Meet the people behind our England flagship Tale of Two Cities
Grow Wild content editor Abby Moss travels to Manchester to check out the exhibition of Tale of Two Cities at the iconic Manchester Museum and chat to a few of the people that helped bring Grow Wild's England flasghip to life
Last Thursday saw a prestigious visit from the Lord Mayors of Liverpool and Manchester to the brilliant Tale of Two Cities exhibition at Manchester Museum.
The exhibition embodies the fantastic creativity and enthusiasm that has gone into making the Tale of Two Cities project such a massive success.
Tale of Two Cities is Grow Wild’s England flagship – thanks to the amazing work, creativity and dedication of people across Liverpool and Manchester urban areas have been given a new lease of life, with colour and wildlife being brought into the cities. Thanks to the project there are now over 10 hectares of wild flowers right across Manchester including Princess Park Way and community areas like Hulme and Moss Side as well as Everton Park in Liverpool.
To celebrate the continued success of the project an exhibition was hosted in 'The Study' of the beautiful Manchester Museum featuring work from local artists who have all contributed in exciting, dynamic and inspiring ways to the project.
I wanted to get to know a few of the people who helped bring the project to life. At the exhibition I asked people how they’d been involved. Here are just a few of the characters behind our fantastic England flagship.
Richard is project leader on Tale of Two Cities
"Huge thanks to the Manchester Museum. And the meeting of Liverpool and Manchester Mayors is emblematic of the civic and cultural bridges the wildflower have built between two such creative cities. Good too, to remind ourselves of the glorious wild flower displays which have impacted in great scale, to really send out the signals of what is possible from our flagship. And the fantastic music which young people have produced in collaboration as a result of Grow Wild's and Big Lottery support."
Mark is a photographer based in Liverpool
“I became involved in the project through local community projects and through Landlife who I’d done some work with in the past. We wanted to really drive rejuvenation in the park by getting local kids involved and doing creative activities in the park.”
Michelle is a volunteer on the Tale of Two Cities project
“I first got involved when I received an invite to a seed sowing on the Chester Road roundabout. Not quite what I was expecting, but I turned up. It was pouring rain! I thought I might be the only one to turn up. But I was joined by twenty others. There were older people, young people, people of different nationalities. There really was a sense of community to it. Three months later we went back and it was amazing to see how it’d been transformed – this concrete area had just been completely transformed by these beautiful wild flowers.”
Ken is a member of Friends of Everton Park
“Everton Park has an amazing history. I was brought up on the old terrace streets that actually now lie under Everton Park. So the idea of turning a concrete jungle into a wildflower centre of excellence is something that really inspired me. It just been such an inspirational and wonderful thing to be involved in.”
Mark is manager of the Hulme Community Garden Centre
“Our volunteers at the garden centre have been involved in a few projects at Tale of Two Cities, including making a mobile wild flower meadow that was pushed around the city centre. Our volunteers are all different ages, we have parents and children, young people, our oldest volunteer is around 90-years old.”
Jon is a member of Friends of Everton Park
“I was involved in creating the first bids with Richard and, well, we won it! I’ve lived in the Everton area for over 40 years and really do remember it as an area of dereliction. And now there's a beautiful view, over the city, with these wonderful wild flowers. But the best thing is that there’s now an ownership and a pride. So well done Tale of Two Cities!"
Adam has been involved in organising the music festival at Everton Park
“There’s been a real mix of people involved, both locally and city wide. It’s been great to bring more people to the park. It just brings people together really! We’ve also had people planting seeds and members of the community, from Liverpool and Manchester, have been coming out, doing it on their Sunday afternoon and that. It’s great to see people coming together to do something like this in their area.”
Check out how Tale of Two Cities has brought flowers to the people in Liverpool and Manchester. Have a look at their wild flower sites on the map on the Tale of Two Cities website.
To get lots more updates from Grow Wild projects all over the UK follow us on Twitter. To see more pictures from the day, check out our album on Facebook.