The making of St Andrews Avenue Pocket Park

Posted on the 20th March 2017

Communities Week 2017: The Droylsden Town Team give us an overview of St Andrew’s Pocket Park in Tameside

St Andrew’s Pocket Park is located on the junction of Edge Lane and St Andrew’s Avenue, Droylsden, and was a plot of overgrown land where houses previously stood. It was unused, unloved and attracted fly tipping. The success of our application for Pocket Park funding from Department for Communities & Local Government has allowed the transformation of this unattractive piece of land into a usable, attractive public green space.

St Andrew’s Avenue is an urban area located off a busy road that links at the crossroad with an arterial route into Manchester city centre. The area consists of a mixture of residential and commercial properties, and the backdrop to the land was a row of parked cars and industrial clutter, with the bland grass plot being used as a dumping ground.

We knew that green space promoted good physical and mental health and promoted community cohesion, and were delighted to receive the Pocket Park funding. Since creating the park, fly tipping has stopped and no instances of anti-social vandalism have been reported. It has also helped redress in a small way the inequality of local access to green space in the borough. The scheme looks good and is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

The work we have carried out includes 1.5m wide paths to enable wheelchair access, a laurel hedge to screen off surrounding rundown industrial clutter, along with trees and a sustainable planting scheme that creates a pleasant area of green space.

Droylsden pocket park
St Andrews Pocket Park

For the path works we chose a social enterprise company and enlisted hands-on help from local residents, councillors, a group of horticulture students from Tameside College and greenspace volunteers from the Operations and Greenspace service at Tameside Council.

We are proud of the work done and feel the scheme has instilled a sense of pride in residents which benefits people even just passing through the area as a pedestrian or travelling in a vehicle. Passers-by have expressed their delight in this work having taken place and the scheme has enabled a network of like-minded people to work together.

The area has also provided access to greenspace for youngsters walking to and from a near-by school – something that is extremely limited in the area. The trees and long hedge improve air quality and encourages wildlife by providing homes, shelter and nesting sites.

St Andrew’s Pocket Park has given people who had little or no opportunity to connect with nature a scheme that makes use of a once rundown site.

by Droylsden Town Team, St Andrew’s Pocket Park, Droylsden, March 2017

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