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Urban Forest Walk

event report

As part of the UN’s International Day of Forests this week we organised an urban forest walk in south Manchester led by local tree expert Jane Morris. Jane volunteers across the two parks we visited – Birchfields and Plattfields – and it seemed she knew every tree within their boundaries! These spaces include woodlands, and a forest garden and we spent time exploring these.

Enjoying an urban spring walk at Plattfields park and avoiding the rain! credit to Mary Collins

The walk was also an opportunity to talk to people about Friends of the Earth’s call for more trees across the country, including their study on the cooling effect of trees and green spaces in cities. This research has also highlighted the issue that people of colour make up 65% of the population in the neighbourhoods with the least cooling, and that people on lower incomes are disproportionally affected by a lack of cooling near their homes.

Thinking about trees across the globe and issues of deforestation there was also an opportunity to talk about the Planet Over Profit campaign and in particular its focus on Timber and forests .

budding pear tree
Budding fruit tree in Birchfields Park

It was lovely to be out in the fresh spring air and be lucky enough to experience very short bursts of rain! After strolling along the Lime Avenue we made our way to Birchfields’ Forest Garden which is 18 years old. We learnt that a Forest garden has seven ‘forest’ layers ranging from canopy nut and fruit trees to wild garlic ground cover and is planted in a way that maximises each plants likelihood of survival as they are protected by their surrounding companions.

We then made our way to Plattfields Park, learning about the cherry trees, pear and apple orchards, sustainable woodland management within a park that maximises biodiversity.

By the time we finished in the Plattfields Market Garden cafe for a well deserved hot drink and cake, we had to agree that we would return later in the year to complete our forest safari!

If gardening is your thing – there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at both parks – check out their social media and our calendar for details.

If you would like to help us lobby our MPs to support the introduction of a new law that protects our forests and the people who rely on them across the globe please get in touch or come along to our next campaigns meeting.

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