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Grow Wild - A Tale of Two Cities

Winning Wildflowers

Back in October 2014, Platform told you about the ‘Tale of Two Cities’ project – a dual-city project across Manchester and Liverpool to inject colour and wildlife through wildflower spaces.

We’re now delighted to report that, following a vote of almost 65,000 people from right across the UK, Tale of Two Cities has been crowned Grow Wild’s winning flagship project. As the winning project, it will be awarded a £120,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund to make its ideas a reality.

Although the cities are historic rivals, the communities around Hulme and Moss Side and Everton Park share many cultural and historic similarities. Through the Tale of Two Cities project both cities will see prominent spaces transformed into celebrations of wildflowers.

The Tale of Two Cities bid was a joint partnership, led by Landlife, which included Manchester City Council, The National Trust’s Gardener in Residence for Manchester, Sean Harkin, The Friends of Everton Park, Liverpool City Council and Atlantic Gateway. The bid then attracted support from organisations across the North West.

Richard Scott, from Tale of Two Cities, said;

“Landlife and partners are hugely proud and excited to have won the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew’s Grow Wild England Flagship vote. We sang, danced and paraded our own Green Goddess from Liverpool to Manchester and back. We carolled streets, railway stations, markets, museums and football grounds and found support from great champions. We learnt a great deal along the way, met new friends and supporters – and had a lot of fun! Our thanks to everyone who helped us win this significant project. We know that all our competitors worked very hard too, and we hope to have the opportunity to help and learn from them all on our new Grow Wild journey. We look forward to telling our tale!”

Tale of Two Cities will also receive £15,000 in 2016 for continued activities with local people, especially focusing on those aged 12 to 25. The site will become the national example for how people and partner organisations can turn spaces into beautiful, inspiring and colourful wildlife havens.

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.

Gay Coley, Director of Public Programmes for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said:

“This is a huge achievement for the team behind Tale of Two Cities and the cities of Liverpool and Manchester, and shows what can happen when historically ‘rival’ cities work together for the greater good. Each of our Grow Wild Flagship project applications in England has been truly inspiring, but Tale of Two Cities really captured the hearts and minds of its audience to win this national vote and secure the £120,000 Big Lottery funding.”

Grow Wild launched in 2012 to inspire three million people to take direct action in their community for UK native wild flowers. Tale of Two Cities is the second Grow Wild flagship site, following the launch of the Scottish flagship in Barrhead in June this year.