Stevenson Square blooms after spring spruce

22 May 2017

A group of green guardians came together on the 19th May to give a burst of colour to Stevenson Square in Manchester City Centre’s trendy Northern Quarter.

Led by charity City of Trees, volunteers from local company Reason Digital alongside residents greening group A New Leaf and students from the University of Manchester, gave the centre of Stevenson Square a much-needed green-makeover.

Back in 2013 a successful crowd-funding campaign, alongside support from Manchester City Council and CityCo, saw a lush green roof installed on the historic public toilet block in the centre of Stevenson square, in the heart of Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter.

In addition, City of Trees planted 11 Gingko biloba street trees in the square, to add a touch of green to combat the grey.

Ginko’s are a prehistoric tree that has been around for 270 million years, and are very hardy in urban environments, especially important in areas that are congested with vehicles.

In addition City of Trees planted 12 cherry blossom trees on Tariff Street, just off the square. In partnership with A New Leaf, the trees helped to form the development of a new green walking route.

At the event A New Leaf and local web design company Reason Digital were joined by students from The University of Manchester.

The volunteers planted summer bedding flowers, weeded, and re-seeded the green roof which consists of a range of ornamental grasses, as well as evergreens and flowering plants.

They also gave the trees some ‘Tree-LC’ including pruning, clearing litter, watering and feeding the trees with organic seaweed extract, to give them a much needed boost.

Pete Stringer, City of Trees, comments; “This project made a huge difference to one of Manchester’s best known squares and is a true testament to how nature and the urban environment can live in unison. With around 80% of people in the UK living in urban areas things like street trees and green roofs are essential in helping people connect with nature on a daily basis."

He adds; “We’re really grateful to A New Leaf, Reason Digital and the University of Manchester for their continued support of this project”.

James Field comments; "A New Leaf believes that urban greening projects have the power to change people's lives, improving physical and mental well-being. The Stevenson Square project was a wonderful collaboration between the voluntary sector, Manchester City Council and local businesses and shows what can be achieved when the public, private and charitable sectors work together.

“A New Leaf is really keen to continue working alongside City of Trees and Reason Digital in maintaining the green roof in Stevenson Square."

Ed Cox, Co-founder and Director at the Northern Quarter based company added “We at Reason Digital believe businesses have a responsibility to support the local communities in which we live and work. “We’re proud to support urban greening initiatives like these and hope other local companies will follow our lead and get involved too.”