A 4-hectare suburban woodland has been brought back into use following a 12-month clean-up campaign thanks to funding from a partnership of St. Modwen Environmental Trust, Greening Greater Manchester and Manchester City Council’s working neighbourhoods fund.
Community groups and environmental charity Groundwork led a range of activities over the last 12 months to create a community asset out of what was a magnet for anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.
The £10,000 grant from the St. Modwen Environmental Trust Fund, a fund established to provide support to communities in which the developer operates, helped pay for the restoration of the pathways which criss-cross the wood, signage, clearing of litter and safety improvements around the wood’s ponds.
The process also included regular litter-picking events which attracted around 70 local residents each time and the creation of two carved wooden sculptures one a woodland guardian and the other a woodpecker which has become the wood’s mascot.
Victoria Nichol, St. Modwen’s town centre manager for Wythenshawe, said: “Working with our partners over the last 12 years we have delivered significant improvements to the quality of the local environment in Wythenshawe town centre.
“Through our support of the Park Wood project, we have been able to expand these improvements outside of the town centre and provide local residents with a safe, green and peaceful community asset.”
Georgie Brown, Senior Project Officer for Groundwork Manchester, said: “Through an active programme of community engagement and volunteering opportunities we have seen local people take notice and care of Park Wood again. This culminated in the formalisation of the Friends of Park Wood who now act as the local voice for the woodland and help ensure legacy of the work achieved throughout the year.”
Councillor Richard Cowell, Executive Member for the Environment at Manchester City Council, said: “Through a combined effort and the dedication of many volunteers we have been able to renovate Park Wood without destroying any of its character. It’s a large woodland area which is especially colourful between April and June with all the bluebells in flower and it’s also the home of many woodpeckers and owls.
“The project is part of the Council’s regeneration work in Wythenshawe and means that an area of natural beauty is litter-free and has been preserved so that it can be enjoyed long-term by residents and visitors.”