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Inspiring kids and communities with nature in urban Manchester

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust is working in Moston and Newton Heath through the Moston Brook Partnership with Manchester and Oldham councils. With support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, there has been a real boost to community engagement with a Forest Schools project centred on the Trust’s Moston Fairway nature reserve.

TV presenter and Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts vice-president Nick Baker came along to Moston, Manchester, in mid-July and was amazed at the environmental engagement in this urban community.

Nick met the children, teachers, and enthusiastic local people who have been driving the start of something special in the area around Moston Fairway nature reserve.

“The enthusiasm, sense of momentum, and community spirit has been overwhelming. This is what it’s all about, opening up our natural world to young enthusiasm and inspiring kids to love learning and being outdoors”.

- Nick Baker

Broadhurst Primary, St Mary’s CE Primary, Crab Lane Primary, and Bowker Vale Primary were celebrating the Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Forest Schools project supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

This project has given Moston Fairway a massive boost, brought a whole new group of kids and families into contact with the reserve, and generated amenities and partnerships that will mean community engagement goes from strength to strength for the future.

Nick Baker at Moston Fairway

The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Paul Murphy OBE, has been an enthusiastic supporter of this and related projects in his role as chair of the Moston Brook Partnership between Manchester and Oldham councils.

The University of Manchester associate dean for social responsibility, Professor Amanda Bamford, praised the Forest Schools project. “Nick Baker and I have been inspired talking to the children and adults here, this is a flagship scheme which I’m proud to promote to the people of Manchester”.

Forest Schools use learning activities and play in woodland to engage children with the outdoors and nature, to get them fit and active, and to boost their creativity and confidence. Moston Fairway is a unique oasis in Manchester that is an ideal location for Forest Schools.

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has trained a dozen teachers here in Moston as newly accredited Forest Schools practitioners to establish an independently sustainable cluster. Visit the Moston Fairway reserve page for more information on the rare wildlife and how to find the site. The reserve is free to visit and always open.

You can click here to see a video produced with the support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. It gives a fantastic flavour of what there is to discover on Moston Fairway.

There is a free event 1- 4pm on 1 August, 2015 to encourage people to discover the wider green lung in this part of urban Manchester. Organised by Moston Brook Friends Group and Manchester and Oldham Councils there will be a wide variety of different activities. The Wildlife Trust will also be on hand with an activity stall.

The Moston Brook Fun Day takes place on Park Avenue (postcode M35 0DY), just off the A663 Broadway a short distance from its junction with the A62 Oldham Road. There will be signposts to a stewarded car park opposite the entrance to Park Avenue. Find out more by visiting the Moston Brook Friends Group page on Facebook.

For more information on the Forest Schools project please visit the website or send Adam Moolna, Communications Officer (Forest Schools), by clicking here. People’s Postcode Lottery, is a charity lottery, with good causes such as this receiving 55p from every £2 ticket sold.