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Pupils from St Wilfrid's RC Primary School in Hulme Launch the bid for Grow Wild

Manchester and Liverpool Grow Wild

This Wednesday, Liverpool and Manchester united to mark their exciting project, Tale of Two Cities, which is bidding for the chance to win £120,000 to Grow Wild!

With voting now open Tale of Two Cities is encouraging both cities to get involved and support their project with votes. A combine harvester called the Green Goddess was located in Everton Park with this year’s seed harvest from Liverpool’s National Wildflower Centre. Landlife, which manages the centre and the bid, harvests wild flower seed each year.

A delegation from Liverpool, including folk singer Ian Prowse, boarded the train at Lime Street Station to Manchester in a journey of sound and colour. Ian was encouraging passengers to join in song on the train as they ask people to support the bid and vote.

Over in Hulme Park, Manchester, members of the local community and St Wilfrid’s RC Primary School came together to welcome the visitors from Liverpool. They then participated in a sing-a-long and the children received a biodegradable balloon.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Grow Wild inspires communities, friends, neighbours and individuals across the UK to come together to transform local spaces, by sowing, growing and enjoying native wild flowers.

Grow Wild is creating four high profile flagship sites; one in each country, voted for by the public and rolled out between 2014 and 2017. Each receives £120,000 to create a site, which will inspire Grow Wild participants and leave a lasting Grow Wild footprint in England, Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The winning English site will be chosen by the public vote in a national campaign, which launched on 7 October and closes on 4 November 2017. Each receives £120,000 worth of funding to create inspiring wild flower spaces full of colour and wildlife for everyone to enjoy.

Led by Landlife and Manchester City Council, Tale of Two Cities is one of the five shortlisted sites for Grow Wild’s English flagship campaign. Combining two great northern cities, the project seeks to transform prominent spaces into wild flower celebrations to connect their places and tell their stories.

If successful at winning the Grow Wild English flagship, the Manchester sowing will focus on Hulme Park and Alexandra Park as well as Princess Parkway, one of the gateways to the city.

In Liverpool, areas of Everton Park will be transformed with stimulating wild flower displays, created over the top of iconic demolished streets. Inspiring arts activities will include the expansion of a stunning meadow by environmental artist Rebecca Chesney.

In Manchester, working with partner The National Trust, who have provided a Gardener in Residence, Sean Harkin, wild flower landscapes will be created along the Princess Parkway, which is seen by 100,000 passers-by daily and in at least three primary schools and parks.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure in Manchester, said:

“It’s all about raising the profile of how we can use green space more creatively in the city, bringing splashes of colour in unexpected places. We are keen to encourage local communities to play a part and the wild flower opportunity is a perfect fit. "

Manchester and Liverpool have had powerful links through the Mersey, the Manchester Ship Canal and the historic Liverpool and Manchester Railway.

The project is being backed by the Atlantic Gateway Parklands initiative, which is aiming to drive forward economic growth by improving the environment and making key places ready for investment. Linking our two great cities with wild flowers would be a major boost to the Parklands ambitions to create a landscape for prosperity across the Mersey belt.

The other four shortlisted Grow Wild England projects are based in East London, Bristol, Plymouth, and Sheffield.

Richard Scott, Landlife Senior Project Manager said:

“Our vision is to deliver a unique cultural landmark project in the northwest, which redefines best practice in using wild flowers in the UK, turning people’s heads and hearts. Linked to our creative conservation action through the National Wildflower Centre, A Tale of Two Cities: Liverpool and Manchester will explore the vivid stories of these historically divided cities, their distinctiveness and shared culture.”

To vote simply click here where a view and click mechanism will enable you to vote for ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ or call 0808 228 7705

The voting window closes on 4 November and, with fierce competition from other cities, every vote will count.

Main image courtey of Jon Parker Lee