West Gorton Community Park was opened in 2020 full of innovative features and a range of benefits for the community. Groundwork have been active in the area ever since, helping the community to establish a thriving hub for people and nature.

In 2023-24 Groundwork and local volunteers joined the Northern Network initiative, an online and offline network, connecting Green Community Hubs, people, organisations and communities involved in the grassroots development and delivery of Green Community Hubs across the North of England.

Thanks to support from the network and the hard work of local people, over the past year the following outcomes have been achieved:

  • Over 30 community projects delivered with Groundwork providing technical advice and expertise throughout
  • 200 local people involved in co-designing local services
  • 100 local people reporting greater climate awareness
  • 200 people reporting greater connection with nature and increased skills

New features in West Gorton Community Park

The park has been enhanced based on meeting the needs of local people, with new features including:

  • The opening of a brand-new sensory garden, which is the first sensory garden to be opened in the City of Manchester (out of 447 parks!)
  • When several local residents said they didn’t know what the trees in the Park were, the Community Hub created way-markers to help visitors to the Park identify the tree species. The Tree Trail included a QR code with more detailed information which will help give visitors to the park a greater knowledge of the nature on their doorstep.

Friends of West Gorton Community Park

Groundwork supported the establishment of a ‘Friends of West Gorton Community Park’ group to empower local residents to manage the Park themselves. The ‘Friends of’ group volunteers run events throughout the year for local children and support with the maintenance of the park.

Community Events

As both a hub for nature and people, the community park hosts a range of events, including the Big Green Autumn Festival in November 2023. The festival was a great opportunity to come together with other local green community organisations and meet members of the Groundwork and Northern Network team.

There was an opportunity to explore stalls, take a tour of the Park and get stuck into some practical workshops, including planting plug plants and creating bird feeders out of natural materials.

What’s next for West Gorton Park?

The ‘Friends of’ group will continue to drive forward activities and improvements in West Gorton and has several community events planned in 2024, including the switch on of the Christmas lights, as well as the ongoing delivery of group sessions such as the Mini Park Rangers and the monthly gardening sessions, which Groundwork will continue to support with where needed.

The Groundwork team have recently been working with Natural England to deliver a Nature Buddies scheme which provides individuals with the skills to support others in the community to use nature to improve their wellbeing.