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Visitors can enjoy Manchester’s new sky park after the National Trust transformed a giant 330 metre steel viaduct into an elevated park with trees, plants and flowers.
The temporary urban park is open for the 12 months with green spaces stretching across the elevation.
During this time, visitors will have the opportunity to explore part of the structure and find out more about the viaduct’s heritage, the city’s long relationship with plants and trees and learn urban gardening tips. They’ll experience a variety of planting displays as they walk along the viaduct while enjoying the elevated setting above the historic cobbled streets. They’ll also see the park develop and evolve, responding to the different seasons.
The conservation charity hopes to inspire and capture visitor and community opinions to help shape the longer-term future of the Grade II listed structure.
The plans for Castlefield Viaduct are part of the National Trust’s Urban Places work to increase access for all to nature, history and beauty in, around and near urban areas.
In addition to creating a place where people and nature meet, the new experience will also celebrate the industrial heritage of Castlefield which has been reflected through all elements of the design.
The design of the planters gives a subtle nod to the industrial architecture of the viaduct which was built in 1892 by Heenan and Froude, the engineers who worked on Blackpool Tower. The shape of the planters mirrors the curve of the viaduct and their width is the same as the railway tracks that once transported goods across the structure to the Great Northern Warehouse.
A section of the viaduct has also been left untouched to provide a sense of how nature has reclaimed the space since the site closed in the late 1960s.
Taking inspiration from what was already starting to grow naturally, much of the viaduct includes shrubs, ferns and grasses which frame the more colourful seasonal planting. Sections of the planting mimic the diamond shape of the viaduct’s criss-cross steelwork, achieved through diagonal blossom hedges and other plants.
Costing £1.8 million, the pilot has been made possible thanks to funding from Postcode Earth Trust supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as well as public donations which covers two-thirds of the build costs.
One hundred people a day will be able to visit the viaduct from Saturday 30 July. Entry onto the structure will be free, but a booking system will be in place to help manage numbers. As part of the experience, visitors will be able to join guided walks. There are also plans to host various events to include community events, workshops and consultations. Please keep an eye on the Castlefield Viaduct for news about upcoming events.
The National Trust will also need to raise funds to support the future of Castlefield viaduct. To find out more about ways to support the project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.
|Castlefield Viaduct opening dates and times (30 July 2022 - 28 July 2023)|
|Monday - Sunday||11:00||- 16:00|
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