Manchester City Council

Park's new garden reflects industrial heritage

A new garden has been created in Debdale Park in Gorton aimed at reflecting the industrial heritage of the area.

The park’s new heritage garden has been planted with sustainable herbs and flowers that have medicinal purposes, as well as plants that were used in the nearby Clayton Aniline dye plant, which employed thousands of people nearby.

The plant, which opened in 1876 near the current Etihad Stadium, employed 2,500 people at its peak during the 1970s, and exported products around the world.

Although the plant mainly produced synthetic dyes, they also used plants such as snapdragon, heather, Jacob’s ladder, and lavender, which are all now grown in the new heritage garden.

Special educational boards have been put up next to each newly planted area explaining the history of the plant, and its significance to the area.

The garden, which will form part of a heritage trail being planned throughout Gorton, replaces an existing set of beds which had to be replanted twice a year and so were expensive to maintain.

The new garden, which will feature plants that come up every year and don’t require replanting, has been paid for thanks to Manchester City Council’s £14.5m clean city fund, provided due to the City Council’s shareholding in Manchester Airports Group.

The fund, provided as a one-off largely due to the sell-off of Stansted, is being used to provide one-off projects which will benefit the appearance and environment of Manchester.

Local schools will be invited to visit the gardens to learn about nature as well as about their area’s industrial heritage.

Meanwhile, the Friends of Debdale Park have now secured a cash grant to open the park’s Lodge, paint the inside and repair the roof, meaning that the building will be able to be used as an information centre for park visitors at certain times of the year.

Cllr Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, said: "This work will not only create a new attraction in Debdale Park, providing an important connection with the area’s industrial past, but it will also mean these wonderful facilities will become much cheaper to run in the long-term.

"This is another example of a project funded by the Clean City fund which will make a huge long term difference to our parks and green spaces."

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