I love it when green spaces pop up in unusual locations, so was interested in the Castlefield Viaduct green space initiative run by the National Trust. The Manchester viaduct was built in the 1800s and was part of the Industrial Revolution, but has since taken a back seat in priority and was closed in 1969. Now the intention is to make the whole area a spot of green amongst Manchester’s city streets.
Taking big inspiration from The High Line, the so-called ‘sky park’ is free to enter but on a timed ticket as the National Trust aim to conclude a successful pilot run and make the garden permanent and even expand it.
Trees, flowers and shrubs will be planted across half of the deck, creating a green space for visitors and the local community to explore and unwind in. The new planting will be made up of many species including cotton grass, Manchester’s county flower. The variety of plants being added will help attract more birds and pollinators to the viaduct. A section of the viaduct will be left untouched to provide a sense of how nature has reclaimed the space since the site was closed in the late 1960s.
It’s been open since July, and this is a great post about the pros and cons of investing in sprucing up old infrastructure like this. It’s generally a benefit but can cause unexpected issues such as raising nearby house prices. For the most part, this is a great idea though, and I love reusing old architecture like this so that history can continue to live on whilst also providing benefits to the current population.