Springtime activities in Hyde Park Community Orchard…

Lots has been happening  in the orchard in Hyde Park over the last couple of months, where Operation Farm is working with Tameside Council to improve it as a space for local people to use and enjoy. This Lottery-funded project will include a new sculpture trail, furniture, information boards and and outdoor classroom..

(All photos courtesty of  Dave Gee at Muoo Photography.)

Here’s some highlights of project activities in the last couple of months..

March: Art workshops and artists proposals

Three Art workshops were run at the Park Cafe  by local artists Ann Gilligan of Green Monster Arts and Jacqui Symons which involved four local schools as well as trainees from the Cafe :

Trainees from the Park Cafe design mosiacs for the orchard

Schoolchildren enjoying printing at one of the art workshopsParachute games in the orchard at artists workshops

Below are the resulting, and rather exciting design proposals for artworks and seating which will go in the orchard, from Ann and Jacqui (as above) and Richard Dawson from Arbarus. They feature printed and mosaic designs from the community workshops so participants will see their creativity come to life in the artworks in the orchard!

Designs from workshops to be set into artworks and furniture in the orchard

Fruit-inspired sculpture trail with wildlife designs set into them as “pips.”

Design for outdoor classroom

Proposed layout for Outdoor classroom (with decorative mosiac set into the centre)

Design for entrance feature for south eastern entrance to the orchard

Design for entrance feature at South West corner of the orchard

Design for accessible banqueting-style picnic table for the orchard

(All proposals by Jacqui Symons, Ann Gilligan & Richard Dawson)

The proposals were on show at the Youth Festival in Hyde Park at the end of March where there was lots of positive feedback:

Aritists proposals on show at the Youth Festival in March in Hyde Park

April: Wildflower planting and seeding event with two local schools:

Children from reception class from nearby Oakdale school assemble with Mayor Sue Quinn and Cllr Philip Fitzpatrick, who championed the planting of  the orchard, just as the wildflowers arrive…

Oakdale pupils with Mayor as flowers arrive

Despite brooding skies, the rain held off and children from (appropriately!) Flowery Field School took to the planting and seeding with great enthusiasm!

Tameside Countryside Services also supervised creative plant- inspired activities adjacent to the orchard..

Plant face from the Wildflower platnting day in Hyde Park Orchard

This event was a great team effort – Thanks to everyone who came and supported the event, especially all at the Park Cafe for their fantastic support,  Lesley and volunteers from Tameside Countryside services and Martin and Rachael from Proffits CIC for pitching in and lending a hand on the day!

Works in the orchard are expected to be finished by mid summer. A video and leaflet to document and explain the project  are also in the pipeline so watch out for these.

Please do get in touch if you live locally to the park and would like to volunteer to help at the orchard’s launch event in the summer or if you’d like to organise community events and activities there: Email us at operationfarm@gmail.com

Anna, OperationFarm

The project to improve the orchard is being managed by Operation Farm in partnership with Tameside Borough Council, and are  funded through Groundwork UK and Big Lottery Fund’s Community Spaces programme.