It's been a busy few months for City of Trees in Trafford over the autumn and winter period. From tree planting to fruit festivals, we have pulled together stories from across Trafford that illustrate some of the brilliant work that has been taking place in our green spaces.
In early October, City of Trees was part of the Moor Nook annual Apple Festival, a community event for all ages, organised by Friends of Moor Nook . The event was a celebration of apples and the brilliant community orchard, with free apple tasting and pressing, storytelling, crafts and more. Over 100 people joined us at our apple pressing stall throughout the day and 80 volunteers, got their hands dirty planting 141 trees in and around the park. Rachel, from Friends of Moor Nook, reflected on the success of the event:
"The apple press and the tree planting were both a big hit! People liked being able to contribute their own apples and it was great for the kids to be involved in turning them into juice. It was really good to be able to involve the community with the tree planting "
The tree planting was within the park, a mixed species deciduous copse on the side of a small hill. The trees were planted in previous planting seasons and the goal of the return visits is to refill the copse in the initial first years, replacing the unsuccessful trees with new saplings.The damage that leads to replanting can be caused by - rabbits eating the young trees, invasive plants growing around and shading out the trees, difficult land/soil conditions or human damage from vandalism.
We will be undertaking a long-term maintenance plan, returning to check on the condition of the trees. This woodland management will keep the trees healthy as they grow, ensuring their benefits are felt by communities for years to come.
On the 1st of December, 13 volunteers from Eco Offset joined City of Trees for a fun-filled day of planting, getting 140 trees in the ground, helping to increase the success rate of this previously planted plot. Sadly, this site had fallen victim to vandalism and trees had been outcompeted by bracken since City of Trees planted there last year.
A member of the team at Eco Offset said:
“We had a fantastic day with Trianna & Agnes, it was so satisfying to see such a transformation in the area in just one day. Every single person got stuck in and we had many local residents come and chat with us too through the event to say thank you. We all felt like we made a real difference, thank you City of Trees for making this possible”
This site is located close to the busy A57 therefore, as our small woodland grows it will play an important role in muffling sound from the traffic, reducing air pollution and in turn increasing health and wellbeing in the local community. Therefore, it was important for CoT to return to Lytham Road park to complete this maintenance work.
TCV have been improving people’s physical health and mental well-being by connecting them with nature. Their HiNT (Health in Nature Trafford) project, funded by the Coop Foundation, supports individuals who may find Green Social Prescribing beneficial and provides the links and resources to inform them about upcoming walking groups, community gardening clubs, conservation volunteering or local nature craft activities. In December, they hosted a bunch of festive activities including festive nature crafts, willow weaving and wreath making.
City of Trees returned to Lostock Park in November to replace any unsuccessful trees from previous planting with new saplings. There were two copses and an 80m hedge planted at this site both of which had a good survival rate from their first plant date. The site hosts a flat grassy playing field which is susceptible to flooding, therefore planting trees in this area will work towards mitigating this risk, whilst also introducing more biodiversity and reducing pollution. The hedge will also provide privacy for the local Special Educational Needs school, whose playground backs onto the playing field.
We had participants from Back on Track join us at this site. Back on Track are a Manchester-based organisation providing specialist support for people with a wide range of challenges such as homelessness, unemployment, and addiction.
Volunteers learn valuable transferable skills whilst connecting with nature to improve their mental health and wellbeing. We also had renowned author and journalist, Joe Shute, come to learn how to plant a tree and talk with our team about the work that we have been doing all over Greater Manchester. Read his article here.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Boards in Trafford
Local parent, Georgia Wilson, has introduced her first Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) station, installed at Ashton Park. The Communication Station is an accessible and inclusive way in which non-verbal children with conditions such as Verbal Dyspraxia, Apraxia and Autism can communicate through pointing at numbers, letters, emotional prompts and phrases. The One Trafford Partnership funded the installation of the first board and Georgia is looking for many more to be installed in local play areas, schools and libraries. To achieve this, Georgia is asking for support in raising funds, as well as spreading awareness of neurological speech conditions. For more details, please visit her page.
As part of the Trafford Green Recovery Challenge Fund 2021/22 a large sign installation initiative was implemented across the Trafford Mersey Valley, we worked in partnership with TCV to ensure that the footpaths and green spaces that connect and cross the River Mersey in Trafford have a map for the public to utilise. Each sign shows your current location and directs you to different routes and nature walks around the greenspace.
In addition, the signs display information about plants and animals that are native to the area, as well as a map and location information for orientation. It’s a great way for people to explore further afield within Trafford. The signs have been a hit with the locals, Victoria from Friends of Turn Moss shared this: '‘I love information boards and these are particularly good - thanks to the volunteers for getting this done, it’s so very much appreciated’.
For those with a keen eye they can also look for selected flora and fauna that inhabit the wonderful Trafford countryside on the doorstep. Locations for the signs include: Sale Water Park, Kickety Brook, Stretford Meadows and Turn Moss, Cob Kiln, along the banks of the River Mersey and the Trans Pennine Trail.
We will be looking to host a CSR day to give the mature trees on the greenspace at The Quadrant (also known as The Cliff Cronshaw Memorial Gardens) some Tree-L-C, volunteers will get stuck into the works giving a crown lift of trees over paths to create a more open and visible green space. We will also be looking to fell some intercepting branches from holly trees that are battling for light, litter pick, remove rotten wooden edging, scrape back paths and clear snowberry, rhododendron and thistle. These works will open up the area and will allow additional structural works, such as replacing the wooden plant bed supports, to be assessed.
We have received funding from Veolia to create a short accessible walk around Sale Water Park, perfect for those with buggies, wheelchair users and people with limited mobility. Benches will be installed along the path to provide an area to rest and observe wildlife, as well as waymarkers and finger posts for ease when navigating through the walk.
The path improvements will make Sale Water Park a safer greenspace. A small stretch of the path will be installed to divert pedestrians from walking on Rifle Road, where there is traffic. Also, the current paths have exposed roots and boggy areas which can be off putting for people, as it increases the risk of tripping and slipping. However, the new paths will be smoother and safer, helping people feel more confident to access their local greenspace.
Wildflowers will be planted in surrounding open space to create a variety of habitats which, in turn, will increase biodiversity at Sale Water Park. Wildflower woodland edge habitats are also very visually appealing to members of the public, therefore there may be more visitors.