GREENING GREY BRITAIN FOR WILDLIFE 2017
Fully engaged with the principles of the RHS campaign, we have been creating wildlife habitats all over town for birds, hedgehogs and insects including a huge Bug Hotel which we call Altrincham's 'Airborne BnB'. We have 3 hedgehog houses hidden in the town centre and have put an additional 7 bird boxes up this year.
GREENING GREY BRITAIN FOR HUMANS 2017
We have also been working hard to add colour and interest to our town centre with the addition this year of a Living Wall, 24 lamp post planters (thanks to Real Estate Investment Partnerships and Trafford Partnership) and 10 barrier planters outside Altrincham Interchange, courtesy of Altrincham Unlimited.
COMMUNITY PLANTER SCHEME
Our Community Planter Scheme earned us the 'Best Community Effort' award at 2014's North West In Bloom awards and we're pleased to say that our 22 square wooden planters have gone from strength to strength ever since. Designed, planted and maintained by different businesses and organisations in Altrincham, each one is unique and interesting and while providing useful profile for their 'custodians', we keep signage quite minimal so as not to distract too much from the displays which are renewed at least twice a year.
FOUR SEASONS WALKWAY
Now in its fourth year, our original walkway transformation project has become a beacon of happiness, bringing smiles to the faces of pedestrians and enhancing their daily traverse. It just gets better and better every year providing colour and interest throughout the seasons! Every time we work on the site, we are inundated with appreciation from passers-by who tell us how beautiful it is.
'FOOD FOR THOUGHT' - SHAW'S GREEN
Following our 2016 public space food growing trial, we upped the ante in 2017 and planted more fruit bushes and trees on site. All of the fresh fruit and vegetables grown here support a Senior Citizen's Lunch Club which helps to combat social isolation. We also use the site to help educate children who learn as we grow and encourage passers-by to start growing food at home like earlier generations used to.
PRETTY WILD RESERVATION
The 29 metre long central reservation on Church Street outside the Cresta Court Hotel has been capturing national attention with its colourful and sustainable wildflower planting and buzzing insect activity. In fact it has been inspiring others to do the same. Each spring we scatter flower seed for a colourful and long-lived display. This year, we are also under-planting it for a display of Spring flowers.
THE LIVING WALL
Alongside Altrincham's Interchange, we discovered a wooden structure alongside the path, filled with rubble. Gradually, we have been turning this into a Living Wall by replacing pockets of rubble with growing medium and introducing drought-tolerant plants. So far so good, though we are having a bit of a battle with slugs and snails who seem to be enjoying some of our plants a little too much!
GORGEOUS GARDEN AWARDS
With Skipton Building Society's kind sponsorship, we launched the Gorgeous Garden Awards in 2017 designed to celebrate our community's front gardens which bring so joy much to so many. Front gardens in WA14 and WA15 postcodes were assessed for 'gorgeousness' by Altrincham In Bloom volunteers and a grand draw prize of £250 was won by John Tompson of Rutland Road. We hope to make this an annual award scheme to encourage residents to do more with their own gardens.
THE GREEN GATEWAY
Arguably the most ambitious of our projects, yet to be completed. So far, we have only prepared the site for development but are part way to funding the next stage which will involve landscape design, public consultation and the development of innovative features.
This year we began encouraging the growth of wildflowers in the grassy banks at one end of Lloyd Street. Having cut the grass very short, we planted some wildflower plug plants and they began to grow. Unfortunately, One Trafford accidentally strimmed the whole site in early July destroying what we had done. We have now agreed a new tactic going forward which will involve tree management and more regular grass cutting.