Manchester welcomes the first RHS Urban Show

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is bringing its first Urban Show to Manchester’s Mayfield Depot next month (18-21 April) to celebrate the growing movement of urban gardeners in the city.

The RHS has singled out Mayfield Depot for the indoor Show for its enticing proximity to the new Mayfield Park, giving Show visitors the chance to experience this rare gem in the heart of the city centre and to tap into its rich horticultural offering.

Image: Richard Bloom

Free guided park tours will be available during the week, led by the team behind the award-winning Mayfield Park. Guests will be able to hear from the designers, architects and developers responsible for Mayfield's ongoing regeneration with the chance to hear about the future of the area.

RHS Show Manager, Lex Falleyn said: “We are really excited to be bringing the new RHS Urban Show to the centre of Manchester and to support the growing urban gardening movement already underway across Manchester, as we celebrate city gardening in all its forms.

“The location of the show venue, Depot Mayfield being right next door to Mayfield Park, is one of the reasons why we chose it. It is a fantastic example of ‘urban gardening’ and how disused areas in cities across the UK can be transformed into incredible public green spaces benefiting both wildlife and city dwellers, as well as having a positive impact on the environment.

“We hope after visiting the RHS Urban Show visitors will take the opportunity to have a guided tour of Mayfield Park to see it in all its spring glory."

Mayfield Park - the first city park in Manchester for 100 years - has a fascinating story. Called ‘an inspiring benchmark for the park of the future’, it has transformed a derelict, former industrial site, in a densely populated part of Manchester, into a biodiverse landscape that provides a nature-filled haven for visitors to enjoy.

Image: Richard Bloom

The 6.5 acre park is now home to a mix of water and wetlands, trees and wildflowers, play areas and rain gardens. A stretch of previously concealed River Medlock that runs through the park has been opened up, high walls taken down and embankments created, to generate a wet-dry habitat encouraging the beginnings of a new ecosystem which is already home to a rich variety of fish, birds and plant life.

The soft, almost wild planting design follows a naturalistic aesthetic that crosses the line between civic space and urban garden, something that is completely at odds with the average park in the UK.

Laura Percy, Development Director at Mayfield said: "Mayfield Park is the green lung of the city centre. It is the space that urban Manchester has been crying out and it's shaping the future of this part of the city.

“Mayfield comes alive in spring and we're excited to share our tranquil oasis with visitors to the first RHS Urban Show."

Image: Richard Bloom

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