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Yesterday some of the Friends were out working in and around the community orchard at the Levenshulme Quadrants.  We were joined by members of the Sale and Altrincham Conservation Volunteers to help with building two willow arches, using willow harvested from the Loop.  Some weeding and general maintenance around the orchard trees was also done.  Meanwhile, Incredible Edible Levenshulme were also out, working on their raised beds of herbs and fruit.  Many thanks to all helpers!

The final report for the “open-all-barriers” trial on the Loop has now been completed.  Please find a copy here (please note that it’s a 14Mb file!).

New Loop map and guide!

The Friends have recently undertaken a major revamp of our map and guide to the Loop. This is now complete, and has gone to the printers for an initial print-run of 10,000 copies.

The map A3 page contains much more detail on how to reach other cycle routes from the Loop (e.g., the Trans-Pennine Trail in both directions, the Ashton and Bridgewater canals, the route to Salford Quays and the different routes to the city centre), as well as showing more parks and green spaces. It also distinguishes which of the entrances are accessible for non-standard bikes.

The guide page is now divided into eight panels (instead of six) and can fit easily into the pocket.  The front and back panels explain what the Fallowfield Loop consists of; inside the first fold are panels headed THEN and NOW, with the former giving a brief history of the old railway line, and the latter showing its present transformation into a Greenway and wildlife corridor. The remaining panels deal with volunteering, cycling and walking contacts, use by the disabled and basic rules of the Loop (‘share with care’) respectively.

The PDF versions of the new map and guide are available on our Maps page.

Another winter, another wassail today to celebrate the orchard at the Levenshulme Quadrants and wish it a healthy and flourishing year ahead!  As in the previous several years, there was a bonfire, choir-led singing, fireworks, mulled cider, the fixing of ribbons and cider-soaked toast to the fruit trees and the conjuring of a Wassail Queen!

Further to the positive response to the opening of barriers on the Loop, the Friends have been delighted that the Mayor of Manchester Carl Austin-Behan and his Consort Simon Austin-Behan have joined in, with a tandem ride to help celebrate the removal of the barriers and easier access to and along the path!  The Lord Mayor and his Consort also met local volunteers and members of the Friends to mark the occasion. Further details are on Sustrans’ website.

Another year, another Hallowe’en family-friendly bike ride extravaganza!

Hallowe'en Kidical Mass

Cycle the solar system!

This ride took place as part of Manchester Science Festival!

Participants today joined artist Nick Sayers and astronomer Megan Argo for a three-mile cycle ride along the Loop, exploring our solar system at a scale of 1:1,000,000,000 (one to a billion).  Installations representing the solar system had been set out on the Loop from Chorlton-cum-Hardy to Fallowfield; rides took place in the morning and afternoon, and “planet minders” showed off the respective planets at their measured-out sites.  The riders were able to learn about and appreciate the very different sizes and environments of the Sun, eight planets and asteroid belt and become more familiar with our neighbourhood in space!  Nick wrote afterwards, “A massive solar-system-sized thank-you to all who worked on the project.  It went so much better than I ever anticipated. You’re all complete stars!”  Permanent solar markers along the Loop have been suggested as a follow-up!

Cycle the solar system

Cycle the solar system: (c) Nick Sayers 2015