a bright and friendly space that can be used for gardening and other activities. It will be maintained by a group of volunteers who will build skills, knowledge and confidence.


Article Published: 30/11/2023 16:27 PM