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Archive for the ‘Lattice bridge’ Category

On Sunday 20th May the Friends will hold an opening ceremony for the new Levenshulme station community orchard and the refurbished Highfield Park ‘lattice footbridge’, starting at 11 a.m.

The planned programme for the event is:

  • 11 a.m. at the orchard site (Crayfield Road/Kersh Avenue Loop entrance):  opening remarks by Friends Secretary David Beetham, ceremonial tape-cutting by local residents and photo session.
  • 11.30 a.m. (approximately) at the lattice bridge site: some reminiscences from Friends member (and Friends of Highfield Park chair) Alec Cowan, tape-cutting by him and St Andrew’s school representatives and photo session.

The fruit orchard, comprising apple, cherry, plum, greengage and pear trees, has been made possible using funds from the Friends, including a Manchester City Council environment award, with matched funding from the Government’s Big Tree Plant initiative, and sponsorship by local people.  Sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which owns the Fallowfield Loop, provided equipment and manpower for ground preparation, including Community Payback personnel.   The Friends, several local Levenshulme groups and individuals were involved in the actual planting, with help from the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers.  The orchard project also involved two fruit tree grafting workshops, led by members of the Friends.  The grafts are currently being ‘fostered’ by local people until they are large enough to add to the orchard.

The ‘lattice bridge’ is almost the only remaining railway artefact on the Loop.  The footbridge connects the north-west corner of Highfield Country Park with Thorncliffe Grove and is well used by recreational walkers and schoolchildren.  The refurbishment work involved replacing the top surface and several corroded metal plates supporting it, repointing the brickwork, replacing coping stones and repainting the metal latticework in the colours of the railway company that built the line.  The Manchester office of Sustrans sourced a grant for this work from the Department for Transport’s Links to Schools programme and organised the refurbishment, which has been a long-standing aim of the Friends.

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Notice of lattice bridge closureWork on the renovation of the historic lattice bridge, which crosses the Fallowfield Loop and provides access to Highfield Country Park, is getting started.  The footpath over the bridge will need to be closed for the duration of the work, but there will continue to be access to Highfield Country Park and the Fallowfield Loop via an alternative route.

Alternative route for lattice bridge closure

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Volunteers from the Friends and from the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers at work near the lattice bridge, during our work day today.  Meanwhile other tasks were being done nearby to clear litter and prepare the ground at the site of the planned community orchard near Crayfield Road.

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As part of our Levenshulme community orchard project, we are holding a work session on Sunday 19th February, based at the Crayfield Road entrance to the Loop in Levenshulme, from 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m.

The major part of this session is to tidy up the area of the old Levenshulme station site and adjoining bits of the Loop towards Errwood Road and the Highfield Park lattice bridge.  We will also be marking up the orchard site for location of the fruit trees.

All are welcome to help with litter-picking and other small tasks, including explaining what’s going on to passing Loop users.  The Friends will provide litter-pickers and rubbish bags and have some strong gloves available (but please bring your own gloves if you can).  We recommend suitable footwear for rough ground.  Secateurs and/or loppers may also be useful.

We welcome your help, however much or little time you have available.

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The Greater Manchester office of Sustrans has secured funds to enable a full renovation of the Lattice Bridge to be undertaken, including the brickwork and the metal structure.  Since this has been one of the Friends’ long-standing priorities for the improvement of the Loop, we welcome this.  Eddie Johnson, our honorary President and historian of the former railway, has advised that the company colour of the old Great Central, a medium green, would be most appropriate for the paintwork.  Work is expected to be completed during spring 2012.

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