Manchester isn’t exactly the greenest of places. So it’s welcome news that the city has just opened its first public park in more than a century, adding a much-needed spot of nature to the centre.
Mayfield Park, right next to Piccadilly Station, holds a whopping 120,000 plants (including 140 trees). There’s also a play area with an impressive seven slides (one which takes riders over the River Medlock), a climbing wall, trampolines, roundabouts and balance beams.
The Medlock, which was previously covered over, has also been cleaned and restored. Lots of wildlife has already started making itself at home in the area, including kingfishers and brown trout.
The 6.5-acre park, which is accessible to wheelchair users and has public toilets, also features a 'festival-grade' turf which will be used to erect a stage for events and festivals. And even more excitingly there’s talk of an outdoor cinema and even a rooftop lido.
Martyn Evans, of U+I, the developers behind the park, said: ‘Mayfield Park is a game-changer for Manchester: a completely free, huge new green space slap bang in the middle of the city. It’s a place that Mancunians young and old can enjoy, a place for all. The Play Yard is the star attraction, complete with crawl tunnels, rope bridges and even a slide that crosses the River Medlock (grown-ups will be pleased to know they’re allowed to play too).’
And what of the lido? Evans adds: ’Broadwick Live, the organisation that manages events at Mayfield, is always looking for ways to give people fun new experiences. Putting a lido on the roof of the Depot building is one option they’re currently exploring, but it may not be possible because of the technical constraints of adding so much water on top of the existing structure.’
In the meantime, visitors will be able to get onto the roof to enjoy a movie with BackYard Cinema later this month.