Archive for the ‘Levenshulme’ Category

We have received this flyer from the Friends of Highfield Country Park for the opening of a new feature at the park, which is just off the Loop in Levenshulme!  The event is this Sunday (7th July 2013) from 2 to 4 p.m. – all are welcome!

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On Wednesday 12th December 2012 several of the Friends attended the North West Empowerment Awards ceremony.  These awards were open to community or voluntary groups that have delivered a project regarded as having made a positive difference in their community.  The Friends had been one of four shortlisted from 33 applicants in the “Better neighbourhoods” category, and although we did not win the prize we received a “highly commended” plaque for working with the Levenshulme groups on the community orchard!

North West Empowerment Awards – with thanks to North West Together We Can and Asian Lite Photographers Ian O’Brien and Stuart Rayson for the picture

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Well, it’s taken us a while to get some pictures here but last month (Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September) local Levenshulme residents, young volunteers from ‘The Challenge’ and members of the Friends got together to continue work on the orchard, in particular putting down the underlay and woodchip for the paths.  A great weekend’s work!

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A reminder that the Friends will be holding a workday at the community orchard tomorrow (Monday 27th August 2012) – all are welcome to help out to continue to enhance this area!  Further details are here.

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This year’s AGM will take place on Monday 16th July at 7.30 p.m. at (as all our meetings) the Union Chapel, Wellington Road, Fallowfield, M14 6EQ. All members are invited to attend. The main items of business will be officers’ reports for the past year and the election of officers and committee for the forthcoming one.  We are currently short of one committee member as well as the Chair, and any member interested in volunteering for these positions is encouraged to contact us in advance of the AGM for more information. 

Our normal meeting will follow the AGM.  Among the items to be discussed will be the Levenshulme community orchard, which under the terms of our grant we are committed to maintaining and enhancing into the future.

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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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A bird's-eye view of work on the orchard site

Over forty-five people turned up on Sunday for the the planting of the new orchard, at a site on the Loop by Crayfield Road, near the old Levenshulme Station.

The Friends had obtained a grant from the Big Tree Fund, and

Planting in progress

The site in 1965 (picture by T. Brooks)

with the help of members of the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers and local residents, traditional varieties of apple, pear, plum, damson and greengage were planted, staked and watered. In the months and years to come it’s hoped that the blossom will add a welcome aspect to this popular part of the route, with people later able to pick the fruit for making jam and chutney!

While the trees were being dug in at the site, other volunteers were taking part in a workshop at the nearby Sidings pub, learning how to graft rootstock for further planting later on.

More pictures to follow!

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Community orchard site - planting to take place on right

The orchard site near Kersh Avenue

In preparation for the planting of the new orchard, holes for the fruit trees have been dug on the south-east quadrant of the old Levenshulme station site at Crayfield Road, and a mixture of fresh topsoil and compost deposited in the holes.  Planting and tree-grafting is to take place on Sunday 18th March!

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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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At a site meeting in December it was agreed that the south-east quadrant of the site (bordering Kersh Avenue, Marley Lane and Broom Lane) would now the most suitable for the proposed orchard, given difficulties with the Crayfield Road site previously identified.  We have provisionally booked the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers to help us and local residents with clearing the site and planting, respectively on Sundays 19th February and 18th March.  At our members’ meeting on 16th January we will decide a more detailed timetable for work to be undertaken.

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