A new leaf: Strip of 80 trees from Piccadilly through Northern Quarter will ‘transform’ Manchester

A group of eco-friendly residents claim ‘it’s about time’ Manchester became greener – and they are doing something about it.

Around 80 trees are to be planted, providing Manchester city centre with some much-needed greenery from Piccadilly station, all the way through the Northern Quarter.

The project, called Northern Quarter Street Tree, will see the trail stretch from Piccadilly Station to Cathedral square via Hilton Street, Tariff Street and Dale Street.

The group’s first ‘fundraising art exhibition last week raised more than £200 towards the project.

The first phase of the project has been fully funded and will see 12 spire cherry blossom trees planted along Tariff Street in mid June.

GET GREEN! What Tariff Street might look like with the trees planted

Beth Knowles, co-creator of A New Leaf MCR, told supporters about how important funding is to get trees on Dale Street and Hilton Street too.

She said: “It’s roughly a thousand pounds for a tree, not just for the tree, the tree can cost that much alone.

TRANSFORMING MANCHESTER: The route the line of trees will follow through the city

“We need to dig the holes, we need to check the maintenance wires underneath the pavements and we need to pay people to dig the holes – it’s all kinds of things.

“It just gives you a bit of an idea of what your donated money is going towards.”

The event was held by PRINT FORWARD, which is collaboration between the Manchester Print Fair and A New Leaf Manchester, and the prints available to buy at the exhibition were designed by creative’s who were asked to submit a poster on the theme of ‘urban jungle’.

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF: Urban jungle artwork

Alessandra Mostyn, founder of The Manchester Print Fair and co-founder of PRINT FORWARD, said: “We asked Manchester creative’s to show us their back garden, favourite green space in the city centre or dream up something completely different.”

The trendy Icelandic coffee shop Takk, situated on Tariff Street in the Northern Quarter, provided the perfect venue to host the event and around 60 people turned up to show their support and purchase prints.

MANCHESTER ROOTS: The city centre proposals

Alessandra encouraged new people to get involved with the project and told supporters about her experience of joining.

“If any of you have any ideas, I sort of just rolled up to a meeting and I have never met such a wonderfully diverse enthusiastic group of people,” she said.

The community spirit was commendable, with local business El Cappo also situated on Tariff Street providing very tasty –and strong –margaritas.

Kosmonaut and the Whiskey Jar which are also situated on Tariff Street have provided valuable support to the green group too.

BRANCHING OUT: Artwork focusing on urban trees

James Field, co-founder of A New Leaf MCR, told MM: “People don’t often think of a city centre having a community, and we’re really grateful for all of the support we’ve received.”

The evening also encouraged supporters and Manchester residents to get involved with a new four-year funded research project, hosted by Rebecca Taylor, who wants to give a voice to the people.

The researcher wants to enhance opportunities of greening in Manchester by capturing the voices of residents and people who want to make a change.

BRAINS BEHIND THE PROJECT: Co-creators Beth Knowles, Allessandra and James

“The opportunity of greening the Northern Quarter is a personal passion of mine,” she said.

Rebecca said the research would not be the traditional approach of ‘clipboard and survey’ and instead offered a more flexible device to raise awareness of the voices of Manchester.

“If you want to invite us round for a cup of tea and a nice piece of cake, host a supper club or if you want to host a small conversation – we can capture that as it happens,” she said.

POP(U)LAR: Art that was snapped up by eager buyers

The researcher wants to get responses from people about greenery in their local area and address those points.

The £20 prints on offer at the event proved very popular rose more than £200.

The prints will be exhibited in Takk coffee shop for the next two months and are available to buy online for £25.

For more information on A New Leaf MCR and Northern Quarter Street Tree, click here.

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