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27 November 2014

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You are in: Manchester > Nature > Nature features > The golden hues of Moss Side

The golden hues of Moss Side

A cluster of streets in Moss Side are enjoying autumn's golden colours after planting their very own trees:

Ruth Wellstead

Fantastic: trees are a hit, says Ruth

Thornton Road in Moss Side used to be a battleground. As one of the closest streets to Maine Road football ground, it witnessed a regular invasion of thousands of diehard City fans. It was certainly no place for a slender young sapling.

Dalton Avenue

Trees on nearby Dalton Ave

After the stands were demolished, the streets around Maine Road remained largely unchanged. That is, until two years ago, when a group of residents asked if they could have trees planted to improve the area.

And with some help from Manchester City Council and Red Rose Forest, 150 new trees are now swaying gently in the Moss Side breeze.

Ruth Wellstead is the chairperson of the Thornton Road Residents’ Association which also takes in Dalton Ave and Dorset Avenue. She says it’s made a huge difference:

"Now it’s all up and running, they look fantastic! Thornton Road and Horton Road are very long streets and they look plain and uninteresting because they’re just terraced houses.

"It's really brought character into the street, I think. And the trees themselves look so nice in the autumn with all the colours."

But the arrival of the trees has given the street more than just some pretty autumn foliage. According to Ruth, they’ve kindled a real sense of community.

Flowers under a street tree

Residents plant flowers too

It’s a talking point," she says. "It gets people out watering the plants in the summer and they talk to each other. And from my own point of view, I’ve met so many people in the street that I didn’t know before through talking about the trees."

Thornton Road residents are now looking forward to a further boost to their neighbourhood: their bid for a grant for hanging baskets has also been accepted. 

Street trees

Tree planting doesn’t have to be in a field in the countryside somewhere. It costs about £300 for a street tree but there are grants available. And with a bit of help, you can turn your barren street into a tree-lined boulevard:

  • Contact your local authority: many councils offer grants to fund community-led tree planting projects and will have a tree officer eg Steve Leaff at Manchester City Council to offer advice.
  • The Green Streets project run by Red Rose Forest is the main community-led street tree planting scheme in Manchester, Salford and Trafford. They can help you choose your trees, design your project, and tell you how to look after them. More info on www.redroseforest.co.uk
  • The Woodland Trust: its Community Tree Planting Grant is open until the end of January 08 - so it's not too late to apply for a grant of up to £100 for your community event. More info on www.treeforall.org
  • Forestry Commission: get in touch and ask about Woodland Grants Scheme for funding.

last updated: 20/03/2008 at 14:51
created: 05/11/2007

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