Longsight locals unite to transform neglected local park

  • A project has brought residents together to transform green spaces.
  • An unused bowling green has been turned into Crowcroft Park Orchard Garden.
  • Residents of the community, young and old, have all taken part.

An ongoing project has brought the residents of Longsight together to transform green spaces and promote community.

The collaborative project has helped to transform an unused bowling green into Crowcroft Park Orchard Garden and hopes to inspire residents to take care of the space.

Residents of the community, young and old, have come together to install pathways, plant trees and wildflowers and reflect on life in Longsight.

Community Art Space

The once unused bowling green is now filled with various plants and trees. Photo credit: Zoe Spencer

Longsight Community Art Space, a space which promotes wellbeing and community in the area is managing this project.

Claire Biggs is the Director and Project Manager at Sustainable Northmoor Urban Greening (SNUG) and a resident of Longsight.

SNUG focuses on urban greening project based in Longsight which aims at improving green spaces in the local area.

Ongoing project

Claire said: “It’s an ongoing project.

 “The space is the old bowling green, but that’s kind of died down because there wasn’t anybody really using it anymore and it was basically just overgrown grass.

Many of the local children have helped to tidy up the area and plant their own trees. Photo credit: Zoe Spencer

“There was no biodiversity at all, whereas now you only need to look around.

“There is a Robin that is constantly in here, we’ve had foxes in the space and the insect life is going sky high”.


An important factor in transforming the space is the community aspect.

Claire continued: “Lots of the community have been in been involved with planting various different things.

A pond was also installed by the community. Photo credit: Zoe Spencer

“We’ve got different groups involved, you’ve got other community groups, a local youth group from the better way organisation came into the space and planted trees.

“There’s a lot of increasing ownership of people being like, well, I planted that tree.

“We’ve had kids in push chairs and grandmas.

“A lot of the people who live like on the outskirts of the park, have come in and been involved when we do stuff and that’s generally what we want really because the council aren’t going to look after this space”.

Local children have been taking part and creating homes for wildlife in the park. Photo credit: Zoe Spencer

Positive feedback

The feedback from residents in Longsight has also been extremely positive.

One local resident had a bad experience in the park and been fearful to go into the space.

After coming to a couple of volunteer planting days, she felt encouraged and confident to come back.

 She said:  “Coming back to help with this project has helped me massively.

“It’s helping me build my confidence and make me feel better about myself.

“I love coming to this community session and it helped me build my confidence, it helped me not feel scared and overcome my fear”.

Ethnically and culturally diverse community

Not only is biodiversity and environmental impact important, but the community inclusion and cohesion.

Claire said: “Longsight is an area of multiple deprivations with an ethnically and culturally diverse community.

“Having a project like this which brings people together and helps people to look past their differences and find connection over nature and the natural environment is so important.

“Many local residents do not have any garden space so the provision of good quality Green Spaces and also the possibility to grow edible crops has been a really valuable thing for the community.”

The Orchard Project is a national charity dedicated to the creation, restoration and celebration of community orchards and has worked closely with SNUG to help transform the space.

There are many plans to continue the work of the community and keep improving the space, with the help of the local community.

A mosaic has been designed, which will be added to the Orchard in the coming weeks.